Slow Down! – Let’s Protect The Okinawa Rail

The Okinawa rail is a flightless bird only found in the northern part of Okinawa. It is a protected species and declared a living natural monument. It is currently listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as an endangered species.  In 2012 populations of this endemic bird were estimated at 1500 by the Environment Ministry.

okinawa rail

The Okinawan rail -

The rail is often found feeding on the side of the road. It feeds on worms, snails and insects.

Okinawa rail posing ( Hypotaenidia okinawae)

Okinawa rail posing ( Hypotaenidia okinawae)

When defending its territory, the rail will become aggressive and flare its wings.

Angry Bird- Okinawa rail

Angry Bird- Okinawa rail

 

Okinawa rail awareness signs are posted along the main roads in northern Okinawa for their protection.

Okinawa rail awareness signs are posted

Okinawa rail awareness signs

The speed limit is only 40km/h so watch your speed for the protection of the wildlife. The rails are often seen feeding on the side of the road.

40km/h speed sign

Posted speed limit is 40km/h

I have observed these birds crossing the road on many occasions. They have no problems crossing when people are driving the speed limit. Speeding decreases your reaction time so slow down and pay attention to all crossing wildlife.

Okinawa rail crossing the road

Okinawa rail crossing the road

 

An Okinawa rail that was killed by a speeding motor vehicle on Route 2 in northern Okinawa.

okinawa rail - road kill

okinawa rail – road kill

Let’s protect the wildlife of Okinawa, Japan.

Have a great day!

Light & Motion – The ultimate flashlight for wildlife photographers.

I have been using the Light & Motion Sola underwater lights for over two years now. I take them on all my adventures to include scuba diving, river trekking, caving and nature photography trips. These lights provide constant beautiful lighting and are extremely reliable, which is why they are the perfect light for me.

Below is a photograph of me using Light & Motion lights in the field. I am the Japan contributor for the Meet Your Neighbours field studio project. Photographing the animal on white isolates the subject without any distractions. The animals are handled with care and then released back into the environment without harm. The images are used for conversation awareness and educational purposes.
A photograph of me documenting the endangered species of the ryukyu islands

Photograph courtesy of  Gary Hughes          assistant – Shannon Fox

The Ryukyu black-breasted leaf turtle (Geoemyda japonica) is an endangered species found in Northern Okinawa. This turtle is decreasing in numbers due to poaching, deforestation and road kill. The turtle is high valued in the pet trade market and needs to be protected.

Ryukyu Black-breasted Leaf Turtle, Ryukyu Leaf Turtle ( Geoemyda japonica Fan, 1931 )

Ryukyu Black-breasted Leaf Turtle           MYN field studio

I recently purchased the Light & Motion Sola compact tray with the extension kit and one GoBe 700 wide light. I have been using this setup with the Canon 70D to document the wildlife in Okinawa. The flexible Loc-line arms are an awesome advantage. They are easy to move while having full control over the constant lighting.   

Using the Light & Motion field setup

Light & Motion field setup                         Photograph courtesy of Ross Gallardy

A photograph of a Ryukyu kajika frog in northern Okinawa using the Light & Motion field setup

okinawa frog

Ryukyu Kajika frog ( Buergeria japonica )

The Light & Motion Sola 600 has a built in feature most people do not take advantage of. The light has a red light function which allows the user to get close to land and marine subjects without disturbing them. This red light is very effective and I highly recommend using it.

Underwater setup with sola 600

My underwater rig with the Light & Motion Sola 600  - Ikelite housing and strobes

The Light & Motion Nightsea Sola light can also be used on land. I am always searching for animals that fluoresce in the Yanbaru forest in northern Okinawa. You never know what you will find!

Light & Motion Sola Nightsea Blue light - Riukiaria falcifera

Light & Motion Sola Nightsea Blue light    Millipede – Riukiaria falcifera

If you would like to know more about the Light & Motion Sola series visit.  http://www.lightandmotion.com/choose-your-light/sola

Have a great day!

Fluoro-diving in Okinawa, Japan -Underwater Fluorescence by Shawn Miller

The Light & Motion Sola NightSea blue light will enhance your night diving experience like nothing before. It Is an underwater blue light that allows you to see fluorescence. The NightSea blue leds cause proteins and minerals to fluoresce brightly underwater. If you want to photograph fluorescence you will need a yellow barrier filter over your camera lens. The barrier filter will block the reflected exication of light and transmit the fluorescence to deliver a psychedelic experience.

Below is a photograph of my underwater rig. This is my setup I use  to capture the underwater fluorescence in Okinawa. I am currently using one Light & Motion Sola Nightsea and one GoBe nightsea blue light.

Dive Team Miller- Underwater rig

Dive Team Miller- Underwater rig

Below is a photograph of the Light & Motion Sola NightSea Underwater blue light photographed in the studio. I wanted to capture the blue light rays coming out of the light. No previous photos displayed this and I had to do it.

Sola NightSea underwater blue light

Light & Motion Sola NightSea underwater blue light

Some cases the fluorescence is so strong it can be photographed during the day without any specialized lights or filters. This red heart coral was photographed at a depth of Seventy-five feet.

Red Fluorescence -ambient light ,75feet

Red Fluorescence -ambient light ,75feet

Most of the marine life will fluoresce a beautiful green. I photographed this sea anemone in a submarine cave at Maeda point, Okinawa.

Sea anemone (Dofleinia armata) Okinawa- Japan

Sea anemone (Dofleinia armata) Okinawa- Japan

Corals that fluoresce orange are much harder to find here in Okinawa.

Lobophyllia hermprichii

Coral of the Ryukyu Islands – Lobophyllia hemprichii

Corals that fluoresce red are scarce in Okinawan waters.

Bio fluorescense - Coral of Okinawa, Japan

Bio fluorescense – Coral of Okinawa, Japan

I decided to experiment using the nightsea and custom filters over my strobes to give it an original look. I call this technique fluoro blending.

Anemone hermit crab (Dardanus pedunculatus)

Anemone hermit crab (Dardanus pedunculatus)

More fluoro blending using the nightsea and custom filters .

Large mouth triplefin (Ucla xenogrammus) on coral

Large mouth triplefin (Ucla xenogrammus) on coral

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I had this eel in my aquarium for a long time and had no idea it fluoresced until I exposed it to the Sola NightSea light.

eels that fluoresce in okinawa

Eels that fluoresce in Okinawa – Gymnothorox sp

The NightSea also provides a beautiful background color to compliment the marine subject. This technique is becoming very popular in japan.

firefish with nightsea backlit ,okinawa

Fire fish ( Pterois antennata) Back lit with the Sola Nightsea

Glowing hydroids were recently discovered in 2015 by marine researchers in the Red sea. I photographed these fluorescing hydroids in Okinawa-Japan.

Vexillum exasperatum with glowing hydroids

Vexillum exasperatum with glowing hydroids

Niotha albescens with glowing hydroids

Niotha albescens with glowing hydroids

If you want to learn more information on photographing fluorescence visit www.nightsea.com/

If you would like to know more about the Light & Motion Sola series visit.  http://www.lightandmotion.com/choose-your-light/sola

All underwater images were photographed using an Ikelite underwater housing. Check out my previous post on why I use an Ikelite Underwater housing.

Have a Psychedelic day!

 

Underwater Macro Photography with an Ikelite housing

I have always enjoyed shooting macro photography ever since I purchased my first camera. Underwater Macro photography is challenging due to currents, buoyancy control and back-scatter in the water. Below are a few underwater images photographed using the Canon 70D with a Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8 USM macro lens. The Camera and lens are enclosed in an Ikelite underwater housing. I am currently using one Ikelite DS-160 strobe along with one Ikelite DS-200 underwater.

Crowned Puffer (Canthigaster coronata) Okinawa, Japan

Crowned Puffer (Canthigaster coronata) Okinawa, Japan

Razor coral - Fungia sp ,Okinawa-Japan

Razor coral – Fungia sp ,Okinawa-Japan

Bio fluorescense underwater

Bio fluorescense underwater (Fungis scutaria) -Okinawa,Japan

Honeycomb coral (Diploastrea heliopora) Okinawa- Japan

Honeycomb coral (Diploastrea heliopora) Okinawa- Japan

Crocea Clam (Tridacna Crocea) Okinawa-Japan

Crocea Clam (Tridacna Crocea) Okinawa-Japan

Bubble Coral (Plerogyra sinuosa) Okinawa-Japan

Bubble Coral (Plerogyra sinuosa) Okinawa-Japan

If you are living In Okinawa-Japan and would like to purchase any Ikelite product, I highly recommend Ikelite Military Sales. You can contact them directly on Facebook with the link below. I usually receive my orders within five to seven days. This is very fast shipping living overseas.
If you are having trouble with the initial set up of your underwater system and need assistance contact me.
Stay tuned for more underwater images with the Canon 70d.

Why I use an Ikelite Underwater Housing for the Canon EOS 70D Camera.

 

Ikelite Underwater Housing for Canon EOS 70D Camera

Ikelite Underwater Housing for Canon EOS 70D Camera

Ikelite housings are by far the most affordable and reliable DSLR underwater housings on the market. Ikelite has over forty five years experience with underwater housings and lighting systems. They produce the widest range of housing for Canon, Nikon, Sony and more. Ikelite Underwater Systems provide quick repair, fast shipping and outstanding customer service.

Benefits and features

  • Made in the USA
  • 200 feet (60m) Depth Rating
  • Access to all important camera functions
  • Made from Corrosion proof polycorbonate
  • No guessing on the o-ring seal with a transparent housing
  • TTL/auto and manual strobe exposure modes
Ikelite Underwater Housing for Canon EOS 70D Camera , Okinawa-Japan

Ikelite Underwater Housing  for Canon EOS 70D Camera  - Okinawa

If you are living In Okinawa-Japan and would like to purchase any Ikelite product, I highly recommend Ikelite Military Sales. You can contact them directly on Facebook with the link below. I usually receive my orders within five to seven days. This is very fast shipping living overseas.

https://www.facebook.com/ikelite.camhousings

If you are having trouble with the initial set up of your underwater system and need assistance contact me.

Stay tuned for underwater images with the Canon 70d.

Have a great day!