Bird Island, Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands. The island looks as if a giant had placed a huge rock in a tiny embayment on the North Eastern side of Saipan. On one side of the island, it is surrounded by a reef structure raging from depths of three to six feet. On the other side, is the open ocean. Bird Island sits in the Bird Island Marine Protected Area making any fishing activity illegal. Its a very nice spot to take a 5-10 minute hike and bask in the ambiance of Mother Nature. If you are lucky, you can sometimes find baby black tip reef sharks swimming by the edge of the beach.
Wing Beach, Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands. Attempted to do some night time photography this past weekend due to the full moon. However, the sky was partly cloudy with scattered showers. I managed to take a 5 minute exposure of Wing Beach. At first glance, you could quickly assume that this picture was taken in the day time. However, small details of the picture will tell you otherwise. Since it is a long exposure, anything that is “moving” will show movement in the frame. If you look at the clouds, you can see how they form streaks across the sky (just as stars would in a long exposure).
A view of Banzai Cliff, Saipan. During WWII, Banzai Cliff was one of the last points of retreat for the Japanese. When the Americans took over the island, they started from the South working their way towards the Northern part of Saipan. Instead of choosing to surrender, a large portion of the Japanese military jumped off this specific cliff to meet their end. Fast forward 50 years, you can see where the ancient limestone cliffs meet the fluid ocean. During the Winter time, the ocean can be very treacherous with huge waves that pound against the cliff side. If your by the edge, you can literally feel the power of Mother Nature.
A panoramic shot of Managaha Island. If your ever visiting Saipan, it is a MUST to take a trip to the beautiful island paradise. If you’ve never tried it, go banana boating, parasailing, or snorkeling. Great island attractions!
Managaha Island. One of Saipan’s most visited spots due to it’s emerald green waters, white sand beaches, and isolation in the Saipan Lagoon. The island offers numerous pavilions for residents/tourists to spend the day/overnight enjoying their “beach front” view of mother nature. Managaha is located in a Marine Protected Area where any fishing/harvesting activities violate the rules of the MPA. Managaha is currently experiencing a change in topography due to erosion in the northern parts of the island.
A nice contrast of colors.
Tinian Blow Hole (at night), Tinian. This picture was a long exposure as you can tell by the movement of the clouds and the stars in the horizon. You can see the island of Saipan in the distance, with all the lights and what not taking view. Ancient coral outcrop line the edge of Tinian bordering the dynamic yet majestic ocean to create a contrast of textures.
Suicide Cliff, Tinian. When the Americans were on the verge of winning the Battle of Saipan, or the Battle of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Japanese forces chose to take their lives instead of surrender to the Americans. This specific cliff was where the Japanese would jump into the big blue ocean in the attempt to take their lives. This photo was taken at night, as you can see the stars in the horizon.
Long exposure shots are very interesting to take. It takes a lot of patience to learn how to adjust the settings of the camera to take the shot that you want. Some shots may be overexposed (too bright), and some underexposed(too dark). It definitely requires a lot of practice to truly master the art of long exposure photography. As for me, I am only scratching the surface…
Taga Beach is definitely one of Tinian’s nicest beaches. It is a small beach that cuts into the subtle cliff side of the South Western side of the island of Tinian. A sandy bottom carpets the small portion of the beach where coral reefs surround the small inlet providing a structure to sustain marine life.
A quarry site can be found on top of the cliff side where ancient chamorros carved into the limestone cliffs to create “latte stones”. Latte Stones served as the foundation for an ancient chamorro house. A latte is made up of the column and the cap stone. To this day, it is a mystery to how these giant structures were erected. Latte stones can be found through out the Northern Mariana Island Chain as far south as Guam, all the way up to the island of Pagan.