Article by: David P. Lee
Thank you to all who participated in this workshop at Gala, Yomitan Okinawa. The first part of the discussion consisted of a talk on basic photography principles, (shutter speed, ISO, aperture, etc). The advanced topic was understanding the hyperfocal distance. Remember this is best used for landscape photography when maximizing the depth of field is important. If the primary focus point is set at the hyperfocal distance, then the depth of field is from half the hyperfocal distance to infinity. The hyperfocal distance is dependent upon the focal length, aperture, and your camera’s circle of confusion (CoC). The CoC for full frame cameras is 0.030mm. Most Nikon crop frame (DX) cameras have a COC of 0.020mm and most Canon crop frame cameras have a CoC of 0.019mm. Thankfully, there are plenty of apps to help you calculate the hyperfocal distance. Just search for either depth of field (DOF) or hyperfocal distance and choose the app with the interface you prefer.
Gala is just a short drive from Kadena and has plenty to offer. There is a glass blowing shop, salt factory, ice cream and pizza (CLICK HERE FOR THE WEBSITE). Walk down the steep road to get a close look at the boat dock and stone structure jutting into the East China Sea. There is also a small coral farm located here. Tickets are purchased from the gift shop on top of the hill by the ice cream store. The path along the cliff is about 1 mi long and has access to some secluded beaches. The hotel Nikko Alivila is toward the northern end right next to a beautiful church. It is advised to know tide schedule, (Okinawa Tides, Toya), so you can plan your shot.
Murasaki Mura is just around the corner. This was the set for a television show about life in the Ryukyu Islands in the 16th and 17th century. There are plenty of demonstrations depicting traditional Okinawan life.
How to get there: GPS: 26.408339,127.716032
Leaving from gate 1 make a right turn on to 58 and drive for about 3.2 km and turn left. (This is just past the McDonalds and opposite gate 4). Look for the kanji 水釜 (Mizu Gama). Follow this road for about 2.6km staying to the left and across the red bridge. Continue past Starbucks and along the edge of Torii Station and go up the hill. Turn right onto Rt 6 at the top of the hill. Drive about 3.3 km. Bear left by the Kanehide (Japanese grocery store with green signs and green border on building.) Travel about 400m and turn left just before the Suzuki store. Follow this road as it makes a 90 bend to the right. Turn at the first left and travel past the red hotel. Turn right into the Gala entranceway .Drive about 350m and park in the parking lot.
Here is a map
Camera: Nikon D7000 & Nikon D5000
Lens:Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6D EX DC HSM
Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G AF-S DX ED VR II & Tiffen HT Circular Polarizer
Tripod: Manfroto 190XPROB with Acratech Ultimate Ballhead
Software: Lightroom 4.3 and Photomatix 4.2
These photos are from different days. As you can see, the area looks very different depending on the tide and clouds.