Amami Superman Photography

A Place to Share My Photos

Mar 31, 2010

Shirasagi

Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 92mm, 1/2500 sec, f/4.5, ISO 400 -- EXIF
Shirasagi
(white crane)

Well, first off, I would like to apologize for not posting in two weeks. After doing my taxes I was pretty tired and I felt I was sitting in front of my computer too much. I had to get out and do something different. I still took my camera out and took photos, but I didn't upload them to my computer until my SD card was full. And even then, I didn't go through and look at the photos I took.

It's spring break here in Japan and it's also the beginning of a new school year soon and work has finally slowed down just a bit.

While taking a break from posting, I got caught up on things I've been meaning to get around to like working on my Honda Civic and a few other projects. My brother-in-law has a Yamaha TW and it's been sitting here at the house under a cover for more than 5 years. I decided to get that out and do a little maintenance on it. After ordering some new parts and replacing the old ones and buying some insurance, I got it running in good working order. I also hosted a few more barbecues for some family and friends, went to the beach a few times and took Jade out to a few place on the Yamaha TW. Jade has never ridden on a bike before and she really got a blast out of it. I took photos of some of the things we did and I'll post those a little later. For the time being, I'll pick up where I left off my posting.

In my previous post I got to try out my friend's AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 IF-ED. I thought it was a pretty nice lens but I only snapped a few shots with it out in front of his shop. These are the shots I got with my 55-200mm lens.


Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 200mm, 1/2500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400 -- EXIF
Gliding


When I moved back up the river to take some shots, it flew back down the river to its previous spot. Now the cool thing about this is, I've been practicing my panning shots and I thought these mid-flight shots turned out pretty nice. I was pretty happy with them.


Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 92mm, 1/4000 sec, f/4.5, ISO 400 -- EXIF
On the Move Again

As I said, every time I moved in to take a shot, it would fly away to its previous spot. So back and forth we went all the time while I took these panning shots.


Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 100mm, 1/4000 sec, f/4.5, ISO 400 -- EXIF
It Just Won't Sit Still

This photo and the next are probably my favorites out of the lot. It's just close enough that I got some background bokeh to give the photos a little depth.


Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 100mm, 1/3200 sec, f/4.5, ISO 400 -- EXIF
Wings Spread


Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 200mm, 1/2000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400 -- EXIF
Finally It Stands Still


Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 200mm, 1/1000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400 -- EXIF
Walking Towards me

So those are some of the many photos I took of this bird. It was fun and I got some more good panning practice in.
Mar 17, 2010

AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED

Posted by Amami Superman


Nikon D60, Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 90mm (134mm DX format), 1/500 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 -- EXIF
Family by the River

In my previous posts I talked about my walk to my friend Toshi Nagai's photo shop. He recenly bought a AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED, of which I am completely jealous. Anyway! He had a AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED lens sitting out and I asked if I could try it out on my D60. He said sure so I slapped it on and went outside his shop to shoot a few photos. This is what I got.



Nikon D60, Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm (450mm DX format), 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 -- EXIF
Full Zoom

This lens isn't a DX format lens so it's about a 1.5x focal length.



Nikon D60, Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 260mm (390mm DX format), 1/50 sec, f/18, ISO 200 -- EXIF
Panning

I try my best to remember the things I learn but it's tough. Some things only come with experience. I've been practicing panning shots with a slower shutter speeds to get a motion blur effect with the subject in focus as this photo. It was a spur of the moment type thing. I dialed up the aperture to get the slower shutter speed and took the shot. One thing that I notice about this lens is its auto focus is very fast. The next shot proves this. While I was shooting things across the river on the other side, I switched back to the side I was on, dialed back down the aperture and took this shot.



Nikon D60, Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 135mm (202mm DX format), 1/1250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 -- EXIF
Coming at Me



Nikon D60, Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 80mm (120mm DX format), 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 -- EXIF
Hungry Looking Crows



Nikon D60, Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 300mm (450mm DX format), 1/1600 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400 -- EXIF
White Crane


Nikon D60, Nikkor 70-300mm /f 4.5-5.6 @ 220mm (330mm DX format), 1/1000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400 -- EXIF
White Crane with a Fish Tail

These last few photos were something I thought would be nice but they weren't really that nice. But, I thought I would share them with you anyways. It was a pretty bird, but I thought I could have done better.

After returning his lens, it was lunch time and I headed out to walk back home. We had plans to go out in the afternoon to take some photos which I posted here. When I left, the crane was still there and I decided to take some more shots using my 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 zoom lens, which I'll share in my next post.
Mar 16, 2010

Cats and Birds

Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 200mm, 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 -- EXIF
Are You Superstitious?

This is a continuation of my last post of my walk to my friend Toshi Nagai's photo shop. I took a bunch of photos of the different cats I came across but there were so many of them, I chose just a few to share in this post.

For some strange reason, these photos reminded me of the fairy tale of the Pied Piper. Although in the tale of the Pied Piper, the animals he enchanted to follow him were mice, there were so many cats out today and it kind of reminded me of that.

In the bright sunlight of this day, this cat looked a like it had a bit of brown in the color of its fur. When it was in the shadows, it looked completely black.


Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 200mm, 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 -- EXIF
Tempting Fate


Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 200mm, 1/1600 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 -- EXIF
Heathcliff the Cat

This fella reminded me of the comic strip cat Heathcliff. He didn't seem too care much about me as he strolled along.


Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 150mm, 1/250 sec, f/5.3, ISO 200 -- EXIF
A Princess Out on a Stroll

This was a beautiful cat. I didn't actually check to see if it was a him or a her, but it just looked like a girl cat.


Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 190mm, 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Taking a Rest

All of the pigeons I've seen in Amami are pigeons that are raised and cared for. There were three other pigeons in this park and they all had collars on their legs. You can't see the collar on this one, as it has its collared leg is raised.


Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 200mm, 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 -- EXIF
Up to No Good


Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 165mm, 1/400 sec, f/4.8, ISO 200 -- EXIF
Hoodlums

Most places here in Amami have nets and cages to put your trash in for the trash collectors to pick up, but some places like this still don't have such things. The crows congregate and tear open the trash bags scattering trash across the street which leads to awful messes. This isn't a problem just here in Amami, but all of Japan.

So those were just a few more of the photos I took on my way to my friend's photo shop. There's more to come.
Mar 15, 2010

Stop and Smell the Flowers

Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 200mm, 1/2500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 -- EXIF
Azaleas in Bloom

Last Saturday I took a walk to my friend Toshi Nagai's photo shop. On the way there I took some photos of flowers, animals and different odd objects. These are the shots of flowers I took.

Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/160 sec, f/4.0, ISO 200 -- EXIF
Purple, Pink and Red


Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 -- EXIF
Small and Delicate


Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 -- EXIF
"Take us to your leader."


Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 92mm, 1/160 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 -- EXIF
It's a Jungle Out There


Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 116mm, 1/640 sec, f/4.8, ISO 200 -- EXIF
More Azaleas

Mar 14, 2010

The Amazing Spiderdog

Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 40mm, 1/640 sec, f/5.3, ISO 1600 -- EXIF

Who am I? You sure you want to know? The story of my life is not for the faint of heart. If somebody said it was a happy little tail... if somebody told you I was just your average ordinary dog, not a care in the world...

somebody lied.


Spiderdog, Spiderdog
Your friendly neighborhood Spiderdog
Spinning webs with her paws
Catching crooks with her jaws
Look out!
Here comes the Spiderdog
Mar 12, 2010

Waterfalls and a Dam

Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 28mm, 10 sec, f/13, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Waterfall in Sumio

After the terrible weather we've been having, it finally cleared up to some fantastic weather. This morning I decided to try some street photography and took a walk to my friend's photo shop. I took loads of photos on to the way to his shop, which I'll save for later posts.

My friend's name is Toshi Nagai. I met him through gym khana and street racing years ago when I first game to Amami Oshima. His father was a photographer and he followed in his father's photo steps. His father passed away about the time I came to Amami when he took over the family business. He's been into photography since he was in junior high school. He went to college studying photography (I think), and worked in photography in Fukuoka before he returned to Amami. I've looked though some of his earlier photos and, to say the least, he is an inspiration to me. Now that his job is taking photos, it's tough for him to enjoy photography like I do as a hobby. But, with a little coax, I got him to come with me a few times to go out and take some photos.

I also got him to buy Lightroom 2 and he's recently been trying to learn how to use that. Up until now, he's mostly done all his work using Photoshop. His Photoshop techniques greatly outweigh mine, but I've been trying to help him learn how to use Lightroom.

As we were sitting there talking about photography and Lightroom, I couldn't get over my urge to go out and take photos in the nice weather we were having. I asked him if he wouldn't come out with me and take some photos in the afternoon and he said he would. AWESOME!

We decided to go out and take some photos of a dam just south of the main city of Amami. It was about a 30 minute drive so we didn't spend too much time getting there. On the way up the mountain, we came across a bridge and a waterfall. We decided to stop and take some photos of it, but, instead of the waterfall above the bridge, we hiked down below the bridge and got some of these shots. This first and second photo is mine. I couldn't decide which one I like. The second one had the sun shining down but I couldn't decide if I like that or not. I ended up posting both photos.


Nikon D60, 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 28mm, 13 sec, f/16, ISO 100 -- EXIF
With a Little Sun

These next four photos were taken by my friend Nagai. When we first got to this waterfall, I tried to take some photos from the bridge. They didn't turn out bad, but they didn't tickle my fancy. He went straight away down the road and found a place to climb down. These are the photo he took in the area he was at.


Photo by: Toshi Nagai


Photo by: Toshi Nagai


Photo by: Toshi Nagai


Photo by: Toshi Nagai

After taking my photos from the bridge I headed down to the same area, but went further down the mountain from where he was. The photos of the waterfall that I took were a bit a ways down from where he was.

After taking these photos we loaded back up into my car and headed up the mountain to the dam.


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

I thought it would be cool to take some photos with a bit of human element in them so I took some of my photos with my friend Nagai in them.


Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 18mm, 1/100 sec, f/5.0, ISO 200 -- EXIF
A Bit Closer to Nagai


Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 22mm, 1/125 sec, f/4.0, ISO 200 -- EXIF
Reflections

This is the photo I thought would be a nice photo framing-wise. Nagai took a photo of me while I was taking the above photo.


Photo by: Toshi Nagai

I don't think I've ever posted a photo of me on this blog so far. I'm camera shy and I hate to post photos of myself (because I'm fat and ugly). SO! Here's a photo of me getting down and dirty trying to take a nice photo. Cheers!


Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 48mm, f/5.6, ISO 1600 -- EXIF
Nagai Mid Shot


Photo by: Toshi Nagai

I took a bunch of shots of Nagai while he was shooting and I think this maybe one of the shots he was trying to shoot when I took the previous shot. I really like the above photo. It never crossed my mind to take a shot of the reflection of the mountains. This photo is one of my favorites.


Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 18mm, 1/160 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 -- EXIF
Opposite Direction From the Dam

So those were some of the photos I took today of Nagai's and my trek to a dam. I'll post more of the other photos I took from this day in other posts.

Mar 11, 2010

Lots of Wind

Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 18mm, 1/2000 sec, f/7.1, ISO 400 -- EXIF
1.

I can't tell you enough just how much I love tax season. It's my ultimate goal in life to be bald and fat with a hairy back. I'm already fat and I'm working on the hairy back, but my hair just won't fall out. But, thanks to tax season this year, my dream is starting to come true. Life couldn't be better!

I've been having such a blast doing my taxes. The tax people must have read my mind this year and sent me a Japanese 2009 Income Tax Guide instead of the one in English they usually send every year. I've been getting a bit bored with taxes over the years and I was looking for a new challenge. Having the guide in Japanese is an added extra bonus. Maybe next year they could send it to me in Korean or Chinese!

I was having so much fun doing my taxes over the past couple of days that my wife thought I was having too much fun and told me to take a break and go outside and play. "Awww, do I have to?" She was pretty stern so I grabbed my camera gear and went for a drive.


Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 18mm, 1/1250 sec, f/7.1, ISO 400 -- EXIF
2.

While other places up north in Japan have been getting lots of snow, we've been getting lots of wind. Strong wind. I was just looking up how strong it was. The wind was blowing at about 30km/h with gusts up to 68km/h. I had a hard time standing up to some of the gusts let alone holding the camera still. I was afraid my car may get tipped over while I was driving. Although it only says 30km/h for the average, it seemed like it was blowing a lot harder than that. It felt like typhoon wind.


Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 18mm, 1/1250 sec, f/7.1, ISO 400 -- EXIF
3.


Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 20mm, 1/1600 sec, f/7.1, ISO 400 -- EXIF
4.

These waves may not look that big, but they actually are. On a regular day, the waves here aren't that big. They're usually small long-breaking waves that come in.


Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55m f/3.5-5.6 @ 20mm, 1/1600 sec, f/7.1, ISO 400 -- EXIF
5.

I was trying to find a shot of something that I could use as a scale to show just how big the waves were. I decided to use my car. The only problem was this spot was probably the windiest and I couldn't hold the camera still for the life of me. This was about the best shot I got.

So those were the photos I took on my drive yesterday. Although I was upset at my wife for making me go outside to play and not letting me do my taxes, I forgive her. I think she's just jealous I get to have all the fun.
Mar 9, 2010

Old Fire Hydrant

Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/50 sec, f/2.0, ISO 100 -- EXIF

I took this photo because I'm pretty sure they don't have very many of these kinds of fire hydrants here in Amami. Most fire hydrants here are no more than small skinny pipes 4 to 5 inches in diameter sticking up out of the ground. To see a fire hydrant this big in America is regular, but this is the only one I know of here in Amami.

The kanji on the front of the hydrant, "消火栓", says shokasen; which means, "fire hydrant".

Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/50 sec, f/2.5, ISO 400 -- EXIF

Here is a photo of a fire hydrant just around the corner near my house. Most of the ones here in Amami are similar to this.

The first photo was taken while I was on my way to setsubun at Takachiho Shrine last month. The above photo was taken this morning for something to compare the first to.

Mar 8, 2010

Shish Kebabs

Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/30 sec, f/2.5, ISO 1600 -- EXIF
We Got Chicken

Most of my friends know me for a few things; cars, bikes and my barbecues (and hopefully my photography). I'm the kind of person that will decided to have a barbecue at the drop of a hat. I imagine they have propane gas grills in Japan, but I've never seen one. We barbecue over real charcoal wood, not the briquettes you buy in the supermarkets in America. There's not much difference except they're a pain to get lit. Once lit, they'll burn for hours.

When my wife and I were out shopping, we couldn't decided what we wanted to make for dinner. Chicken was on sale so I bought a few backs of that with some vegetables and decided to make kebabs.


Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/25 sec, f/2.5, ISO 1600 -- EXIF
Grilled To Perfection



Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/10 sec, f/5.6, ISO 1600 -- EXIF
I Made Too Many

We spent about 2,000 yen on ingredients and made way too many for our small family to eat. My wife's brother-in-law came over with 2 of his friends and we still had too many. I called over 2 more friends and even after they had their fill, we still had some left. I then called one more friend I play basketball with.


Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1/4, 1/50 sec, f/1.4, ISO 800 -- EXIF
The Cavalry
Kenshin Sameshima

Kenshin was just finishing up with work when I called him and he was delighted to come over and have some barbecue. I've known Kenshin now for over 10 years. He's a good friend.

Well, that was my first barbecue of the year and I imagine it's not going to be the last. Next time, I'm thinking of buying real 100% lean ground beef and barbecuing up some hamburgers with American barbecue sauce. I think my friends and family would like that.