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Iriomote Long Exposure Workshop

Iriomote Long Exposure Photography Workshop

Master the Art of Flowing Rivers and Majestic Night Skies

What Gear Do You Need To Bring?

The Minimum Equipment Needed

DSLR Style Camera

To get the most from this course you need to have a camera that will allow manual manipulation of the ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture

ND & PL Filters

Neutral Density and Polarising filters are your best friend for this photographic process. A minimum of ND64 is suggested for best results.

Tripod & Cable Release

Slow Shutter Photography relies on stability first and foremost. You will need to have a tripod and electronic shutter release for best results.

Long Exposure Photography
Have you ever stared at imagery of the night skies wondering how the photographer shot the image? The incredible presence of the Milky Way in a night sky is a shot that pleases every time. Beyond that the technique of long shutter photography is one that allows the photographer to create magical imagery of river streams and any flowing liquid feature. Waterfalls become sublime images with cascading lines of liquid silk. The course of a rivers meanderings over rocks and through rapids soften to evoke an almost dreamlike feel. This workshop aims to give you the necessary skills to create stunning long exposure imagery.

The Location
There will be little to no Classroom theory with this workshop. This is down to the fact that this workshop is not being held on the main island of Okinawa, but on the island of Iriomote in the far flung Western extremities of the Ryukyu Islands archipelago. All of the imagery you see in the slideshow above was taken over a two day period on a recent fact finding trip to the island. Iriomote itself is a lush and green island, some 240 odd square miles of tropical jungle, most of it unchartered due to the punishing topography. With no airport there is little commercial viability on the island with the main undertaking being as guides to the few tourists that visit the island through the year. A local population of just 2,500 or so people live permanently on the island which is home to a network of incredibly picturesque waterfalls and river systems, perfect for this workshop.

What will be taught?
This is actually a very simple technique to master. Saying that though there are some considerations for the teaching aspects of the workshop, some of these are as follows:

  • Calculating long exposure shutter speeds
  • Employing the use of Neutral Density filters
  • Use of Polariser filters in a jungle
  • Astrophotography focusing techniques
  • ISO issues for shooting the night skies
  • Planning for the Milky Way

Don't be put off by the subject matter. As mentioned these are simply the guideline points of discussion that will go to explain just what make this genre of imaging more challenging than most people give it credit for. If you have had experience with long exposure photography and are looking to add that special imagery of the Milky Way then this is the workshop for you.

There will be additional Milky Way photography nights being held on the main island of Okinawa, monthly if the weather allows, through until November. For the months of May and June however, due to the position of the Milky Way in the night skies, they are deemed the best months of the year and thus we are looking to create a location and imaging option to reflect that. With the dates for the May trip posted (dates for June coming soon) you will see that we are taking off early on a Friday Morning and returning on the Sunday late evening. A long weekend or a need for one day of leave for any of the Military associated photographers who may be interested in the trip.

What You Will Need to Bring

  • DSLR Style Camera with access to shutter, aperture and ISO
  • Electronic Shutter Release, or you can also use the two second delay timer feature
  • Sturdy Tripod
  • Wide Angle lens
  • Circular Polarising filter
  • Neutral Density filters, ND64 would be ideal.
  • Felt bottom water boots
  • Insect repellant
  • Rough clothes for river / jungle walks

Mark Thorpe is a 25yr+ veteran mixed media professional. He has worked extensively as an underwater cameraman and has won international awards and placements from film festivals for his self produced short films. He has also become a trusted and recognised provider of content for both production and broadcast concerns on a global scale. Mark is also a recipient of an Emmy Award for excellence in the art of cinematography for work contributions made to National Geographic Television and Film in their production of their 'Great Migrations' mega-series. Mark is currently based in Okinawa and is sponsored as a stills photographer by a number of leading photographic accessory manufacturers.

Attendee Capacity
This workshop will go ahead with a minimum of three attendees. In order for it not to become too congested we are placing a maximum number of eight photographers. Attendance is reserved on a first come first served basis. In order to retain your spot on the trip we will be requiring a non refundable retainer which reflects 50% of the workshop fee. All balances are due to be settled at least three days prior to departure either in cash in person or via PayPal as per the retainer payment process.

Inclement Weather
Okinawa is a wet archipelago, it is what keeps the place green. We can control where and how you get to a location, we can plan to have you sitting in the right place at the right time if the weather plays along on order for you to accomplish incredible imagery. We will then give you the training and develop your imaging skills so that you are armed with the ability to nail those shots. All of that we can control. However, the one aspect that is totally out of our control is the weather. If clouds roll in one hour before the shoot is about to start, or worse, torrential rain, then we cannot control that. It's a bummer for sure but it is also part and parcel of the landscape photographers obstacles. For the river imaging sessions we will be taking large tarps for cover if the need arrises.

Simply reach out and contact us using the available form on our contact page. We will then enter into email discussion with you to answer any additional questions you may have relating to the requirements and intentions of this workshop.

Please Note:
1 - Workshop fee does not include flights, meals or alcoholic beverage consumption.
2 - Next Workshop Dates are in late May 2018.

Event Details

  • From: 04/14/2018
  • To: 04/18/2018
  • Starting at: 06:00
  • Finishing at: 18:00

Event Price

  • ¥ 67,500.00


  • Iriomote Island
  • Uehara Town
  • Okinawa
  • 907-1542
  • Japan
  • 08088168997
  • http://www.okitog.com