Thursday, February 20, 2014

How to shoot long exposures

Thought I would share some basic tips on how and what you need to shoot long exposure photography. I love to show motion in my photography and its fun to shoot long exposures because you never quite know what the image is going to look like until its completed.

In the video below I go over some tips and tricks to get you started

Here's a few examples of using this technique with shutter ranges of between 1/4th of a second to 30 seconds and right down to 5 minutes with the help of very dark ND filters.

Things you need for long exposure photography
(Links below are all to the items I recommend on Using these links also helps my business and won't cost you anything extra!)

Obviously a camera that the shutter can be set manually.

A nice solid tripod. I use the Induro carbon fiber tripod. You can find it and others and this Amazon link

Neutral Density filter (ND filter) I use filters with various "darkness" levels or "stops" ranging from ND2, ND4, ND8 which will allow you to get shutter speeds in the range of around 30th/second to around 1 second on cloudy days. For super long 30 second or so exposures or so you will need to get a super dark 10 stop filter like this one from B+W a very good filter company.

Cable release. A cable release is a good accessory to have for your landscape photography even if your not shooting long exposures as it allows you to trigger the shutter without having to touch the camera and risk camera shake. But the main advantage of a cable release is that you can lock the shutter open and make exposures in excess of 30 seconds.
Here's the one I use for Canon 
Or for Nikon here

Another point you want to keep in mind is covering the viewfinder if shooting in daylight. Light can leak in through the viewfinder and effect your exposure so you want to block it with your hand, a hat or some camera straps come with a little eyepiece cover attached to them just for this purpose.

Get out there and experiment with various moving subjects and have some fun!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Diving with Dolphins, Sharks & a False Killer Whale!

My apologies for the lack of posts lately as I've been traveling in the Philippines with my good friend Chris Myers and catching up with my cousin over there Mark Walton who runs the Arizona dive shop in Subic bay. We had a fantastic trip and this is the first trip I've been on in ages where I wasn't working. Although of course we did plenty of travel and underwater photography while there.

Mark also hooked us up with a chance to dive with sharks, dolphins and a false killer whale over at the Ocean Adventure park. This was one amazing experience to say the least. The dolphins and false killer whale were so well trained and friendly as well as quite curious about our underwater camera gear. We were told we shouldn't use flash and unfortunately the water had quite a bit of back scatter in it so I did have to do a bit of work in Photoshop with a few of them.

Here are a few of the images from the two dives we did there.

 Chris enjoying a special moment with a Bottle nose touching his hand

Is there something on my head?

Getting a visit from a 630kg False killer whale

He even came into the shallows for a picture

The hungry Jacks (Trevally?) swimming over head waiting 
for a feed 

In the same area were at least half a dozen Black Tip Sharks

 Chris in the background getting some shots

I was also filming with my Gopro atop my Ikelite dive housing and working on editing that video footage now. Once its done I'll upload it to my Youtube channel at

More diving and travel photos from the Philippines coming in the next few days! Stay tuned! 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Wedding Planner Okinawa Elicuore

Are you looking for an awesome wedding planner in Okinawa? Today I'd like to introduce you to a good friend who I have worked with on many many weddings and location photo shoots in the past few years here on Okinawa.

This is Elina and she can help you get your Okinawa wedding planned from start to finish. She also has some very cool venues to have your wedding at and will do all the hard work for you on the organizing side of things thus saving you lots of stress.

One of the very cool venues offered for outdoor weddings is the

Southeast Botanical Gardens / 東南植物楽園

I worked with Elina at this location recently on a model wedding shoot. 

Check out Elina's website here and get your dream Okinawa wedding planned for you today!

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Sunflowers and Cherry Blossoms Okinawa Photo Tour with KM & Annika

Recently took KM & Annika from Hong Kong on a photo tour of Okinawa. They really wanted to shoot with the Cherry blossoms (sakura) of Okinawa and it just so happened that their trip also was well timed with the sunflower festival held in Kitanakagusuku. 

A little behind the scenes video from the day. 

After the sunflowers we made our way up north to the Cherry blossom mountain in Nago Yaedake. 
The narrow road that winds up the mountain is one of the trickiest shooting situations in Okinawa as hoards of tourists flock to the mountain around this time to see the flowers making it extremely difficult to shoot along the road with our pre wedding couple and lights etc..

For the camera and strobist geeks out there, this was the first day out with my new Vagabond Mini Lithium from Paul C Buff. I used this battery pack to power a 320ws Alien Bee studio strobe and was very happy with the results. Having mostly only used speedlites on location for lighting it was nice to have the extra power of the bigger studio strobes at my disposal. It was also very nice to see that even at the end of our 8 hour 5 location shoot I still had all LED power indicators lighting up showing the battery pack was still above 75% charge. And I had been shooting with it all day!

Here are a few other samples from the day. 

Locations used were Kitanakagusuku sunflower fields, Nago's Yaedake cherry blossoms, Manzamo cliffs, Manza beach and Naha's Naminoue temple the following morning. Oh yeah and we found that old fighter jet in a car park across from a convenience store when we stopped for snacks as I thought it was pretty cool. Hope you enjoyed!

Interested in having your Pre-wedding photography in Okinawa? Give me a call or email to set up a shoot and get details. 

We have professional make up and hair artists working with us as well as free hotel to hotel transportation in a large comfortable van. All included with the Okinawa 8hr photo tour package.