Article by: David P. Lee
Thank you to all who ventured out for this workshop. The weather was fantastic with a nice blue sky and puffy white clouds. I broke the session into two halves. The first part focused on basic photography principles and how to get the camera out of fully automatic mode. The second half concentrated on high dynamic range (HDR) and the astronomy for that day. If any participants would like to show off some of their work, please submit your photos.
Katsuren is a 15th century castle enclosed by great stone walls. According to the brochure from the visitor’s center, the first lord of the castle was Katsuren Aji with five generations succeeding him. Several others ruled the castle until the end of the Ryukyu Kingdom. Amawari, the tenth lord, brought prosperity to the area through trade with many other Asian countries. Historians believe that the second enclosure had a structure similar to Shurijo. Katsuren is a UNESCO world heritage site.
After a quick steep walk up the trail from the parking lot is the main entrance to the castle enclosures. Walking around at this level offers many superb views of the massive stone walls. On the western side is a great location for some family portraits. A walk up the long wooden staircase brings one to the third enclosure. From here, several sets of stone stairs lead to the second enclosure. There is evidence in the second enclosure of stone footings on which the castle rested. A winding path leads to the very top which is the first enclosure. This is beleived to be where the treasures were stored for safe keeping. We looked, but the only treasure left are the views of the surrounding area.
How to get there:
Leaving from Kadena gate 3, make a right onto Rt74. Bear left under the Okinawa expressway staying on Rt74. As Rt74 cross Rt329 it becomes Rt16. Follow Rt16 for about 8.5Km. The parking lot is on the left side. There is a very nice visitor’s center with some brochures and model of the area. Admission and parking are free.
Camera: Nikon D7000
Lens: Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6D EX DC HSM
Tripod: Manfroto 190XPROB with Acratech ultimate ballhead
Software: Lightroom 4.2 and Photomatix 4.2