Sunday, December 21, 2014

Travel Photo: After the Bull Fight

fighting bull, crowd

A crowd gathers around the animal, after an Okinawan bull fight.

People like to pose with and pet the champion.

Some, even hop on its back for a portrait or, have their children do it.

 Camera: Pentax KD 10

Lens: Pentax 18-250 at 50mm

Exposure:  f/9  1/60   ISO 400

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Travel Photo: Nakijin Castle Wall from Above

stone wall, castle

No Aircraft Used in Composing this Image






It was one of those days where the sky didn't want to cooperate with the camera.

The best thing to do, was get up high and, eliminate the clouds from the scene.

Not all that crazy about flying, I figured out another way to get elevation.

Climb up on another wall, where the camera could be pointed down, to take the shot.

Equipment: Pentax KD10, Pentax 10-250mm lens and tripod

Focal Length: 65mm

Exposure:  f/16   1/10   ISO 100

 Date and Time: October 7, 2008  12:12PM

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Keeping It Clean (GIF) Sueyoshi Shrine

Shrine Visits Are Popular



During the New Year, both Calendar and Lunar, shrines get lots of traffic.

Some people make pilgrimages to eight of them on Okinawa.

sweeping, leaves, shrine, gif

My trips to these sacred and historic places are usually after the New Year.

There aren't any big crowds and, I can take my time observing the area.

On this visit, I chatted with the groundskeeper and learned something.

If you climb the stairs, when you get to the top, turn around.

Shuri Castle, comes into view, behind you.

The custom before climbing, is to stop and drop some coins in the wooden box.

Whenever I do that, I bow my head and make believe I'm praying.

That's what lots of folks do.  Some of them might really say prayers.

Talking to the guy with the broom, was my favorite activity.

The shrine and stone stairs were designated national treasures.

He should be named, a living treasure.

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The Year 2014 in Review as Seen Through a Pentax Viewfinder

Photos Processed Today 






Getting a head start on the year end closeout, here are monthly images, just developed.

It's nearly impossible, to decide, which photo or scene represents the month best.

As I go through the files, I just grab one that jogged the memory.

There may be a few thousand more, waiting to be discovered.

sunflowers, blue sky

Cherry blossoms get all the attention during January and February.

For the first time in my life, I went to a sunflower festival January 2014.

bird, kingfisher

 This kingfisher was the subject (unexpectedly) when I decided to carry a short lens.

It was a cloudy day in February so, I left the long lens at home.


These purple iris flowers, had me making several trips up north.

The photo above was taken, the third week of March.

The blossoms got a late start but, kept blooming into April.

Ayako Toguchi,ritual in a cave

The month of April was my third annual visit to this cave.

Ayako Toguchi, pictured above, is a spiritual woman, who gives blessings.

She authorized me to take photos and, signs model releases so, I always give her some prints.

The rituals, are conducted in a candle lit sea cave, during low tide.

It's a good climb up and down, to get in there and the cave fills with water at high tide.

Participating in the event, I get blessed by Toguchi Sensei each year.

So far, so good. But, I think I may ask her to bless me twice, next time.

flowers, hydrangea

Hydrangea flowers, cover the hillsides during May and, I always visit.

One year, a typhoon hit, the day after my trip and, wiped them all out.

This year, I took three sisters along. It was almost the same as having a typhoon hit.

islands, ocean, sailing sabani boats

The month of June, had me traveling to another island for a few days.

It was off to Zamami Jima to photograph the Annual Sailing Sabani Boat Race.

Rough seas prevented them from sailing the normal course, back to Naha.

So, races were conducted within the Kerama Islands.

festival surrounding tug-o-war, costumes

Towards the end of July this event took place.

It's the Yonabaru Tug-o-War and, was my first time photographing the activities.

What a wild and, enjoyable festival that turned out to be.

Maybe, I'll go again, without the cameras.

young ladies, Obon dancing, Eisa

 The young ladies, above, are dancing and chanting to the beat of drums.

It was the last night of Obon, in August, which coincided with the full moon.

stage, women,harvest moon, festival

 In September, we celebrated the Harvest Moon.

During this time of year, the nights are much cooler and festivals are held everywhere.

A short distance from my office, it's easy to walk to so, I usually don't miss this one.

bird, osprey in flight, blue skies

This Sea Hawk photo was taken at the Kin Dam, in October.

Many migratory birds visit from November until March. Ospreys, stay longer.

If, I was forced to name a favorite bird; this would probably be my choice.

mangroves, river, reflection

The reflection of these mangrove trees caught my eye as the sun was setting.

It was a few days before the November full moon and, I was walking to the beach.

It's become a habit, to practice moonrise shots early in the month.

That way, I know the exact location to be in, for the real deal.

On the same hike, I shot my "Not the Stairway to Heaven" image and, got great results.

children playing taiko drums

For the month of December, I don't think, it'll get any better than this.

The photo was taken at the Hamburger Festival in Ginoza Village.

The weather was warm. Blue skies and sunshine, plus, HAMBURGERS !

Just when you think, life can't get no better than this, these drummers showed up.

And, they put on a stunning performance.

Do Me A Favor



Look out your window, each month of the year and compare the view with these photos.

Then, let me know, which of us, lives in a better place !

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Flower Photo: Maybe It's Christmas Aloe !

Blooming in December



They say there are about 500 types of this plant.

And, this is the first time I've photographed one with red flowers sprouting on it.

aloe plant, flowering

It's about 15 degrees Celsius (59F) outside and feels like freezing.

Whenever it gets colder than 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5C) we wear jackets.

This morning, I put socks on with the flip-flops.

A long sleeved T-shirt, flannel shirt and winter parka helped keep me warm.

Just in case, I placed some gloves in my pocket, too.

We were out in the wind and cold weather, looking for sacred trees today.

Luckily, I shot the aloe flower a few days ago, out in the sun.

The black background was just used to eliminate distractions from the scene.

The plant grows out behind my office.

If it keeps flowering in this frigid weather, I'm calling it Christmas Aloe  !

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