Amami Superman Photography

A Place to Share My Photos

Dec 28, 2009

Christmas Lights 2009

Posted by Amami Superman

Well, a very Merry Christmas to you all (I forgot to mention that in my last post). I hope you're enjoying the holidays and are well. There are only a few days left in the year and we finally get our long awaited break.

Christmas time in Japan isn't like Christmas in the States. Oh, they have their holiday shopping specials, but they just don't get into the whole family getting together thing. They save that for New Years. They do, on the other hand, like the more festive aspects of Christmas. One particular thing they've adopted that I like is Christmas lights. In the past 12 years living here in Amami, I've seen more and more lights go up year after year. Some just buy a few strands and hang them over their hedges, and some go all out and really make their yards look very nice. One thing I noticed this year is they don't hang Christmas lights like they do in the States. In the States, people decorate their houses with lights accenting the edges, corners and gutters to bring out the shape of the house. They don't really do that here in Amami.

Since out daughter Jade is out of school for winter vacation, she can stay up just a bit later than normal. With that, I decided it would be nice to drive around and check out some of the places that have some nice decorations (and to take a few photos).

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 30mm, 3 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Nice Bright Blue

I didn't take any photos of the people's houses who didn't put too much effort into their lights. This one was better than most I saw so I took a few photos of it.

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55mm, 5 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Oooo, Ahhh, Pretty...

Most of the houses we saw had dancing lights; lights that flickered on and off with different patterns. Of course with longer shutter speeds, it all looks the same.

Most of the photos we took were from the side of the road. I suppose a few people wondered what we were doing as they drove by, but we didn't care. It was fun for us.

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 22mm, 30 sec, f/22, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Side of the Road Photography

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 32mm, 20 sec, f/22, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Santa's Doing Jumping Jacks

Some of the decorations in this yard were mechanical and moved just a bit. Santa's arms went up and down and some of the reindeer heads went up and down.

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 24mm, 30 sec, f/16, ISO 100 -- EXIF
In Front of Big 2

Big 2 is a large discount type store. They have big bougainvillea bushes out front and they decorate them with blue lights every year.

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 42mm, 30 sec, f/16, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Indoor and Out

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 18mm, 30 sec, f/13, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Christmas Lights Amami Style

This small park is just across the street from the Tatsugo Town Hall. Every year they decorate this park up very nice but earlier this year they decided to fix up the road and make it straighter. Now the park is half the size it was so it didn't seem as grand as it used to.

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 36mm, 8 sec, f/5.3, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Christmas Palm Tree

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 26mm, 30 sec, f/13, ISO 100 -- EXIF
This One Gets My Vote

This is a bungalow out in Tatsugo near Bashayama. If you've ever been too Amami, it's more than likely you've driven past this house. This house has a statue of a kid riding a turtle coursing it along with a carrot on a stick. There is an old Japanese folk story called Urashima Taro about this. You can find a brief summery about this story here.

Those are just a few of the houses they have decorated here in Amami. We didn't get the chance to drive around everywhere, that would take too long.

We were lucky it wasn't rainy this day. It's been crummy weather for a few days and I'm waiting for it to clear up. I really hope it's going to be nice weather on New Years morning. We're planning on going to the beach to watch the sunrise.

Happy Holidays to you all.


Jeffrey Friedl said...

Some very nice shots, Earnest, but check out this classic tutorial for some tips for making things even more dramatic:

Amami Superman said...

Thanks for the tip. I've seen that tutorial before. I think you were the one who told me about it. :) Unfortunately, it was after work and it was pretty much dark when we left. Maybe I'll go again in the next day or two and see if I can do better. ;)

Post a Comment

Keep the language clean please. I have family that see this. Tell us what part of the world you're in.