Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Firework Photos: What's Kenny Rogers Got to Do With That ?

It's a Lot Like Being a Gambler




When you take a tripod and digital camera to a festival for fireworks, it's a gamble.

The best way to insure a few good photos is shoot plenty.

Then, when you get back to your digital darkroom, you have some decisions to make.

Since I'm borrowing the words, "Know what to throw away and know what to keep",

here's a little tune Kenny Rogers said it so well in:

A DSLR, shooting RAW photos creates some humongous files.

It's fairly easy to know what to throw away, once you view them on a computer monitor.


The hardest part of the job is deciding what to keep.

bursting fireworks

Cropping the photos that have some pretty fireworks in them is an option.

fireworks display

That only works when you have room to follow some of the rules of composition.

fireworks at night

Some folks get out their paint brushes to remove distracting elements from the photo.


There's too much work outdoors, for me to do so, I don't have time to fool with painting.


If a burst has a tail hanging-off of it, that's what you get.


This photo is not really a keeper, to me but, it got me thinking, someone might use it.

These days, I hear people break-up with each other by text messages.

So, a gal could write something on this and send it to her soon-to-be ex.

Sold the fishing pole for ten bucks

The rest of your junk is in the garage

Stay out of my house

You don't live here anymore


bursting fireworks

If they had a shot like this, in the bar I go to, I'd probably think I had way too much to drink.

And, I'd get home a lot earlier.


Here's one I liked but, couldn't follow the Rule of Thirds so, it'll be history.


This one might make a good glow in the dark fridge magnet.  In the space you could write:



If somebody comes up with a catchy title for this photo, I could email it to them.

fireworks at night

The throwing away part of these fireworks is just about done.

Now, I just have to figure out, which ones to keep.


Monday, July 29, 2013

Photos from Onna-son, Okinawa Summer Festival 2013


Don't Miss This One Next Year -- It's a Blast !




Locals call it the Una Matsuri but you can get by saying, Onna-son Festival.


With several villages having festivals, all weekend, I chose this one.



3 Miss Onna pose with a manga character



The people of Onna-son really know how to throw a party.

festival grounds scene

This field, where the festival took place, is just a few steps away from the East China Sea.

When I first got there, only a few hundred guests were out in the hot sun.

stage for festival performers

As evening arrives, the crowd gathers around the stage to see the entertainment.

band performing on stage

Trying to get a better look, I zoomed in on these performers playing classic Okinawan folk music.

That guy, playing the guitar looked like he had something strange on his head.

performers and family pose

Catching the group before they disappeared, I took this photo.

hilarious hair-do

Would you believe, the dude does his own hair styling ?

Dang.  I wish I could do stuff like that !

shillouette beach scene at sunset

Before the sun disappeared, I started setting-up to shoot fireworks, near the beach.

pine tree on beach at night

When it got really dark, I decided this would be where I'd catch the fireworks.

The beach was roped-off so, nobody could get any closer and, I wondered why.



fireworks launchers on beach

The illumination launchers were planted on the beach, just a few meters away.

Fireworks launching, boat

The fireworks were popping directly over us.  So much for making a scene over the ocean.

Tens of thousands behind me and there's nowhere to go.

Babies are screaming and crying; teenagers cheering and saying, "Oo, ah and kawaii."

smoke and fireworks, pine tree

In the crowd, there was no way to move the tripod and camera and catch the bursts overhead.

It was like being downtown PANDAMONIUM !

So, I farted, as loud and long as I could.

fireworks at night

It worked.  Hah !

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Photos: Fireworks (花火) in Okinawa, Japan and How It's Done


Last Night in Kin Town



Matsuri or, festival season is in full speed ahead mode, all over the Ryukyu Islands.

These photos were among the hundreds taken yesterday.

And, off we go to another festival, somewhere, tonight.

fireworks at night


Along with these photos, I'll post some tips to give an idea how I gotterdun.

Find a place where you are away from the crowds.

If you aren't familiar with the area, ask someone where the fireworks are launched from.

Maybe, you'll get an idea where you'll want to set-up your camera.

red, green, yellow, fireworks
The camera has to be kept steady, not hand-held.

These images were made with a Pentax KD 10 and a Sigma 10-20mm lens at 10mm.

fireworks at night
The Pentax K5 was mounted on a tripod so, I propped the KD 10 up on a wall.

At an aperture of f/11, I set shutter speed for 1 or, 2 seconds and use ISO 100.

bursting fireworks

With the slightest breeze blowing the camera shakes so, remove things the wind will hit.

The lens hood, camera strap or, any dangling lens covers, have to go !

green fireworks

These shots were made, using a shutter cable release and another little trick.

Both cameras, I used last night were set to continuous shooting mode.

As long as you keep the shutter button depressed, the camera keeps firing.

Normally, I fire the shots, three frames at a time.

Look, listen and fire away, it takes a bit of experimentation.

Now, it's time for me to pack up and get on out of here to head over to another matsuri.

I have more experimentatin' to do !

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Photos: Okinawa's Young Sumo Wrestlers at Kin Town Matsuri


Festival Season in Full Swing




The folks in Kin Town are throwing a weekend festival.

It started this morning and youth sumo was the main attraction.
blue shy over festival grounds

Under bright blue skies, here is what the athletic field looked like.
young men sumo wrestle
The young wrestlers compete on a circle of sand.
sumo westler taking opponent down
Taking an opponent down or, throwing him out of the ring, is what it's all about.
sumo action, sand
These guys really go at it.
sumo wrestlers in action
There wasn't any match that lasted, even a minute.
sumo wrestling
A lot of strength and agility is what it takes to win a bout.
Sometimes, getting the other dude off-balance, means taking his feet off the sand.
sumo wrestlers
But, you can't just slam the body onto the ground.
sumo wrestling action
Sort of easing the opponent back to earth, is what you're supposed to do.
Okinawan Sumo
That's what I like best about Okinawa Sumo or, as the locals call it, Shima.
The matches are fast and furious but, nobody gets hurt.

Related Posts:

Ever See Girls Somo Westle ?

Sometimes in Sumo a Girl Clobbers a Guy

Friday, July 26, 2013

Okinawa Travel Photo Plus a Travelers Tip and a Tune

This photo was taken at Hedo Misaki in northern Okinawa, Japan.
The mission, I was on, to capture a beautiful sunrise, didn't happen.  Grrrr.
The sun was coming up, over the horizon, covered with dark clouds.
Anywhere, in the world you go, sunrises and sunsets can be disappointing, at times.
Here's the tip:  Don't let that get you down.  Look the other way.
Find a scene with some colors and contrast and, shoot that.
Just in case it starts raining or, something like that, I found a tune you can listen to.
It doesn't have anything to do with cameras or, sunrise but, I bet you'll enjoy it.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Museums Can Be Cool Places to Visit on a Hot Day

Being Outdoors is Fun but Sometimes it Gets Hot



Not to worry, it isn't as if I'm turning into a couch potato or, anything like that.

The temperatures on Okinawa have been getting up there lately.

During yesterday's travels, plenty of outdoor photography took place.

There were a few fish jumping out of water shots taken.

Some hills, sugar cane fields and even, another island were visited.

When the mercury hits between 33˚C (91.4˚F) and 40˚C (104˚F) I need a break.

Have a look inside the Onna-son Museum.

This place is climate controlled and comfortably cool.

It cost Ɏ100 to spend as long as you wish in the air-conditioned rooms.  Hah !

Making sure, I took my time, I covered every inch of the place.

Now, I have an idea what it looked like, building some of those straw-roofed huts.

And, I saw what it took to make the stone walls at Zakimi Castle.

They didn't have any fancy tools or, uniforms back in the old days.

It was probably a lot more fun being an architect than a construction worker back then.

You could say stuff like, "Let's hurry and get this room done.

Move that rock a little more to the right but, be careful.

We don't want anyone getting their toes crushed.

C'mon guys.  Don't you know it's hot out here ?

We gotta getterdun and go drink some beer !" 

Note Local Travelers: Map It Okinawa Gives Directions


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Six O' Eight AM on Red Beach Okinawa, Japan

Walking three dogs this morning without a camera.
The sun was rising and moon setting.  All I had was the cell-phone.
Why no camera ?
It would be easier walking three drunk monkeys and probably a lot more fun.
So, I leave the cameras at the office and just cuss at myself when a scene like this appears.
It's been a few years since I've seen the almost full moon set in skies like that.
So, I figured the cell phone camera would have to do.
And, I cussed a little.
Gizmo, the dog, he's OK.  Getting old and doesn't hear me so, we get along fine.
The other two dogs were behind me, acting like drunk monkeys.
Does anybody want one ?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Moon Is the Only Light You See--Full Moon July 2013

Photos from Last Night's Full Moon Shoot


The July 2013 Full Moon was easy pickings, in Okinawa, Japan last night.

All I did was sit on the front steps to my office in Kin Town with a camera and tripod.

Not to bore people who aren't photography freaks with details, I found this music.

They have plenty of Ben E. King videos with over a million views.

But, this one has the best sound, I think.

When I'm out there shooting the moon, that's really the only light I see.

So, that Stand By Me tune has been going around in my head, all day today.

On the camera, I play around with exposure settings.

Shooting with an aperture of f/11, f/16 or f/22, I adjust shutter speed to underxpose.

Every once in awhile a big truck would drive by and rattle the sidewalk.

Or, a flock of mosquitoes would come by and start munching on me.

I just yell stuff like, "Dogdammit" cuz I'm tryin' to cut down on my cussin'.

Then, get back to the business of shooting.

Back in the office, I develop the photos and put the moon wherever I want it in the frame.

If you really concentrate, some of the photos are going to come out alright.

Usually, I take 20 or, so but, last night I only shot eleven.

Now, I can't get that tune out of my head.

"When the night has come....."

Here's hoping you enjoyed it as much as I do !