Amami Superman Photography

A Place to Share My Photos

May 23, 2009

Band Practice

Posted by Amami Superman

A good friend of mine was visiting me the other day and after our visit he had to leave for band practice. I asked if I could tag along and take some photos. He said he didn't mind so I went with him to some sound rooms where bands practice. Only three members of the band showed up, but it was enough to practice with.

There really isn't anything special about these photos. I was trying to take photos from different angles and perspectives. That's about it.


Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/30 sec, f/2.8, ISO 640 -- EXIF



Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/30 sec, f/2.8, ISO 640 -- EXIF



Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/30 sec, f/2.8, ISO 500 -- EXIF



Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/30 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1000 -- EXIF



Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/30 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1000 -- EXIF



Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/30 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1000 -- EXIF



Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/30 sec, f/2.8, ISO 720 -- EXIF



Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/30 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1100 -- EXIF


For a few of these shots, I actually laid on the floor. They kind of laughed at me, but they were happy to have their photo taken.
May 18, 2009

Amami Black Rabbit 2

Posted by Amami Superman

I took my friend Kevin out habu hunting Saturday. While we were out, we came across several Amami Black Rabbits again. I followed this one very slowly into the woods just off the road. I was pretty close to it when I got this shot. I was surprised it didn't run away.


Canon PowerShot SD850 IS, 5.8-23.2mm @ 23.2mm, 1/60 sec, f/5.5, ISO 250 -- EXIF


We saw a few wild boar (inoshishi) that night also. I had my Nikon D60 with me but I had it rigged and I couldn't use it to take normal pictures. I wanted to take some close up pictures of the habu we came across before we put them in our habu box. I had the camera all set so I could just slide it up close and use a remote release. The only problem is you have to judge where you're focusing without actually looking through the viewfinder.


Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/4 sec, f/1.4, ISO 400 -- EXIF
FAIL


That's my first failed attempt to photograph a habu in the road. I was only able to get off 3 shots before it made a break for the side of road. I didn't really know how it would turn out. I should have done some test shots first to get the right settings. It was a fun learning experience and I'm kind of excited to go out and try again. Although, I don't know when I'll be able to go again, Amami has entered the rainy season.
May 17, 2009

Sunset at Toen

Posted by Amami Superman


Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 18mm, 1/80 sec, f/22, ISO 100 -- EXIF


After meeting those 4 boys, I kept driving along the coast looking for a place to photograph the sunset. I came to a beach just past a small village called Toen.


Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 22mm, 1/250 sec, f/6.3, ISO 100 -- EXIF



Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 @ 200mm, 1/80 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 -- EXIF



Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 18mm, 30 sec, f/3.5, ISO 100 -- EXIF

This was kind of the shot I was after that day. I wanted to have the stars in the photo, but still have a gradient sky. I took several photos with different settings, but this one turned out the best. I realize it's ISO 100, but when I upped the ISO to 400 or more I got terrible noise and photos just didn't look nice. The shots I took with ISO 200 had a ferry on the horizon and all you get is a light blur on the water so I didn't use them. I want to try this more in the future, but I'm going to have to study about how to take these kinds of photos a bit more. It would be nice if I could get the photo a bit brighter and still have the stars clear and bright in them.
May 16, 2009

The Mop

Posted by Amami Superman

One thing I really like to photograph, and I don't know why, is dirty mangy mutts. I have a family blog and I usually post them there but I thought it would be fun to post them here. Some of other dogs I've taken photos of are Ancient Yeller and Scratch My Back.

I was out driving last Thursday after work looking for a good place to take some sunset photos and came across some kids and their dog.


Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 -- EXIF
"HELP ME"

The thing I like the most about the above photo, you can put anything for a caption and it works. Well, it works for me. "Free me." "You look yummy." "Give me your wallet." "I can see into your soul..."



Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 -- EXIF

These four kids where just sitting in the shade eating some ice candy when I drove by and I had to stop and talk to them. They offered me some ice candy but I was holding my camera and refused. It turned out that their cousin is in the same class as my daughter.



Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/100 sec, f/5, ISO 200 -- EXIF
Well Trained

Despite the dog's looks, it was very well trained. It knew sit, shake and come. As I talked to these kids it kept coming up and sniffing me. I guess it smelled my dog Missy on me.

These kids reminded me of when I was a young. I remember running around barefoot eating otterpops. Ah yes, those were the good old days.
May 13, 2009

Been There, Done That

Posted by Amami Superman

I took Kevin out today to show him some of the more popular tourist spots. Until now, I've tried to stay away from these spots just because they've been photographed so many times.

I don't have Geotags for most of these photos. There weren't any roads on Google Maps but I can show you about where the turn off is if you look here. The turn off is just after a auto shop on the right side of the road coming from Naze. The name of the area is Kinsakubaru. It's a popular tourist spot that plenty of tourist groups bring their customers.

It was cloudy and a bit rainy for the most, but the sun broke through from time to time and I tried to take advantage of it when I could. It was kind of foggy in some areas also.


Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 18mm, 1 sec, f/22, ISO 100 -- EXIF

I took a photo back in March of this waterfall with my wife and daughter. I just thought I would show Kevin and take a few shots myself.



Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/80 sec, f/1.8, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Hikage Hego

They call this kind of palm tree, "hikage hego". I'm not sure of its actual name.



Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 22mm, 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 100 -- EXIF



Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 18mm, 1/160 sec, f/3.5, ISO 100 -- EXIF

There are a few famous photographers here in Amami. One of which is Futoshi Hamada. Years ago he photographed a lady standing in the myst amongst the hikage hego. It was a very popular photo and was used as a poster for Amami. He took that photo somewhere around where I took these photos. From what I heard, they had to use scafolding to get her up high enough to make her look like she was standing between them. It really was a great photo, but I couldn't imagine going to all that trouble.



Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 18mm, 1/400 sec, f/3.5, ISO 100 -- EXIF


As we drove further along the forest road, we came across a landslide and couldn't go any further. We turned around and headed back to a side road we had seen earlier. I wasn't sure where the road was leading us to, but it's hard to get lost on a small island. Anyway, when I finally figured out where we were, I realized we were near the Materiya waterfall. That too has been photographed many times by everyone and I mostly stayed away from it. Since we were so close, I thought I should at least show Kevin.


Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55mm, 5 sec, f/36, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Materiya Waterfall

As you can see, we had some foggy type myst, but the sun broke through a few times and I tried to get a few shots off.
May 11, 2009

Early Morning Fish Market

Posted by Amami Superman

My friend Kevin is visiting and I thought it would be cool to wake up early and go see the local fish market. It's not like Pike Place Market near downtown Seattle, but it is a sight to see nonetheless. So we woke up just before 5:00AM this morning and walked down to the market.

The fisherman leave the previous night and come back early the next morning to sell the fish they've caught. I'm not exactly sure about the rules and regulations for buying fish, but I know that not just anyone can come and buy fish. You have to be a licensed buyer to be able to bid on the fish. After they set all the fish out first, then they start the bidding. Most of the buyers are supermarkets, sushi restaurants and seafood shops (kind of like meat shops).


Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/30 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1250 -- EXIF
Ara

When we first got there they already had some fish set out. This large fish first caught my eye. I don't know what it's called in English, but they call it "Ara" in Japanese. It's a deep sea fish.



Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/30 sec, f/2.8, ISO 720 -- EXIF
Sazae

They had all kinds of seafood here. They had different varieties of octopus and squid along with different varieties of shellfish.


Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/30 sec, f/2.8, ISO 400 -- EXIF
In the eye of the beholder...

This squid was still alive and changing colors when I took this photo. Afraid of being squirted with ink, I was taking a chance getting this close.

After checking out the fish they already had set out, we moved over to where the boats were unloading their fish. This one is unloading Kihada maguro, Yellowfin tuna.


Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/40 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 -- EXIF
Kihada maguro
(Yellowfin tuna)



Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/60 sec, f/4, ISO 200 --EXIF
A bit bigger tuna

I've been out deep sea jigging a few times and I've caught a few Yellowfin tuna before. Most of the ones I caught were were around 6-8kg, not much smaller than these. I was starting to think that maybe this was the regular size until this guy finally pulled out a decent sized one.


Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/60 sec, f/4, ISO 200 -- EXIF



Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/30 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 -- EXIF
That's a lot of tuna!

It makes me wonder how many cans of tuna this could make and how many tuna salad sandwiches.

The boat down the dock from the previous one was just getting ready to unload its fish and I hoped to see some different kinds.


Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/100 sec, f/5, ISO 200 -- EXIF



Nikon D60, Sigma 3omm f/1.4, 1/60 sec, f/4, ISO 200 -- EXIF
A Whopper!

Although I had hoped for a different kind of fish, they pulled out tuna after tuna from this boat. The cool thing about this boat was that it put the previous boat's tuna to shame when comparing size. Their smallest tuna was as big as the other boat's biggest.


Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/80 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 -- EXIF



Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/80 sec, f/5, ISO 200 -- EXIF

The three of these guys almost dropped this tuna when they tried to throw it over the edge of the ice box. It took four of them to actually get it over.


Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/80 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 -- EXIF



Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/200 sec, f/1.8, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Chinuki

Chinuki is basically the process of bleeding the fish. They cut out one side of the gills to drain the blood from the fish as they did in the above photo.


Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/200 sec, f/1.8, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Cutting out the gills also serves as a nice handle



Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/200 sec, f/1.8, ISO 100 -- EXIF



Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/30 sec, f/2.8, ISO 640 -- EXIF

I mentioned at the beginning of this post that only licensed buyers are able to buy fish, but sometimes they look the other way for old people and let them choose some of the smaller not-so-popular fish for free. I think that's pretty generous of them. They also hold an open market sometimes on Sundays where the public is able to purchase fish also.


Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/30 sec, f/2.8, ISO 320 -- EXIF



Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/50 sec, f/1.8, ISO 200 -- EXIF



Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/160 sec, f/2.2, ISO 200 -- EXIF
Shiira
(Mahi Mahi)



Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/40 sec, f/2.2, ISO 200 -- EXIF
Akahata
(Red Grouper)

So that was our early morning excursion. Kevin thought it was pretty cool. I wanted to go home and go back to bed. I was still sleepy.
May 9, 2009

Yakeuchi Classic

Posted by Amami Superman

Yakeuchi Classic is a bicycle race they hold every year in Uken here on Amami. I have quite a few friends who like to cycle so I thought I would go take some photos of them.

I'm not sure how many entries they had but it wasn't a very big race. I want to say around 30 entries.

They started in Uken Town at a place called Ashiken. Ashiken happens to be the place my wife's grandfather is from. From Ashiken they go along the ocean until they reach Uken. Uken is where Uken Town got its name. From there they make an abrupt right turn and start their tedious climb into the mountains. Once they reach the top, it's all downhill from there. After a short bit, they take a right onto the road they started from and follow it all the way to where the start and goal is. They ride this course two laps for the race. Here is a Google Earth image you can see.



Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 @ 200mm, 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 -- EXIF



Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 @ 125mm, 1/400 sec, f/5, ISO 200 -- EXIF



Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/400 sec, f/10, ISO 200 -- EXIF


From this point on it was up hill. I took a few of these before moving onto the next spot. You can't see very well from the angle I was shooting from how steep the grade was for this hill. It was long and steep.


Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 @ 200mm, 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 -- EXIF



Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 @ 90mm, 1/640 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200 -- EXIF

Although this mountain is a killer to climb, I'm glad some found the strength to smile, and even pose, for the camera.


Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 @ 200mm, 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 -- EXIF



Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 @ 200mm, 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 -- EXIF



Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 @ 200mm, 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 -- EXIF



Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 @ 200mm, 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 -- EXIF


I found it pretty difficult to take photos of a fast moving object and have it look nice. I could take the photos with a fast shutter speed but then I wouldn't have any motion blur to give a feel of speed. On the other hand, if the shutter speed was too slow, I would get terrible motion blur throughout the whole photo. I fiddled with the settings until I finally found a somewhat OK setting.


Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 40mm, 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 -- EXIF



Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/200 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200 -- EXIF



Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 -- EXIF



Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400 -- EXIF



Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400 -- EXIF



Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400 -- EXIF



Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400 -- EXIF



Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 18mm, 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 140 -- EXIF



Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 35mm, 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 110 -- EXIF

At the end of the race before everyone was ready to leave, they asked me to take a group photo for them.

I took around 250 photos this morning of the race. I threw some out just because they were terrible. I saved the ones I kept to a disc and I'm off to give it to them. They're having their "Uchiage" tonight. Uchiage is kind of like an after party thing.