Amami Superman Photography

A Place to Share My Photos

May 29, 2010

Swimming in March

Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/200 sec, f/13, ISO 100 -- EXIF

This was one of the many photos I took last March when we went out to Tomori Beach to build sand castles. The water was still on the cold side but it was quite refreshing.
May 28, 2010

Screwing Around

Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 20mm, 1/2 sec, f/3.8, ISO 400 -- EXIF


Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/2 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 -- EXIF

These photos were taken the same night as my previous post. I slowed the shutter to 1/2 sec and just stuck the camera out the window of the car as I was driving. The first photo has been flipped upside down and cropped just a bit. The second photo was also cropped just a bit. I thought they were kind of funky looking so I thought I would share them with you. What I found kind of weird about the second photo is the crosswalk stripes. There was only two sets but in the photo with the first set coming in intervals of three. I would have expected them to be just a blur. Maybe there was some type of strobe effect nearby that lit them up this way.
May 27, 2010

I Used My Flash!

Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/60 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 -- EXIF
Cannibal Snake


Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 36mm, 1/60 sec, f/5.3, ISO 200 -- EXIF
So where does that put you on the food chain?

I had to work late last night out in rural part of the island. It was well into the evening when I finished work and as I was driving home, I came across the amazing sight.

The name of this snake is mamushi. Mamushi are similar to habu in the fact that they are poisonous with the same type of venom (only weaker), but the similarities stop there. This snake is short when compared to other snakes. I would say on average they grow to be about 30 to 50 centimeters long. The one doing the eating is about 40 centimeters long. I've heard of snakes here in Amami eating other kinds of snakes, but I've never seen nor heard of a snake eating its own kind. Mamushi are pretty timid snakes and aren't very aggressive. You could step right up next to one almost touching it and it would do nothing. On the other hand, if you stepped on it, you would be in a world of hurt.

I've been trying to take photos of habu but haven't had very good luck taking nice ones. Last night I decided if I came across one, I would try to use my built in flash. I didn't find one, but I did take these photos using it. I thought they turned out pretty well for my first time and I think I'll try to use it again next time I'm out snake hunting. :P I'm also going to try and take photos of the other kinds of snakes they have here on the island and also give a rundown on the different things I use to catch them.
May 26, 2010

Slight Case of Dandruff

Posted by Amami Superman

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

Here is another photo of a flower taken near my house. I haven't had the time to get out and do some shooting so I've been going through older photos. Hopefully I'll be able to make some time this weekend to get out and do something.
May 25, 2010

Whip Scorpion

Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Nikkkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 200mm, 1/50 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400 -- EXIF
Sasori Modoki

This is one of the insects they have here on the island. Every once in a while when your out in the woods or doing something outside around your house, you'll flip something over and find one of these creatures. At first glance you will notice the pincers and the scorpion like body and think it is a scorpion when in fact it is not and isn't even venomous.

The whip scorpion is in fact a spider apart of the arachnid family. Although it only walks on 6 legs, the front two legs have been modified to act like antennae. As I said, it also has pincers which makes it look so much like a scorpion. The actual Japanese name, sasori modoki, means mock scorpion. Sasori is scorpion and modoki means mock or impersonate. I've heard this called one other name for good reason, a puheri mushi. Short and simple, a farting bug. When disturbed, it will secrete/spray a liquid that has a tart, sour smell sort of like vinegar. It's an unmistakable odor if you do come across an agitated one.

This was a pretty bad photo. I took around 10 shots and this one turned out the best. I think my 55-200mm lens' autofocus maybe a bit off. I've been noticing this more and more. One example is when I was taking photos of Jade skateboarding. I was using continual focus with dynamic area mode on one single person and I couldn't get an in focus shot. Looking further at the photos I took of the skateboarder, I noticed that the asphalt just before the skater was in focus. I'm thinking about sending it in for cleaning and calibration, if it doesn't cost too much.

So this is one of the more scarier looking bugs they have here in Amami, but is harmless. There's another one here that I've only seen twice in the 13 years living here that just gives me the heebie jeebies. If I every come across 0ne again and I have my camera, I'll try to photograph it. But let me tell you, I'm a wussy when it comes to insects. They just creep me out too much.
May 24, 2010

Hikage Hego

Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/40 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400 -- EXIF
Japanese Tree Fern
(???)

The name of this plant is hikage hego. I did a few searches about this and came up with "Japanese tree fern". I always thought these were a type of palm tree! Anyways, these are the buds of new leaves. They are actually quite large. The base of these buds are larger than a soda can. This photo wasn't very interesting in color so I switched it to black and white, gave it a vignette and adjusted some of the variable settings inside of Lightroom 2.

May 23, 2010

Purple Prickly and Blue

Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 -- EXIF

This photo was also taken the morning Jade went out with her friend Nagumi to pick strawberries. I don't know what these flowers are called. They are very small, probably only a few millimeters. This photo was also cropped.
May 22, 2010

Roasting Marshmallows

Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/40 sec, f/1.4, ISO 1600 -- EXIF
Nice and Golden

I've had quite a few barbecues this year. My wife sells bags of big marshmallows in her shop and we usually roast some at the end of our barbecues over the dying coals. Most Japanese don't have a clue about roasting marshmallows let alone ever eating a smore. So whenever we have friends over for a barbecue, we bust out the marshmallows and teach the art of roasting.


Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/40 sec, f/1.4, ISO 1600 -- EXIF
Hot Marshmallow

I thought this photo of Jade looked nice black and white. In color, the highlights were blown out and just didn't look good at all.
May 21, 2010

Gladiolus

Posted by Amami Superman

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

When I was out driving around with the family a few Sundays ago, I came across this pretty thing on the side of the road in the middle of no where. I've never seen gladiolus quite so vibrant as the ones they have here in Amami.
May 20, 2010

Catching Habu

Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 125mm, 1/30 sec, f/6.3, ISO 1600 -- EXIF


Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 122mm, 1/30 sec, f/6.3, ISO 1600 -- EXIF

Here are two shots I took of the habu I caught the night I took the photos of the glow-in-the-dark mushrooms. Both photos are of the same habu. I had the camera set to manual and I don't know why I didn't put the aperture to 5.6 and maybe get a faster shutter speed. I think I may have been too excited and thinking more about the snake than the camera. I suppose that's why I like catching them; they give you such a rush being that close to something so deadly. But then you actually think about it and it's even more mind boggling; how can something with no arms and no legs be so dangerous? Anyway, I guess they're really not all that deadly from what I read, but still serious business none the less.

We're smack in the middle of the rainy season here in Amami and it's been raining like no one's business. I haven't tried to go take photos in the rain yet this year so I'm going through my more recent photos and posting the ones didn't get around to posting yet. Mostly shots of flowers and whatnot.
May 19, 2010

Lazy Daisy

Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 52mm, 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 -- EXIF
Just Soaking in the Sun

I took this shot when I was out taking photos of Jade and her friend when they were picking strawberries. I'm not positive, but I think this is a type of daisy. They have them growing everywhere on the island like weeds so they're not a very special flower.

This photo has a bit of post editing done to it, but not much. It's been cropped just a bit and I upped the vibrancy and saturation. I also gave it some negative clarity to give it a glowing effect. All of that was done inside of Lightroom 2. I think I have a pretty good grasp with how Lightroom works now and I'm thinking of trying out Lightroom 3. We'll see. Work has got me by the collar and I'm doing my best to make free time to go out and take photos, but it's tough.
May 18, 2010

You're Such a Busy Bee

Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 -- EXIF

I was photographing these blue flowers near my house when a little bee flew up and started to do its thing from one flower to the next. I thought it was cute and this shot turned out to be my favorite.
May 17, 2010

Peek-a-boo

Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 -- EXIF
I See You

These are flowers, I guess, from a plant my mother-in-law has growing on the side of her house. When I took this photo, I didn't even notice the small spider peeking at me.
May 16, 2010

Picking Strawberries

Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 18mm, 1/100 sec, f/10, ISO 200 -- EXIF
Searching

Nagumi's mother, Jade's younger schoolmate, asked if Jade wanted to go pick strawberries yesterday morning. Jade said she would like to go so I tagged along and took some photos.


Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 -- EXIF
Found Some


Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/60 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200 -- EXIF
Strawberry Blossoms


Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 -- EXIF
Tantalizing


Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 18mm, 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 -- EXIF
Dessert for Tonight

I think they ate twice as much as they picked. It was beautiful weather despite the forecast for yesterday. As you can see in this last photo, the clouds were starting to roll in and it was cloudy by the afternoon.
May 15, 2010

Blue and White

Posted by Amami Superman

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

These flowers were taken just down the street from me. I saw them earlier this week and at first I thought they were wisteria every time I drove by them, but when I actually went to take a few photos of them, I noticed they weren't. I searched around the interwebz for blue and white hanging flowers, but mostly came up with flowers for hanging pots. These were more of a tree type flower like wisteria. I never found out what they are called. I don't have a lot of knowledge when it comes to flowers but I learn more and more every time I take a photo of a different flower.

In my previous posts, I mentioned a friend of mine, Shoriki Satomura. Before meeting him, I've visited his blog frequently and was always amazed at the different photos he takes. I don't know if I mentioned this in my previous posts, but one day he came to my wife's shop and asked for me. He works for the city hall here in Amami and he got wind of a photo contest being held in the Kagoshima Prefecture for foreigners only. He gave me some information about the contest and said I should enter into it. The contest had three different categories to enter photos to. I'm trying my best to remember what the three categories were, but I think there were "Travel", "Amazing" and "My Best". You could only submit three photos and you could submit them to any category; one to each category or all three to one category. I ended up submitting three photos, one to each category. I ended up taking first place in the "Amazing" category with a photo of the sunset at Ohama Beach with my wife and daughter as silhouettes. Here is the photo I submitted. I won 10,000 yen and received an award. They said they have my photo on display somewhere in Kagoshima City, but because I don't live there on the mainland, I haven't seen it yet.

So that is how I first met Shoriki. After that, we have gotten together to talk about photography and just shoot the breeze a few times. He is a great guy and I feel he has the same kind of enthusiasm about photography as I do. He takes a lot of close up shots of flowers and blossoms that I admire and I thought it would be good practice to try and take some photos like him. I suppose that's how I practice any hobby of mine. So you'll probably see more close up shots of flowers here as well as the other photos I take from around the island.
May 14, 2010

Moss and the Mushroom Revisited

Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55mm, 8 sec, f/5.6, ISO 1600 -- EXIF
Glow in the Dark
(Oooo, ahhhh...)


Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 78mm, 30 sec, f/5.6, ISO 1600 -- EXIF
Magical

I had my friend Shoriki Satomura over one night and we were talking about photography things. I was showing him my recent batch of photos and came across my previous post's mushroom photos. He told me an interesting thing, he said the mushrooms I photographed glow in the dark. Well, I had to see this for myself. So last Monday, I loaded up my camera gear along with my habu gear (poisonous snake catching gear) and headed out to the same spot I took my previous photos and got these shots.

The first photo was taken when there was still some light in the sky, but not much. The second shot was well after dark when it was pitch black. It was a 30 second exposure so the actual luminosity of the mushroom wasn't as great as you see it in the photo. I particularly like the second because it has a little aphid type insect on the stock part and some of the glow is shown on the moss below. I wouldn't mind going again to see if I can take some better photos. The second photo is also cropped a bit.

On the way home, I came across two habu which was a stroke of fantastic luck because I caught them within about 20 minutes of each other. Usually people only catch 1 or 2 in a few hours. So all in all, it was a great night for taking photos and catching habu.
May 13, 2010

Jade's First Fish

Posted by Amami Superman

I took Jade out fishing at the end of March. I took her fishing before when she was younger, but she was too young to hold a rod so this was her first time actually fishing.

Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/1250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Trash Fish

This isn't the first fish Jade caught, but it's the kind I caught the whole time we were there. I brought two kinds of fishing rods; one bait rod and one lure rod. I brought the bait rod for Jade and we used small shrimp(krill), called okiami. I baited her hooks for her and while she fished, I used my short lure rod with a heavy spinner for longer casts because we had just a bit of wind that day. I didn't have any luck besides trash fish like the one in the above photo.


Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/125 sec, f/6.3, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Some Snack While We Fish

For the first hour, Jade didn't get any hits. We had a few snacks and drank some root beer while we fished. After having some snacks, I adjusted the settings on her line and a few seconds after getting the line back into the water she got a hit. I was excited when we saw the float go under, Jade just panicked. She was trying to reel backwards and kept telling me the reel was stuck. After she calmed down and figured out what she needed to be doing, she was able to fight the fish to the top of the water.


Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/125 sec, f/6.3, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Jades First Fish

What a beauty! They call this fish ojisan (old man), because it has some long whisker type things under its chin. I'm not sure how common this fish is in Japan, but in Amami, it's a very common fish to pull up. It took Jade some time to get the fish out of the water and the fish was pretty tired by the time she did and didn't flop around at all.

After taking a few shots of her, I put some more bait on her line and she continued fishing. It was probably just a few minutes and she got another hit. This time she knew what she needed to do and it wasn't long until she had the fish out of the water. I told her to hold it up again like last time but this time as she was holding it, it started to flop around and it scared her so bad she dropped the fish. I just sat there and laughed and she started to cry. I shouldn't have laughed but it was too funny. This next photo is just as the fish flopped and she was in mid-switch of expressions from smiling nice and big to complete terror.


Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/125 sec, f/6.3, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Fish Number Two

After calming myself down and apologizing to her for laughing so hard, I put some more bait back on and we continued fishing.


Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/125 sec, f/6.3, ISO 100 -- EXIF
She's a Natural

Just like that, she had another fish on the line. She pulled it up and it was a whooper! Well, not really, but it was her third fish. It was getting late and she said she was getting cold so we got our gear together and headed home.


Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/125 sec, f/6.3, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Bringing Home Dinner

So that was Jades first experience fishing. Although she said she had a good time, I think she'll be apprehensive about going out with me again. I didn't mean to laugh so hard when she was struck with terror at the flopping fish at the end of her line and make her cry, but man, it was funny. I'll have to try and be a bit nicer next time.
May 12, 2010

Passion Fruit Blossom

Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 34mm, 1/100 sec, f/11, ISO 100 -- EXIF

They grow different tropical fruit here in Amami and it just happens to be the season for passion fruit blossoms. Not quite like cherry blossoms, but pretty none the less.
May 11, 2010

Giant Clam

Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Nikkkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 24mm, 1/25 sec, f/16, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Shakogai
(giant clam)

This photo was also taken at the fish festival last month. The above photo is cropped and I though cropping it like this would make a more interesting photo than what it was. The clam is larger than a basketball and probably much heavier. Here is a photo of the whole thing, although you still don't get an idea of how big it really was.
May 10, 2010

Tree Lizard

Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 200mm, 1/160 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Kinobori Tokage
(tree lizard)


Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 200mm, 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 -- EXIF


Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 200mm, 1/60 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 -- EXIF

These photos were taken the same day as the fish festival last month. I've been doing, or at least trying, a lot of close up shots. My 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens is pretty easy to focus manually for close ups, but I'm still having trouble focusing manually with my 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 for close ups like today's photos. I was looking a them 1:1 and the focus is a bit off. I've also been turning off vibration reduction to see if there's a big difference when using a full zoom, but I haven't noticed anything yet. I think I just suck at focusing. :P

May 9, 2010

The Rainy Season

Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 -- EXIF
Some Random Bush by the River

I like this photo for how the focus plane looks on the leaves and also the orange and green of the leaves. The texture of the leaves also look different like they were from two different plants. I don't know, this photo just looked nice to me.

So we entered into the rainy season here in Amami. I was hoping it was going be a bit more but it came right on time. The rainy season in Amami usually starts just after Golden Week finishes. So I'm expecting lots of rain and I'm trying to think of some clever ways to go take photos in the rain. We'll see how it turns out.
May 8, 2010

Fish Festival

Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 28mm, 1/320 sec, f/10, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Sodeika
(sode squid)

In a couple of my previous posts, I mentioned the photos were taken at a fish festival that was held at the end of last month. This is one of the events they had at the festival; how to clean and prepare a squid for sashimi. This particular squid (sode ika), was rather large. I think it could have well been almost a meter and a half long before being cut up.


Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 18mm, 1/250 sec, f/10, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Ripping Things Out


Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/100 sec, f/13, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Slimy Squid Eyeball


Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 30mm, 1/250 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Legs, Tenticles and Other... Stuff


Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 44mm, 1/800 sec, f/8.0, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Dividing the Mantle


Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 38mm, 1/400 sec, f/7.1, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Removing the Fins


Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 46mm, 1/400 sec, f/7.1, ISO 100 -- EXIF
"I know everything there is to know about the squidin' business..."

"Anyway, like I was sayin', squid is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey's uh, squid-kabobs, squid creole, squid gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir fried. There's pineapple squid, lemon squid, coconut squid, pepper squid, squid soup, squid stew, squid salad, squid and potatoes, squid burger, squid sandwich. That... That's about it." (She said that, REALLY! lol)


Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 18mm, 1/640 sec, f/7.1, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Cutting It into Sashimi


Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 18mm, 1/800 sec, f/7.1, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Experienced Hands


Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 28mm, 1/400 sec, f/7.1, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Digging In


Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/200 sec, f/7.1, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Ahhhhhh


Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 30mm, 1/320 sec, f/7.1, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Plenty of People

They also cut up some tuna after this but it was getting close to noon and we didn't want sashimi for lunch so we headed out to grab some grub. A friend of mine here on the island that is a pretty talented photographer used the movie mode on his Canon EOS 5D Mark II to make a short movie of these guys cutting up some yellowfin tuna for sashimi. Here is his short video.

Short movie by: Shoriki Satomura

The photos I took in my "Some Bad Puns" post were of these guys. But it was pretty dark in this room and most of my photos were underexposed and didn't turn out well. I really suggest checking out Shoriki's website, especially his blog. Although it's all in Japanese, he has some pretty fantastic photos.
May 7, 2010

Lantana

Posted by Amami Superman

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

I'm not quite sure how many varieties they have of lantana here on the island, but my mother-in-law has some growing on the side of her house that are white and yellow. As you can see, these are pink, white and yellow. I found these down by a river in Sumio Village. I've also seen this kind with a darker pink, almost purple in color. They're pretty flowers and it took some time trying to get this shot. Trying to manually focus with a small viewfinder and the wind blowing was a bit of a challenge. But it was all worth it and I think this photo turned out pretty well. This photo has been cropped.