Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cherry Blossom (桜) Photos: The Okinawa Challenge

The Weather Doesn't Always Cooperate


Today we went up north in Okinawa to check out the sakura for our followers.

Folks planning their weekends like to know how the cherry blossoms are coming along.

There was scarce sunshine, few blossoms and plenty of cold wind.  It even rained a bit.

After checking the situation at UNESCO Nakijin Castle we did some off the beaten path stuff.

Nakijin-jo is having their Sakura Matsuri grand-opening this weekend.  I'd wait.

Ya'll know the Map It Okinawa dude and the crazy places he finds, right ?

He was out in the middle of nowhere, going up a river, to see where it went.  I waited.

That's when the rain started.

It occurred  to me, I hadn't shot a cherry blossom, all day.

That's when I got the idea to shoot some sakura, under challenging conditions.

These few sprigs of cherry blossoms were next to the shelter, I'd be hiding in.

So, I played around with spot focusing on some of them.

And I moved around to give the scene some background, other than grey skies.

This technique can be used anywhere.

It's a good idea, to get your camera off AUTO Mode and play with aperture settings.

Decide if you want the background blurred or, sharpened.

This photo was taken with on-camera flash.

Fooling around with shutter speeds and flash settings gives all sorts of results.

There's no way, I'm going chasing sakura without coming home with some flower photos.

 This cherry blossom photo turned out to be one of my favorite shots of the day.

There's something about a sakura on a rainy day, that I can't explain.

One photo (taken with flash) like this, in the rain, has received over 12,000 views on this blog.

When the weather takes a nasty turn or, the flowers aren't in full bloom, take the challenge !


2012 Nago Cherry Blossom Festival A 12 Photo Essay

NOTE: The best sources, tell me Mt Yadake is at about 50% bloom.

Visit Okinawa2Go! Project for daily updates on Facebook.

More tips and tricks for your camera travels in PHOTO TIPS

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