Article by: David P. Lee
Fukushu En Park is Chinese style garden located right in the heart of Naha. According to the brochure, the City of Naha built the park in 1992 commemorating the friendship with Fuzhou City China, the 70th anniversary of the municipality of Naha, and the trading history of the Ryukyu Kingdom with China. The size is 8,500 square meters, (2.1 acres), and features ponds, many waterfalls, winding trails, and Chinese style architecture. Do not be fooled by the small size of this park. The design makes it seem that the area is very large. It is easy to spend several hours exploring each of the various sections. As of this writing admission is free and the park hours are 0900-1800, closed on Wednesdays. If Wednesday is a Japanese holiday then the park will close on Thursday. The phone number is 098-869-5384.
GPS: 26.218133, 127.675900
Leave Kadena Gate 1. Travel South on Rt 58 for about 17.5Km. Turn right onto Rt 42. Travel about 350m to the front gate on the left. To park, make a right and drive about 200m and park in the lot.
Here is a map:
Thank you to all who participated in this workshop. This was a cloudy day, which made for an uninteresting sky. However, days like this are perfect for capturing waterfalls and details. Without harsh shadows from the sun, there is more even illumination of the area. It is like having a giant soft box. After discussing basic photography principles, we discussed strategies for shooting water scenes. Fast shutter speeds will give the water a droplet look, which may be nice for a crashing wave. Longer shutter speeds will give water a smooth silky appearance, which works well on waterfalls and streams. Compare the two waterfall pictures below (The only time some blue sky appeared that afternoon). The one on the left has a faster shutter speed compared to the one on the right. The waterfall and pond take on a completely different look.
We also discussed the differences between macro and close-up photography. In order to be a macro photograph, the magnification is 1:1 or larger. Anything less, is close-up photography. Remember that the depth of field not only varies with the aperture, but with the subject distance as well. Keeping the aperture setting the same and simply moving closer to the subject will decrease the depth of field. Since this is the year of the snake, I felt compelled to photograph the carving below. The picture on the left has a small aperture giving a larger depth of field. The background on the image on the right is more blurry since the aperture is wide causing a narrow depth of field. This effect is called bokeh. Notice how the shallow depth of field helps isolate the snake carving. Both were shot from the same distance.
Camera: Nikon D7000
Lenses: Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6D EX DC HSM
Nikon AF-S DX Micro 85mm f/3.5G ED VR
Tripod: Manfroto 190XPROB with Acratech Ultimate Ballhead
Software: Lightroom 4.4