Thursday, December 31, 2015

Travel Photo: Kin Kannon-do Temple New Year's Eve

Temple, Buddhist, Kin Kannon-do, visitors

Crowds Will Arrive Soon



Out scouting a location for tonight's New Year's fireworks, this photo was taken.

The pyrotechnic display will take place in another location, far  from here.

If all goes well tomorrow, I'll have some images of fireworks, reflecting over the ocean.

The event, I'll be shooting from an observation tower and, it starts at 11:50PM.

So, I will miss the celebration, downtown, when the clock strikes 12.

Heading back to the office, I'll pass by this temple, again.

If it's not too crowded, I might pop in,  pay my respects and, get my 2016 fortune.

 Camera: Pentax K3

Lens: Sigma 50-500 with 1.4 converter -- Focal Length: 193MM

Exposure: f/8   1/15   ISO 200

Location: Kin Town, Okinawa, Japan

Date and Time:  DEC 31 2015  4:32PM

More About Kin Kannon-do:

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Return of the Bean Goose to Kin Town in Okinawa

Tundra Bean Goose, Anser serrirostris, field

It Isn't Everyday You See Wild Geese on the Island


Whenever you spot one, out in the open, it's a good idea, to take lots of pictures.

They, aren't used to hanging around people in this part of the world.

So, you need to sneak up on them slowly and quietly or, they'll fly away, in a hurry.

They are called Tundra Bean Goose (Anser serrirostris) a migratory visitor.

In Japan,  Hishikui (ヒシクイ) is what they're called. And, people love these birds.

 pair of Bean Geese,open field,standing

 Seeing two of them means, you're twice as lucky but, be cautious; they're watching for you.

Approach them cautiously so, you don't spook them and, be twice as quiet, doing it.

three Bean Geese, field, birds, wildlife

Three of them, in the same day, is like winning the Trifecta in a horse race.

If one of them spots you, sneaking around, for a good shot, they'll all take off and fly away.

3 birds, wild, Bean Geese, open field
Bird lovers, photographers and probably news cameras, will go crazy over these geese.

They weren't in the fields of Kin Town yesterday, I know because, I was there.

And, had my lens, cranked all the way out to 700MM, to take these photos.

Bean Geese, pair, close-up

As soon as, I had enough photos, I sent a message to a cameraman friend.

Because, I know he will want to get there before the crowds and, take some photos, too.

3 Bean Geese, fields, road, buildings, fences

 Just to make sure, there's no confusion about, where the geese are located, a wide angle view.

GPS Coordinates:

Latitude: 26.447

Longitude: 127.935 


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Bird: Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago) Hiding in the Reeds

Shy Little Birds



These characters, usually conceal themselves very well.

Most of the time, I don't spot them, quickly enough to focus and shoot the camera.

But, today the light was just right and, I saw the bird before it spotted me.

Gallinago gallinago, bird, snipe, reeds,water

Camera: Pentax K3

Lens: Pentax 300MM with 1.4 converter for a focal length of 420MM

Exposure:  f/5.6   1/640   ISO 200

Location:  Kin Town, Okinawa, Japan

Date and Time:  DEC 29 2015  2:24PM

Learn more about Snipes at ARKive

Sunday, December 27, 2015

'Twas the Night After Christmas Full Moon

When the Full Moon Finally Came Out



Tricky weather, had me thinking, we wouldn't see the full moon this month.

It's one of the reasons, I usually try to shoot it, the day before and after the event, as well.

full moon, DEC 26 2015, Okinaea

At this stage of my life, friends and family, know I, don't need any fancy gifts.

They don't have to spend a lot of money Christmas shopping, for me

Flip-flops, booze and food are the simple things, I don't mind receiving as gifts.

So, that's what, I usually get and, I couldn't be happier.

Evening clouds and scattered rain kept the moon invisible, for the past few nights.

When I stepped out of the office around 8PM last night to buy some coffee, it showed up. 

So, I grabbed the tripod, cameras, lenses and, shot the evasive sucker !

Camera: Pentax K3

Lens: Sigma 50-500 with 1.4 converter for a focal length of 700MM

Exposure:  f/16   1/100   ISO 100

Location:  Kin Town, Okinawa, Japan

Date and Time:  DEC 26 2015  8:16PM

Visit Ryukyu Life on Facebook to view more of last night's moon images.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Identify This Spider and You Can Have It


Maybe Some Bug Expert Knows



Looking at a gazillion thumbnail sized photos hasn't helped much so, I gave up.

Let some expert or,  even an amateur,  have it.

The deal: Give me a scientific and common name for this critter and, get a free print. 

Camera: Prntax K3

Lens: Pentax 50MM/ 1.4 converter -- Focal Length 70MM

Exposure:  f/9  1/20   ISO 200

Location: Kin Town, Okinawa, Japan

Date and Time: DEC 22 2015  12PM   

Related Post:

Friday, December 25, 2015

Okinawan Folktale: Sparrow and Fly

Fly Ratted on the Sparrow



There once was a fly, concerned about sparrows, eating farmer's rice crop.

Flies get shooed away, when they land on someones food.

But, he never saw anyone, chase the birds away from the rice fields and, it angered him.

So, the fly decided to talk to God and, get the sparrows reprimanded.

He told God, the birds were eating rice off the stalks, before it was ready to be harvested.

Hearing this story, displeased God and, he agreed, the sparrow needed a talking to.

The fly, returned to earth, satisfied that the sparrow was in big trouble.

bird, sparrow, rusty barbed wire

An Angry God



God commanded the sparrow to appear before him.

In a loud voice that, rattled heaven and earth, God roared at the sparrow.

God said, "Sparrow, a fly informed me, you've been stealing the farmers green rice."

Shaking in his feathers the sparrow told God, the fly had misrepresented him. 

"Sparrows only eat the grains that have fallen on the ground," he told God.

Sparrows learned from their ancestors to only consume what mankind, doesn't eat to survive. 

Then he told God some of his observations learned from watching flies.

He said, "God if you watch closely, the fly is a disgusting creature.

One minute, they are on a pile of manure. Next, they land on someone's bowl of rice!"

God thought about it and, was no longer angry with the bird.

He said, "You're are a good lad, you are free to go about your business.

I want to see that criminal fly, right now!"

housefly, rubbing hands, close-up

An Angrier God


When the fly got called back to heaven, he figured God was going to reward him.

His snitching on the sparrow must have pleased God and, he would be thankful for it.

Happily, he buzzed along the way to visit God, again. He was about to get a surprise.

God roared at him, "You filthy bug. You have been landing on people's food.

And, you never stop to wash your hands or feet.  How disgusting!"

The fly whimpered and, rubbed his hands in front of God, apologetically. 

When he was finally dismissed he flew back to earth with tears in his eyes.

The tongue-lashing is why, the fly rubs his hands, seeking God's forgiveness, to this day.


Okinawan Folk Stories ISBN978-4-99009-146-0 P.67

Condensed from The Fly and the Sparrow

More Okinawan Folktales


All Photos on this post were provided by Nature Photographer Shawn Miller. 

One of the advantages of traveling this island is meeting some top notch cameramen.

All connected on Facebook, we often cross paths out in the field.

Meeting other professionals, in this line of work, always creates new friendships.

Yesterday morning, Shawn spotted me watching the surf, without a camera in my hands.

An unusual occurrence, he probably, pulled off the road to see what was wrong with me.

It just happened to be, I was killing time, before putting on the Santa suit.

We chatted for awhile and, I mentioned needing some photos for this folk story.

The images were emailed, to me this afternoon.

Except for maybe, politicians, money can't buy you friends better than that.

Thanks, again Shawn !  

Photo Exhibition

Those visiting or residing in Okinawa, won't want to miss this event.

Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) is located in Onna-son.

Shawn Miller's "Nature Therapy" Photography images will be on display.

The exhibit may be seen from 9AM-5PM JAN 14-FEB 29 2016

Visit the OIST Website for more details.

If you need a healthy dose of a few thousand images visit:

Shawn Miller's Okinawa Nature Photography

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Kindergarten: The Highlight of the Day for Santa

Santa, children,kindergarten, gifts
This was probably the first time, these youngsters encountered a real Santa Claus.

They were a little timid, at first but, they had some fantastic teachers, encouraging them.

They sang and danced, on the stage, for Santa, before receiving their presents.

Of course, Santa was too busy, to bring along a tripod and camera.

My Santa's helper, Junior High English teacher/Translator, Mami, did the photography.

The children all, thanked Santa (in English) for their gifts, which really surprised me.

They were encouraged, to ask Santa questions and, they came up with some good ones. 

They learned my age, real name (Kris Kringle) and, wanted to know, where I came from.

It's a good thing, my translator helped me. I had to tell the kids, I was from Finland.

And, was brought here by reindeer, pulling my sled, through the skies.

Before leaving, to see the rest of the children, around the world, I had a special request.

Each child, wanted to give Santa Claus a hug.

The rascals made my glasses get all steamed up.  Santa, shouldn't have tears in his eyes.

So, I told them, I had to hurry and visit the rest of the world.

 After promising, to come back to their school again, next year.

I got the heck out of there so, I could wipe the tears of joy away from my wrinkled up face.

If, you've never been a Santa or, Santa's helper, you should give it a try.

It will warm your heart on the coldest December day.  I swear.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

View from the Office: Not a Chimney in Sight

traditional,Okinawa home, roof, blue shies,white clouds

It Was One of Those Days



The weather had me tempted, to go out with the cameras but, I didn't.

Other priorities, kept me from straying more than a few minutes from the office.

Things like, getting the Santa suit ready,  article submissions and the birth of a child.

The only times, I got away from the computer monitors, I stepped out the door, for a minute.

It's good, to stand up, get out and relax the eyes, after you've been at a desk for awhile.

When I spotted the contrast between this roof and the blue skies, I had to grab a camera.

Camera: Pentax K3

Lens: Sigma 10-20 at focal length of 20MM

Exposure: f/16  1/30   ISO 100

Location: Just outside my office door in Kin Town, Okinawa, Japan 

Date and Time: DEC 22 2015 5PM

Santa gets a little busy this time of year and, I'll be out doing a gig tomorrow.

Not really sure, when, I'll be back posting photos and blogs again.

Just in case, I don't get back here in time to tell you:


Monday, December 21, 2015

12 Photos of Singers on Stage at a Xmas Festival

Christmas Is Sneaking Up Fast !



If you haven't got your shopping done, you'd better hurry. 

Maybe, tomorrow, I'll pick up the Christmas cards, the wife keeps reminding me, to buy.

Anyhow, I finally got around to developing these images from DEC 4, 2015, in Kin Town.

male vocalist, singing, outdoor stage, night

A big part of the event, was the local talent, who got a chance to enter this karaoke contest.

Someone should, designate a person to take notes for me; I forget lots of stuff.

Like peoples names and, what kind of song, they were crooning.

male singer, karaoke contest, flowers

The men folk, tend to sing mushy love songs and, it makes the women go wild.

They keep running up to the stage, giving the guys flowers. Yuk.

One good thing about being deaf in one ear is, I don't hear everything going on around me.

And, I can get real close to the speakers, blasting music, close to the stage.

female vocalist, singing, stage, karaoke

When a crowd of excited people, start dancing and bumping into me, I simply back away.

Get off to the sidelines, somewhere and use the zoom lens.

No notes, no name. Just a pretty gal, singing a tune. If she wants her picture, she'll find me !

men, bellies, women, boxes, singing, karaoke

 Here, we have a group of men, singing and showing off, their belly muscles.

And, the gals behind them, were dancing in cardboard box costumes.

Wait a minute, I think I remember. They were singing YMCA.

You remember stuff like that, after somebody, with too much alcohol bumps into you.

That was my clue, to get away from the stage and, zoom in, to catch the action.

male singer, dancing, stage

It can be tricky, trying to shoot these performances, on stage, at night.

The stages are small and, lighting can be harsh so, shots have to timed, to motions.

It's a good idea, to catch the rhythm and, watch the background.

It's no fun, editing photos if you have an image, with a pipe, sticking out of the singer's head.

karaoke, contest,singer

When, I can isolate the subject, in front of a dark background, I fire away.

And, the stage scaffolding sort of, disappears.

male vocalist, plaid jacket, yellow scarf, brown hat

Black backgrounds, make the rest of the colors, pop.

It looks like, I may be getting out of fashion. Plaid making a comeback, this year ?

female singer, karaoke contest

This, living doll, stood right where, I wanted her to be and, didn't wiggle around a lot.

The background and lighting, were just what, I wanted and, I like they way, I got her eyes.

But, my favorite pose, would have been if, she got that mike, out of her face.

Maybe, she was whispering. I don't know because, my left ear quit working.

male singer, karaoke, night, stage,outdoors

 Nobody pays me, to do these hometown events so, I don't hang around until the end.

The winners of the karaoke contest, I have no idea, who they might have been.

It could be, everybody, gets a prize; I'm no judge of music but, they were all good.

singer on stage, dog, won't give his paw

This dude, even had his dog onstage, for the act.

I'm not sure, if the little guy was supposed to sing. He didn't even want to give his paw.

It seemed like, all the dog wanted, to do, was get off the stage.

And, the master probably said, "You blew us out of 1st place, buddy!"

Poor little pup. I'll give him a picture, too. If he wants one.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Okinawa's Special Tree #42 in Kanna District of Ginoza Village

Over 100 Sacred Trees in Okinawa



Not in any particular order, I will, chase all these treasures down, with the camera.

The list being used, has 128 special trees, listed and, many are on distant islands.

Hernandia nymphaeifolia, Chinese Lantern Tree, sacred

This one is over 200 years old, which means, it survived the Typhoon of Steel:  World War II.

Directly behind the position, I was standing, when the photo was taken, is a shrine.

There are also, other sacred trees, in a grove alongside the temple.

Since ancient times, it has been believed, a god innhabited this grove; entrance was restricted.

Only the special tree #42 is fenced off and, the rest of the area is open to the public.

The name for this tree is Chinese Lantern Tree (Hernandia nymphaeifolia).

Hasunohagiri (ハスノハギリ) would be the Japanese name.

The species is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Redlist.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Treasures in the Gold Hall Cafe

Millionaires Rub Your Greedy Hands



Here are a few photos of the works of art to be found, down inside this cave.

A few of us, took the cameras and, visited yesterday, to take some shots, out of the sun.

wood table, stone carvings,cave

 Most visitors, pay their entrance fee and, tour the caves first.

We were hungry so, ate like kings at the dining hall then hiked through the attraction, later.

It's a great way to burn off some calories because, you go up and down lots of stairs.

stone carvings, wood carvings, art, ceramics, shelves

Some of the cave exists of finished rooms, lined with shelves,

They have pottery, driftwood, wood and stone carvings, all kinds of artworks.

Buddha, statue, wooden table

Just in case, you were wondering, I don't know much about art and, stuff like that.

But, I'll bet you ten dollars, that statue on the table, is a Buddha !

stalactites,stalagmites, cave, awamori,bottles,bar

Here's something, I know lots about. It's a bar scene, from the caves.

There's some sort of red, hanging lighting and, sake (awamori) bottles, on the wall.

If you keep getting confused over stalagmites and stalactites, I'll help you.

Just remember, stalactites, are the ones, you keep bumping your head on.  I do, anyway.

Wouldn't this make a cool bachelor pad ?

babbling brook, red lights,stalactites,wood table,crystals,penis

There's a little babbling brook, over where the stalactites are hanging.

Being, it's right near the bar, I imagine the table is a place to set your drink, while drawing water.

Over past the crystals, on the right, that penis-looking thing, doesn't look natural.

It's probably some sort of warning, for the ladies. Don't wash your hair in the spring !

stone carvings, stalagmite, shelves

Here's another view of, the finished, part of the cave, with blocks and shelving.

They made this place so, you won't slip on any wet floors, touring the caves.

So, it's pretty much, high heel and flip-flop friendly and, safe for children.

statue, eagle, snake,daylight, cave entrance

This eagle, grabbing a snake, statue is at one of the cave, exits to the outdoors.

So, there's some natural daylight, shining from the right side of the photo.

Believe it or not, you can get lost, going on a tour through these caves.

They give everybody a map, when, you pay to go inside but, we didn't think we needed them.

Doc and I, have been through this cave, several times.

So, we folded our maps and stuck them in our pockets because, men don't need maps.

But, once we got lost, the maps came in handy !

stone carving, horses, stampede

This stone stampede of horses, has to be worth a million dollars, by itself.

What, you're seeing, is just a sectional shot; it must weigh a ton, if you could pick it up.

If any crazy billionaires, out there, wanna buy some of this stuff, look me up.

The gal, who owns this place knows me and, maybe, we could play Let's Make  Deal !

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Wild Pest Called Mongoose in Okinawa (Image)

mongoose, field, Herpestes javanicus

Became an Invasive Species



The little furry rascals, Small Asian Mongoose (Herpestes javanicus) cause trouble everywhere.

They were brought to Okinawa by someone, thinking poisonous snakes would be eaten by them.

In Hawaii, and St. Croix, they were imported for rat control and, it was a bad idea.

They might kill and eat an occasional snake but, they like birds and, their eggs, too.

Everybody's brilliant pest control plans, seemed to have failed and backfired.

The varmints are harming endangered species and, having negative effects, everywhere.

It got me thinking of ways to help out and get rid of the pests; create a demand for them.

Suppose, somebody came up with a recipe for their meat; that would be a good thing.

Something like a Hawaiian pineapple flavored mongoose burger.

It would be nice, to help out St. Croix but, I didn't know where it was and, had to check.

St. Croix is way over there in the U.S.Virgin Islands; that's just great.

How about a pineapple flavored Mongoose Burger on a Virgin Bun then ?


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Photography Tip: Aperture Simplified

Experiment with the Camera Settings


It's a little confusing for beginners, to learn about aperture and, how it works.

Sometimes, I get foreigners, asking me to explain and, I needed to figure out an easy way.

On a windy, wet day, I decided to go out and take a few photos, to help with my description.

Under the shelter of a carport, some sample images were created.

aperture f/1.8, flowers, ferns, rocks,grain
 What seems to confuse everybody is those F stop numbers, we use when talking cameras.

f/2, f/5, f/6, f/9 f/11, f/16, f/22 are tricky, for some folks to understand.

They think, it sounds like speed limits and, the higher the number, the faster you go !

But, it's the other way around so, here's how, I'll try to explain it.

Aperture, is a number that tells you how much light is entering your camera lens.

Think of f/1, as a full cup of water and f/16, as one sixteenth of a cup of water.

When there's not much light available, you need to use a smaller aperture number.

That way, more light gets through the lens and, you can shoot at faster shutter speeds.

On a bright, sunny day, you an get away with f/11, f/16 and f/22 apertures and, still shoot fast.

The image above was taken using an aperture setting of f/1.8.

 There are some yellow flowers in a rock garden, ferns in the background and, grain on the right.

garden scene, flowers, ferns,grain,rock,fence,f/16

 When we only let one sixteenth of a cup of light (f/16) enter the lens, things change.

In photography-speak, we call that, "Stopping Down" on the lens.

Not as much light is getting into the camera and, shutter speed is much slower.

But, look how much more detail, we have in the image, now.

The focus, on both photos, was on the yellow flowers.

Now, the background and, foreground look different if, you take a close look.

Some wire mesh, is visible behind the ferns.

And, the rock has more detail, as well as, the grain of the weed, in the right side of the frame. 

The distance between the camera and the subject has an effect on the image.

And, the distance of the subject, from the background, does, as well.

A lower aperture number, lets more light in faster but, captures less detail.

This comes in handy, when you want to eliminate distractions or, blur the background.

Play with the aperture settings on your camera and, just remember one thing.

The higher the number, you use, the less lighting is entering your lens.

Aperture settings, let you be more creative with your photography and, you should use them.

Somebody swiped my cup of beer. I have to get outta here !  

More Photography Tips

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Incredible Blue Skies Over Okinawa Island

blue sky, no clouds

Image Was Slightly Tweaked



That's what photographers have to do, before posting on the internet. Sorry.

This afternoon, after a night of heavy lifting, I woke up, showered and walked to work.

 There wasn't a cloud to be seen, up there in the sky. I kept checking.

In fact, I bumped into three telephone poles, not watching where I was going.

And, I don't even own one of those Smartphones, yet.

Just walking around, like some redneck, visiting that big New York City.

Damn, my head hurts !

Just for the Heck of It A Photo of the Sky


At the office, I removed the camera batteries from chargers and, was itching to shoot.

So, I stumbled out the door and, took one shot of the sky.

There probably, won't be any more photography for today. The itching stopped, already.

Damn, my head still hurts !

Researching Blue Skies


There's a whole bunch of Willie Nelson songs on YouTube. 

People who don't like Willie Nelson probably, wouldn't be too fond of me, either.

The way that guy sings through his nostrils, is just classic.

And, he strums, his beat up old guitar, all kinds of whacky/out of tune, like a professional.

So, I went through several versions of his song, "Blue Skies" to get the best one.

Damn, my head hurts. But, I came up with a dandy, for y'all.

Before Kenny Rogers Got His Face Tweaked

Some guy, named Larry, got an award for Outstanding Sound Mixing, on this video.

So, it isn't just some run of the mill, crappy YouTube edition. You don't have to thank me.

Listen to them play and sing the tune.


Then, tell me, you don't feel like, walking around with your face pointed towards the sky.

Just, be careful and, don't try it on no city sidewalks. OK ?

Damn, my head still hurts !

Just a Tree Near the Sea -- Image

ocean, tree,island,blue sky

Somebody Up There Heard Me Complain

Finally, we got a bit of that warm December weather, warm-mongers, always worry about.

And, I enjoyed every bit of it, running around in flip-flops, with no socks !

Camera: Pentax K5

Lens: Sigma 10-20 at 20MM

Exposure: f/11   1/80   ISO 100

Location: Onna-son, Okinawa, Japan

Date and Time: DEC 12 2015  3:14PM

Friday, December 11, 2015

Travel Photo and Thoughts -- Where'd Summer Go ?

Time to Get the Santa Suit Ready



It seems like just a few weeks ago, people were cussing the heat around here.

Now, I'm wearing a jacket and have socks on with my flip-flops.

sabani, boat race, dragon boat Itoman Port, summer

This photo was taken during an annual Harii or, Dragon Boat Race in the summer.

 I remember, it being a long hot day, in the sun and, I miss those days.

Camera: Pentax K5

Lens: Sigma 10-20mm at a focal length of 10mm 

Exposure: f/11   1/320   ISO 100

Location: Itoman Port, Okinawa, Japan

Date and Time:  JUN 19  2015  10:10AM 

6 Pages on the Calendar Later


An invitation to represent Santa at a school, that's never been graced by my presence cams in.

They want to know if, I need a Santa Claus uniform for the appearance. 

Digging through the closet, I found my boots and glasses and, will dust them off.

All year long, I've been working on the tummy so, I won't need to use a pillow.

It's been twenty years that, I've been doing the Santasan thing, now.

So, I guess you could say, I'm a seasoned Santa Claus but, I still miss summertime.

Related Posts:

How I Became Santa Forever 

A Dozen Brightly Colored GIF Animations from Itoman City

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Before and After Photos of a Live Performance

Video of Miyazawa Kazufumi in His Prime


Enjoy, listening to the video, while you examine the images to see what changes occurred.

Truth is, I didn't take this photo; just did some editing, to the background.

 Back in the days a band named, The Boom, was popular it would draw a huge crowd.

Miyazawa Kazufumi was the singer and songwriter who performed Shima Uta.

For those, who don't speak Japanese, that means Island Song.

Knowing there would be a crowd at the event, I arrived 3 hours early and got lucky.

Close to one side of the stage an area was roped off and, I was allowed access.

That's because, the sound system and lighting manager, has known me for years.

Photos of all the bands, leading up to this superstar's entrance, were taken and, I backed off.

It would be great if, I could capture the whole crowd, while Shima Uta was being played.

Wouldn't Know the Boom Lead Singer If I Stumbled Over Him Drunk

Maybe some folks do but, not me. I know the song Shima Uta, when I hear it.

Standing across the festival field, I heard the song being played and, joked with a friend.

It sounded like they changed the music to some sort of rap or, Jamacian stuff.

"What an insult to The Boom, this is going to be," I said to my friend,"It's horrible!"

Bringing my Canon G12 was, Mami but, she was running late from another event.

She kept text messaging me, "Are they still there?"

And, I kept texting back, "Don't worry, he hasn't even showed up, yet."

We started thinking maybe, he got stuck in traffic or, cancelled, for some strange reason.

live band, Miyazawa Kazufumi, singer, Santa helpers
Photo Credit: Mami Sakiyama

 The performance, with the superstar, was scheduled from 8-9PM.

Mami arrived and, I got permission to let her in the roped-off area with my tripod.

She caught maybe, the last ten minutes of the live performance, while I took a smoke break.

live band, image, edited

Initially, I straightened the image and removed pipes sticking out of people's heads.

Then, I decided the Santa's helpers were distractions and, removed them, too.

The guy in red, playing the sanshin, was the star performer, I wanted to have standing out.

Two silhouettes of people, dancing in the front of the stage, was alright, to leave in the scene.

It's a shame, I didn't recognize, this talented singer and songwriter.

It wasn't until the show ended, Mami showed me, the photos of the guy in the red shirt.

She had wanted to sing Shime Uta, along with the crowd and, missed it.

So, I told her,"Ya done good."

She had been shooting that little G12 at ISO's between 800-3600 and, got the subject.

That's better than, I did. I got none of the dude, while smoking and joking off the field !

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Travel Photo: Out Shooting the Dam with an Old Friend

It's Been a Few Years Since I Last Used this Camera


The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 got dusted off and taken to Kin Dam today.

The Pentax K3 was mounted on a tripod and, waiting for some birds to fly by.

After a few days of cold weather and rain, it was time to get and get some sun and exercise.

A bit of a chilly breeze started blowing so, I reached in my camera bag for a windbreaker.

That's when, I remembered, I had brought the little Panasonic along.

When, I yanked my jacket out of the bag, the camera went flying and, crashed to the ground.

The poor camera was sent in for a tune-up earlier this year and, came back like brand new.

It cost a few hundred bucks but, I liked that old camera. And, now it's busted, again.

That's what I figured, I deserved anyway. Here's the test photo, I shot.

Exposure:  f/5.6  1/500   ISO 100

Focal length: 7MM

Location: Just off HWY 104 standing above the Kin Dam, Okinawa, Japan

Date and Time: DEC 9 2015  3:08PM

A similar shot was taken from the same location with the camera at f/11.

But, dark clouds had rolled into the scene so, it's been digitally disposed of; trash.

And, I will have a big decision to make if, this blog ever hits 2 million views.

For the celebration:

Should I give away the Panasonic or, the Cannon G12 ? 

Related Post:

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Stubborn Flower Keeps Resisting Identification

Who Can Identify the Beauty?



There are over 200 flowers in the pending files and, I want this one out before the year ends.

It seemed like it would be an easy one to research, when I first shot it.

white, yellow, lavender, flower, plant
There are many methods, I use to find the names of plants and flowers.

Library books on my desk, that are always a month overdue at the library, help sometimes.

But, I can't find anything that looks like that rascal in them, this time around.

rock garden, flower leaves

This plant was in some sort of rock garden by the City Office.

Usually, I'll talk to someone, in the neighborhood and, ask if they know the plant's name.

Some guy came along but, said he didn't know what the flower's name might be.

It would have been better, to talk to an old woman. I like doing that for a few reasons.

First being, they usually know, what they're talking about and, help me.

Second reason: If I decide to grab the plant and run, most of them can't catch up with me. 

Just kidding. But, I do tell them, I'm married. However, I'm free, in the evenings.

Then, I wink at them and, watch them cackle !  I just love old ladies.

white,yellow,purple, flower, bug eaten

 The photos were taken in February and March of this year and, are gone now.

It could be, bugs ate them or, maybe someone less honest than me, snatched them up.

Beautiful things like this, never last forever, you know.

That's why my wife, doesn't worry about me being around beautiful, young ladies.

She knows, I ain't never fooling around with a young girl who's fast enough to catch me.

Back to Flower Identification

It would have been nice, if a specimen was borrowed, to take to the flower shop.

Sometimes, I'll snap a quick shot and, show the lady, what I'm trying to name.

They are very helpful and, chase me down the street, when they have a solution, for me.

The last time, they solved a toughie, I told them I'd buy a hundred bucks worth of flowers.

And, I did because, it happened to be the wife's birthday that week.

All the old gals, in town smiled, when they saw my walking with a bale of flowers in my arms.

The damn thing was heavy and expensive so, I'll probably only visit the flower shop once a year.

Flower ID's can be found online if, you don't mind staring at a computer monitor.

Well, I look at computer screens too much, as it is, with my photography.

So, unless it's an easy one to identify, I'd rather try a different method.

There are a few flower experts, I know on Facebook and, they are helpful most of the time.

It might become a burden if, I sent 240 flower photos, to one of them for identification.

That would be a great way, to reduce your friends on Facebook if, you have too many !

So, I decided to try this, little experiment.

Does Anybody Out There Know What the Heck This Flower Might Be ?




Of all the places, I've never thought, Twitter would be a resource, until now.

I received a tweet from charming, Laura MacKinnon:  (@tokyololas)

And, she told me, we have an Iris japonica, here.

She now has a new Twitter follower. Check her out and, you may want to see her Tweets, too.

Common Name: Fringed Iris, Shaga or, Butterfly Flower on the Wiki site.