Article by: David P. Lee
Thank you to all who participated in our Okinawa Photography Tours workshop at Maeda Flats. It did not look like the sky was going to cooperate and then for a few fleeting moments the sun broke through the clouds just before dipping below the horizon. Awesome! This workshop featured basic photography principles and then a discussion on HDR (High Dynamic Range). Our eyes can see much greater contrast and range of light which our cameras cannot detect. The way to overcome this limitation is to expose one image for the highlights, one image for the mid-tones, and one for the shadows. If your camera supports bracketing, it can be set to take three consecutive pictures in rapid succession varying the exposure compensation for each shot. Using software like Photomatix will combine all three images into a final product and create an HDR image. If you do not have Photomatix, it is available for a free trial HERE and when you are ready to purchase, do not forget to use the coupon code KAIUMI for 15% off.
Maeda Flats is just west of Maeda Point. It is very popular with scuba divers, snorkelers, surfers and, photographers. Unlike the steep cliffs and many stairs at Maeda Point, this area has easy access and is relatively shallow until it just drops off. There are a few little beaches that can be accessed via some dirt paths or just walk out a little bit into the water and go around the many rock formations.
It is advised to know tide schedule, (Okinawa Tides, Toya), so you can plan your shot. As with most areas around Okinawa, if the rocks are covered in green plant life, that area will be under water. My advice is to know if the tides are going out or coming in to avoid a wet walk/swim back to the car.
Directions: GPS: 26.442497,127.769901
Head North on Rt 58 form either Kadena gate 1 or gate 3. Turn left onto Rt 6 by the Renaissance Resort Okinawa. Drive for about 1.9 KM and turn right following signs for Maeda Point. Turn left at the road right before the Maeda Point parking lot. Drive about 200m and park on the side of the road. We met at the dirt road leading to the beach area.
Here is a map
Camera: Nikon D7000
Lens: Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6D EX DC HSM
Tripod: Manfroto 190XPROB with Acratech Ultimate Ballhead
Software: Lightroom 4.3 and Photomatix 4.2