Amami Superman Photography

A Place to Share My Photos

Sep 20, 2010


Posted by Amami Superman

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

We had a holiday here in Japan and I took the family out for a drive. We headed down to the southern city of Koniya for some gelato and then took our drive to the mountains. As we drove this is one of the many shots I took of different things I thought were interesting. I'm not sure what these blossoms are called. They weren't on a bush but more of a larger, almost tree, type plant. I don't have a clue what it was...

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 36mm, 1/400 sec, f/10, ISO 400 -- EXIF

So I took a few photos here and there on our drive and I'm trying to make some time to make some posts of them. Nothing that great, but I thought they were pretty or interesting. Anywho, I need to get back to work so I'll talk to you all soon.

Sep 8, 2010

Crazy for Crawdads

Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 60mm, 1/160 sec, f/4.2, ISO 800 -- EXIF

Well, I'm back into the swing of things. Summer vacation is over and I'm back teaching again at the elementary and junior high schools in Uken Town and at Shinai Yochien (the Catholic preschool here in Amami City). As before, I don't have the much time to get out and take photos as much as I would like, but I'm trying to make some time for that and we'll see how it goes.

It was another blazing day today and I rode my bike to work this morning. I forgot to put on some sunscreen and I got quite a nice sun burn on the way home and now I'm starting to feel it.

These photos were taken last month when I took the family to the river. When we first got there we were the only ones there. After a bit, a few more people came to catch crawdads. The guy in these photos is a school teach for one of the schools here in Amami City. I forget which school he said, but he was there with a few of his co-workers. This teacher is from Kagoshima like many teachers here in Amami.

This was the first time I've seen anyone use this method for catching crawdads. Usually they use some sort of bait like cooked rice and find a nice calm, shallow spot to sprinkle some rice in and sit and wait without putting their whole body in the water. These guys brought along goggles and snorkeling gear for the job. I suppose it's a lot more fun and cooler this way, but my wife's family never does it like this. My wife's family are crawdad catching pros. I'll be out and catch 5 or 6 and they've already caught like 20. It's crazy how good they are. It makes me wonder if there's some sort of trick to it. I don't know.

Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/160 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800 -- EXIF
Moving in for the Catch

Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/160 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800 -- EXIF
Yanking It In

Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 82mm, 1/160 sec, f/4.5, ISO 800 -- EXIF
Caught in the Net

Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/160 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800 -- EXIF
Carefully Untangling It

Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/160 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800 -- EXIF
Out of the Net

Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/160 sec, f/4.0, ISO 800 -- EXIF
A Prize Catch

Some people boil their crawdads, others fry them in a pan. I like mine deep fried so they're nice and crunchy. Crawdads here in Amami (I'm not sure about other parts of Japan), are quite different from crawdads in America. The crawdads I've caught back in America look like small lobsters. These look more like shrimp with long thin claws. Here is a photo I took last year of Jade and a crawdad she caught. And here is a post I made from last year with some photos of crawdads we caught and put in our aquarium in our classroom.

I wasn't very conscientious about framing when I took these photos, but after getting them all on the same page like this, I realized I really like them. Most of all of them have a sense of depth to them and certain elements that make these photos look nice like the bokeh of rocks in the foreground as well as in the background. As for framing, I think the Rule of Thirds is starting to get instilled in my brain and it's becoming a natural thing. As I said, I really didn't think about the shots I was taking, but I think they turned out pretty nice. Even if they are of a wet, half naked guy... Not really my cup of tea.

Sep 4, 2010

Clear Night Attempt

Posted by Amami Superman

So this is what I ended up with from last Wednesday's time lapse shooting. As I said, I didn't know that what I was shooting would move out of frame so quickly. I know better now. What I really need is a wider angle lens. I've been putting a lot of thought into my next camera and I've decided to stick with Nikon and buy a D300s. I'm not going to buy it anytime soon, but with that camera in mind, I can buy a ultra wide angle lens. I've been doing a bit of studying on what would be a good lens and I've heard a lot of good things about the Tokina AT-X 116 Pro 11mm-16mm f/2.8. This lens is made for cropped sensor cameras but the only bad thing is, the auto focus doesn't work with Nikon AF-S cameras. Since the D300s doesn't have a problem with this, I'm going to get this lens before before I get the D300s and use it with my D60. I won't be able to use the auto focus, but hey, I can manage.

I have all these lenses I think I need and would love to get, but I think I find myself wishing I had a wider angle lens than anything else. So I've made the decision that my next investment will be a new wide angle lens.

Oh, and how did YouTube get that gaudy top photo for this movie? None of the photos I used looks like that first photo. It's kind of deceiving.

The settings I used for these shots were: Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 26mm, 30 seconds, f/4.5, ISO 3200, Auto Focus off and White Balance off. I'm sure that I zoomed the lens all the way out when I first set up the camera. I don't know how I zoomed it in to 26mm. The shots were taken with a 30 second shutter and about 30 seconds between each shot. The movie was put together with 71 photos at 15 frames a second.

Sep 3, 2010

The Milky Wayness

Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 18mm, 25 seconds, f/3.5, ISO 3200 -- EXIF
Mmmm, Chocolate....

OK, now that I got my Homer Simpson out of the way... lets move on. It was gorgeous weather yesterday and I thought it would be good to go out again and try my hand at some time lapses of the stars. Needless to say, I'm still a newb at star photography and most of all my shots, setting-wise, turned out great, but my framing was way off. I've never tried a time lapse of stars (on a clear night), and I didn't realize how fast what I was shooting would move out of frame so quickly. I suppose I learned a lot that night and we'll see how I do next time.

So my time lapse shots didn't work out quite like I would have liked them to, but through this experience, I've learned a lot... again. How's that old saying go? "Practice makes perfect.", but I've also heard that, "Perfect practice makes perfect." I guess I still have a ways to go till, "Perfect practice".

So these are some of the time lapse photos I took that I thought were kind of interesting. I didn't do a whole lot of post editing. I upped the Vibrancy and Saturation and did a bit of Noise Reduction in Light Room 3, but that's about it.

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 18mm, 30 seconds, f/3.5, ISO 3200 -- EXIF
Can You See The Shooting Star?

The shooting star in this photo is at the very bottom just above the tree line in the middle. It's kind of small but you can see it, if you squint really hard.

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 18mm, 30 seconds, f/3.5, ISO 3200 -- EXIF

Not really. A firefly just happened to fly in front of my camera as I was shooting.

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 18mm, 30 seconds, f/3.5, ISO 3200 -- EXIF
Shooting Star

This shooting star looked a lot more brilliant when I saw it. It looked like someone was shooting off a bottle rocket. When it happened, I had hoped that I caught it in my frame. It turned out I did, but it didn't look as cool as it did when I saw it.

So those were some of the shots I took during my epic fail attempt at taking some time lapse star photos. I'll see at making a movie on what I did get, but it will probably be only a few seconds. On an up note, I did buy a battery grip for my camera a couple of days ago and I should have a chance at taking longer time lapses next time. Next week, on Wednesday the 8th, is the new moon. If weather works out, I'm going to try again with, no mistakes hopefully, at taking a time lapse of the stars. We'll see how it goes.

Post Edit: I was just trying to read up a little more on how to take photos of the stars. It seems this section of the Milky Way is the Scorpius and Sagittarius region. I didn't have a clue what I was shooting. Not that I care what part I'm shooting right now, I just noticed a lot of people said what part they were photographing.