Protecting Okinawa’s endangered beetles – Yanbaru forest

Poaching has been a big problem in northern Okinawa. The endemic animals of the Yanbaru forest are highly valued in the exotic pet trade market.  The Okinawan Ministry of the Environment and the wildlife protection center are working hard this year to prevent the poaching of these endangered species. The Okinawan’s are spreading the word in the news, local papers, flyers and even monitoring the forest roads at night.

Poaching flyer - Yanbaru

Poaching flyer -Yanbaru

August through September is when people search the forest for the rare Yanbaru long-armed scarab beetle (Cheirotonus jambar). If you see anyone taking this protected species please contact the authorities.  I have yet to photograph a live animal. It is one of the rarest beetles in the world.

Rarest beetle in Japan -Yanbaru long-armed scarab beetle

Rarest beetle in Japan -Yanbaru long armed scarab beetle, wildlife center

The giant Okinawan stag beetle (Dorcus titanus okinawanus) is also a high prized specimen in the pet trade.

Giant okinawan stag beetles

Giant okinawan stag beetles

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Giant okinawan stag beetle 

Beetle collectors use fruit filled net traps to lure in the beetles.

Yanbaru beetle trap

Yanbaru beetle trap    (Dorcus titanus okinawanus)

The beetles hooked shaped arms get caught in the netting.

Giant stag beetle ( Dorcus titanus okinawanus )

Giant stag beetle (Dorcus titanus okinawanus)

Over the years, I have found a few traps with dead beetles attached.

dead beetle

Female okinawan stag beetle

Beetle collecting is popular in Okinawa. Its important to be familiar with the specific beetles that are protected species. Let’s protect the wildlife of the Yanbaru forest for future generations.

 

 

 

The Art of Underwater Motion by Shawn Miller

As an underwater photographer there will be a time when you feel all your photographs look similar and you might lose interest for a while. Creating motion in still photographs will definitely give you a new challenge and purpose. The goal is to try to show some type of motion in a still photograph. The photographs emphasize the energy, power and or speed of the subject moving. Dramatic motion images will provide depth and variety to your portfolio.

Try panning or dragging the shutter underwater 

  • Move the camera in sync with the moving subject while the shutter stays open. A slow shutter speed will be necessary to achieve this.
  • Once you understand this technique try adding flash at the end of the exposure to freeze the motion of the subject (Rear curtain sync).
  • Get creative and add a spin the camera
Striped surgeonfish on the move (Rear curtain sync)

Striped surgeonfish on the move (Rear curtain sync)

Anemone fish with a spin ( RCS )

Anemone fish with a spin ( RCS )

Sea whip - feel the flow

Sea whip – feel the flow

Ocean art ( slow shutter with a spin )

Ocean art ( slow shutter with a spin )

Angelfish on the move ( Rear curtain sync )

Angelfish on the move ( Rear curtain sync )

Striped surgeonfish and coral reef (RCS)

Striped surgeonfish and coral reef (RCS)

Indian mackerel feeding

Indian mackerel feeding

Sunset wrasse reef racing ( RSC )

Sunset wrasse reef racing ( RSC )

Ctenochaetus striatus on the move

Ctenochaetus striatus on the move

Coral with a spin -Ie Island

Coral with a spin -Ie Island

Masked bannerfish on the move ( RCS )

Masked bannerfish on the move ( RCS )

Motion sickness (In camera triple exposure)

Motion sickness (In camera triple exposure)

Scuba-diving with a spin (RCS)

Scuba-diving with a spin (RCS)

Hopefully these images will inspire you to try something new underwater!

 

 

The Light & Motion Stella 2000 rocks part 1 – Okinawa, Japan

The Stella 2000 offers lightweight professional lighting for photographers and videographers. It delivers 2000 lumens of beautiful wide light on high power. It is waterproof to a depth of 100 meters and extremely durable.

Stella 2000 waterproof lighting

Stella 2000 waterproof lighting

My favorite features of the Stella 2000

  • Waterproof to 100 meters
  • Can be mounted on the camera hot-shoe, light stand,  loc-line arms or ball mounts.
  • Quick adjustable power output control
  • Fast charging and the ability to use the light when it’s charging

I tested the Stella 2000 in the humid jungle and on the shorelines of northern Okinawa. I used it as a spotting light, hiking light, camera modeling light and video light. I tested the light with the 120-beam angle with no modifiers, with custom made soft-boxes attached, studio umbrellas and with the combination of on-off camera flash.

I concentrated on the reptiles, amphibians and land crabs of northern Okinawa. Below are some of my favorite photographs.

Shawn Miller - Crabs with beach trash homes. photographed by David Orr

Shawn Miller – Crabs with beach trash homes. photographed by David Orr

Okinawa green tree frog -Stella 2000 diffused on hotshoe

Okinawa green tree frog -Stella 2000 diffused on the hot-shoe’

Holst's frog (endangered)  Stella 2000 bare with back lighting from headlights

Holst’s frog (endangered) Stella 2000 bare with back lighting from headlights

Namie's frog, threatened species

Namie’s frog, threatened species – Stella 2000 diffused through an umbrella

Ryukyu Tip nosed frog ( Endangered ) Stella 2000 diffused through an umbrella

Ryukyu Tip nosed frog ( Endangered ) Stella 2000 diffused through an umbrella

Ishikawa's frog (endangered) Stella 2000 diffused with fill flash

Ishikawa’s frog (endangered) Stella 2000 diffused with fill flash

Princess habu - Diffused through an umbrella

Princess habu – Stella 2000 diffused through an umbrella

Namie' frog -Backlighting with Gobe 700

Namie’s  frog – Stella 2000 modeling light – back-lighting with the Gobe 700 wide

Kuroiwa's ground gecko (Endangered) Stella 2000 with fill flash

Kuroiwa’s ground gecko (Endangered) Stella 2000 with fill flash

IHallowell's tree frog -Stella 2000 with fill flash

IHallowell’s tree frog -Stella 2000 with fill flash

 

Pryer's keelback feeding on a white jawed frog

Pryer’s keelback feeding on a white jawed frog – Stella 2000 diffused with fill flash

No need to worry about dropping the light in the salt water or placing it on the sand. The Stella 2000 is extremely durable.

Ghost crab - Fill flash and back-lighting Stella 200

Ghost crab – Fill flash and back-lighting Stella 2000

Crabs with trash homes -Stella 2000 and fill flash

Crabs with trash homes -Stella 2000 and fill flash

Making the journey (Geograpsus grayi) Stella 2000 with fill flash

Making the journey (Geograpsus grayi) Stella 2000 with fill flash

Hermit crab and plastic- Stella 2000 with fill flash

Hermit crab and plastic- Stella 2000 with fill flash

Ghost crab feeding- Stella 2000 with fill flash

Ghost crab feeding- Stella 2000 with fill flash

Crabs with trash homes -Stella 2000 and fill flash

Crabs with trash homes -Stella 2000 and fill flash

yukyu kajika frog Stella 2000 and fill flash

Geograpsus grayi feeding on the Ryukyu kajika frog – Stella 2000 and fill flash

Solid as a rock- Stella 2000

Solid as a rock- Stella 2000

 

I have been using Light & Motion lights for over four years now and they keep getting better! Stayed tuned for testing the Stella 2000 underwater !