Friday, October 31, 2014

Then and Now (Photos) A Scene from Ginama in Okinawa Japan

1950's black and white. road in northern Okinawa

The black and white photo was taken in the 1950's

The road, along the east coast of Okinawa, was known as HWY 1, back in those days.

The photographer, who went by the nickname, Blackie, I never had te pleasure of meeting.

His son, WBM Bradford, I have become friends with online.

Okinawa has changed plenty, over the years.

Though I love doing this sort of thing with the camera, I wasn't sure I could pull this one off.

AUG 2014, scene as it looks today

 This color photo is the scene as it looks today.

The photo was taken by my friend Ryukyu Rusty on August 23, 2014.

The rocks, just off the highway, were the landmarks, used to duplicate Blackie's photo.

Landslides, over the years, covered this part of the thoroughfare.

Old HWY 1, was renamed HWY 58 and, is still a major highway heading north.

This portion of the road, has been closed to traffic.

A tunnel was built, re-routing the highway, off to the right of this location.

The cameraman, would have to climb, in order to duplicate the original photo.

With a copy of the B&W image, Rusty, climbed and got the job done.

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Blue Triangle Butterfly or Bluebottle Swallowtail (GIF)

Graphium sarpedon,butterfly,swallowtail,GIF

Common Names



Blue Triangle Butterfly or, Common Bluebottle Swallowtail

Scientific Nomenclature



Graphium sarpedon

These butterflies can be found almost anywhere in the rainforests of Asia.

They may also, be seen in Australia and, we have video-graphic proof.

Checkout this site in Singapore if you want to learn all about them.

A Problem and Solution



If the research hadn't been done, I would never have guessed this.

Molecular Expressions at Florida State University,  showed me the problem:

 "Man cannot always successfully reproduce what occurs in nature. The blue triangle butterfly reared in captivity is distinctly different from those existing in the wild. Unfortunately for the survival of the species, the smaller, less intensely colored captive-bred individuals are less desirable to collectors."

The only reason, I had to quote them is, I don't speak so eloquently.

For example, my solution we be something like this:

Take folks, breeding captive butterflies along with those, collecting the wild ones and, put them in jail.

Problem solved !


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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Waxing Crescent Moon Up There Tonight

33 percent visible, crescent moon, craters

33% of the Moon is Visible

Usually, I check the schedule for the full moon and, start shooting a few nights early.

Tonight, I decided to shoot the moon, just because it was up there.

After, I downloaded the camera, I wanted to find out when the full moon is coming.

That doesn't happen until next Thursday.

When I, developed and saw all those craters, I decided to keep this image.

It turned out, this was my favorite, out of a total of 9 shots.

Never before, had I paid any attention to Waxing or Waning crescent moons.

They have a handy chart at Calendar-12 that taught me this stuff.

It may have been taught when, I was in high school.

The teacher probably, didn't know, I slept through that part of class.

Or, maybe, I went on a field trip, by myself, that day.

Look at those craters on the moon tonight.

Do you suppose, scientists have named them all ? 

 Maybe, I slept through that part, too.

If the crescent was facing the other direction, it would be waning.

When, it looks like this, it's waxing.  That's all you need to know.

Are you still awake ?

The image above was made with a Pentax K3 and Sigma 50-500mm lens.

Exposure: f/16   1/3second   ISO 100

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sometimes Help Is Required Doing Ryukyu Life Stuff (GIF)

Ryukyu Rusty climbing, GIF

Working on a Then and Now Photo Shoot



One of these days, an article, explaining how we do these things should be put together.

Composing an image to duplicate a photo created 50 years ago can be challenging.

The mission here, was to photograph a rock, out in the ocean.

Over the years landslides and the re-routing of the highway,  complicated things a bit.

The camerman, would have to do some rock climbing, to get in position.

When, I was younger, that climb would have been no problem.

But, I try not to do things like that, anymore.

Luckily, Ryukyu Rusty was back on the island for a visit, in August.

He and the Map It Okinawa dude, climbed up there and, got the job done.

When, they came back down with the photos, required, Map It Dude, asked me a question.

He said, "What would you do if Rusty shot all the photos at ISO 800?"

My Answer:  I would have been mad enough, to climb up there and do it myself !

The outcome of this project will be published in the near future.

Have a peek at previous Then and Now photos here.

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Monday, October 27, 2014

The Old Stone Lions of Sokei in Ginoza Okinawa

Artifacts That Should Be National Treasures



It took a few days searching to find these gems.

The dates manufactured may take even longer if, they have been recorded anywhere.

They aren't the typical Shisa (Lion Dogs) you see throughout the Ryukyu Islands.

Rather than, being clay, fired up in a kiln and glazed, these are made of natural stone.

Shisa, Stone Lion, Ishigantou, Sokei

A publication from the Village of Ginoza is what got me looking for the stone statues.

The folks in Sokei, don't call them Shisa. They are Ishigantou, to the people of Ginoza.

Also, spelled, Ishiganto, these are talismans believed to ward-off evil.

stone lion,vending machines,historical marker

The first one was located, fairly easily, as it was at the edge of a field bordering a road.

The second one we found, tucked away at an intersection near some vending machines.

Sometimes, I back-off with the camera to show the surroundings.

Historical marker, Japanese

  A historical marker like this, comes in handy for research, too.

So, I shot it at a readable angle for further research.

The Map It Okinawa dude and I, had some difficulty locating Ishigantou #3.

It was starting to get dark so, we called off the search.

stone lion,Ishigantou,statue

The following night, we were out, doing our Halloween ghost hunting stuff.

 It was dark outside and felt like a rain storm was blowing in.

No ghosts were going to be found so, we decided to drive through Sokei at night.

Probably, because neither of us believes in ghouls and ghosts, this thing showed up.

It was Ishigantou #3, we couldn't spot in daylight, the day before !

Photo taken: OCT 26 at 12:15AM


 History and Culture



The manual from Ginoza Village explains the three Ishigantou.

They were placed at the north, south and west boundaries of the village.

The purpose:  To protect the area from evil winds, coming from mountains, in those directions.

In the ninth month of the Chinese Calendar, on the fifth day, guess what happens ?

Cows, get sacrificed, to drive evil spirits away, at all three Stone Lions.

Suddenly I Need a Lunar Calendar



This is the kind of thing, I'm always looking for and, wanting to write about.

Out of the way, ceremonies in small communities are, waiting to be documented.

Where the heck is the Chinese Calendar, when, I really need one ?

screenshot, linar calendar conversion chart
A handy PDF can be downloaded from the Government of Hong Kong.

And, you can do simple conversions between calendars with it.

Excuse me.  I have more ghost hunting to do.

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