Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Best Free thing to do in Waikiki while cooling off out of the sun

If you ever visit Waikiki and want to do something free, try out the Army Museum. Not only is it out of the sun and air conditioned, it is a fantastic opportunity to learn about the history of Waikiki. The museum building is a super strong structure that used to have huge guns pointing out over the Pacific in order to protect the area. The building was going to be torn down at one point, but after a few strikes of a huge wrecking ball, they determined that nothing could destroy the building very easily. Seriously, there are no crowds since most people assume they know what is inside. Wrong. I dragged my wife in there one day, only to drag her back out due to the great amount of information and exhibits inside. I wish I could drag all the visitors in there because most are missing a tremendous asset that is overlooked by most.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Surfer Statue at Kapiolani Park next to Waikiki

Here is an image of the surfer statue at Kapiolani Park located next to Waikiki. There used to be water shooting up that hit the bottom of the board to make it appear to be a wave, but it has not been in operation for the last few years or so. Some of the other water features along Waikiki Beach have been shut off as well. I noticed one fall was working today that has been turned of for a couple of weeks. It sure was nice to see the waterfall working again.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The second image is of the Apple store and the third is of the Cheesecake Factory in Waikiki. They are located in the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center. I love the contemporary look of the apple store and the Gothic look of the Cheesecake Factory.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Surfing Surveys

The sun is up and the surf is calling. You grab your board and head out to your favorite surfing spot. You walk a ways out into the ocean, or stand close to the water with a surfboard under your arm. You stand there and watch the other surfers. You take note of the height and direction of the swells. Maybe the tide is lower than normal and you note the areas where sharp rocks are close to the surface. All this needs to be taken in before jumping on the board and heading out to catch some waves.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Water and Rocks

These images need to be viewed in the larger version, and you can do so by clicking on the image. The top of the water and the fish below give a great abstract view of nature. In the next image, the wave hitting the rocks along the shoreline create an image that is interesting. The waves show action, and the rocks show an unwavering stance.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Honolulu Zoo

The Honolulu Zoo is located at Kapiolani Park in the Waikiki area in Hawai'i. Although the zoo looks small from the outside, once inside, the zoo has a very large feel to it. You will need to use the map to see everything since I have spoken to some people that missed a lot of displays because they are kind of hidden down paths that look like they lead to nowhere. Here are a couple of images from this zoo.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

San Antonio, Texas River Walk

San Antonio, Texas is probably best known for the Alamo, but the River Walk is a close second. This area is hard to describe, so the pictures will have to make up for a lack of words. I entered the River Walk after finding a parking place and visiting the Alamo. There was no river in site, but a sign near the Alamo pointed the way. I wend down some steps that reminded me of entering a subway tunnel. The view as we descended got better and better. Water features were abundant and at the bottom of the stairs was a path that went along a river. Boats were taking people up and down the restaurant lined river. It is something you have to experience if you ever go to that part of Texas.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Water Fountain and Diamondhead Crater

This volcanic crater called Diamondhead, is the most photographed landmark on the planet. I don't mean to bore anyone with such an over exposed subject, but it is rare to find an image from this view.

Family Festival at Magic Island

The Family Festival starts tomorrow at Magic Island in Honolulu. I have gone every year for the last few years. The images are from last year's festival.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Foliage that adds pazazz to any room

Here are a couple of photographs of plants that have a dramatic look when printed and framed on the wall. The bright yellows and green add a cheerful feel to the room. No matter how the weather is outside, these prints are sure to give you a smile.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Beach Walk Waikiki

This is a late evening photograph of the newly restructured Beach Walk in Waikiki. This area has a life of its own, with shops and frequent shows to keep you entertained.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

This is a photograph of a monkey pod tree. While on the Big Island of Hawai'i, there is a monkey pod that is said to have been planted by the famous author Mark Twain. The flower on the monkey pods are a brilliant reddish orange.

Please remember that all photographs on the blog are only 72 dpi and the originals that you purchase prints with are at the original 300 dpi.

Prints can be purchased at

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Rainy Day Smile

Someone commented on my photographs and wondered what my bad weather images would look like. Well, bad weather has never stopped me. Here is a rainy day smile for you!

This is a fountain located in the San Antonio's River Walk. This is a real cool place to visit. The river walk is like an underground river that boats go up and down. The river is lined with eating and entertainment establishments. There must be something in the atmosphere there since it is said that a lot of marriage proposals take place there.

Beach Jetty

Here is a photograph taken a couple of days ago. The waves were up on the last Friday of Spring Break, so the beaches were full. The higher than usual surf provided an extra value for the body boarders seen near the jetty.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Port Hilton

This is the dock where you can catch the boat that takes you to Atlantis Submarine's underwater sub adventure. This dock is located at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. The sun and clouds set the picture off really well.

Aston Waikiki Joy Hotel

While getting my daily walk in, I stopped by the Aston Waikiki Joy Hotel in Waikiki. The behind the counter and I started talking and one thing led to another. The summoned the Twitter guy who just happened to the general manger, Earl Nakachi. We had a great time discussing his hotel and the whole social media thing. He is much more advanced than I am. At one point he reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone and looked me up. That was the first time to see my ugly mug on a cell phone showing my twitter profile. If you ever need a place to stay while in Waikiki, I would recommend this hotel.

Bud Light, UFC entry in the St. Patrick's Day Parade - Waikiki

The St. Patrick's Day Parade in Waikiki was small, but a lot of fun for the onlookers as well as the participants. This is the entry that seems to be sponsored by UFC, Bud Light, and Island Style.

Beautiful Lady in bikini posing in front of the Duke statue

Being a tourist of life, I was in Waikiki with my Nikon camera in hand watching the St. Patrick's Day Parade go down Kalakaua Ave. During a lull between parade entries, I turned around and caught this animated pose. Sometimes watching the people around the parade route is better than the parade.

Jetty at Waikiki

The jetty at Waikiki was fairly crowded. A lot of onlookers have their attention set on the little boy. The parents and family members of the boy have been trying to get him to jump off into the water. He jumped once, but he did not appear to want to jump again.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Red Hibiscus

This little flower was an unusual species of hibiscus. The petals are not as fancy as most of the others. The dynamic range was tweaked to give it a real interesting look.

View of Honolulu on September 19, 2010

Today was cool and wet in the morning, but the afternoon became partly cloudy and dry. The clouds made a great day for photogaphy. This view centers on Tantalus. The mountain can be driven up via Round Top Road. A lookout up there provides a panaromic view that goes from Diamond Head to the Airport. It is nice and cool up on the mountain, even in the summer. The automobile makes great passage with all of the cutbacks, but a motorcycle makes it a lot more fun.

The garden in the foreground is roughly at the eight story height on part of the roof of the Hawai'i Convention Center. This is a beautiful building. It is amazing what can be built with other people's money and hard work. I finally got to move around freely in the center last weekend. The previous times, I was asked to leave since I only pay for part of it as a tax payer, but did not have a badge. ;-) 

View of Honolulu from Tantalus

This is the view from Round Top Road in Tantalus. This vantage point allows you to see a lot many things such as: 
  • Diamond Head
  • Manoa Valley
  • University of Hawai'i at Manoa
  • Downtown Honolulu
  • Waikiki
  • Honolulu Airport
  • Punchbowl
  • China Town

This mountain side stop is a panoramic photographer's dream stop.

Clicking on the image will reveal a 72 dpi image. The larger prints for sale are 7916 x 2765 at 300 dpi.
You may wish to speak with me before ordering online since you will want a custom size rather than have this image cropped or showing like a thin image on a large canvas.

East Coast Oahu

My wife and I took a drive along the coast of Oahu last Sunday. It was  a beautiful Valentine's Day. As with most days, the places to stop along the coast were crowded with other people gawking at the beauty the island provides. This photograph is the result of five different exposures compiled together to bring you the details usually hidden in under and over exposed areas.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

HDR Photography Introduction

 Not too long ago, photographers shooting people in front of a sunset had to decide what they wanted properly exposed. They could either have a great sunset with black silhouettes of the people, or they could have great smiles and a washed out sunset. A step up from that is the use of a flash unit to light up the people so that the sunset and the people both had pleasing features. Most would think that is the best there is, but wait, that's not all, you can also get HDR. High dynamic range, HDR, photography allows the viewer to see all parts of the image by creating an image where nothing is over or under exposed so much that it lacks detail. The result is unimagined before in photography. Notice in the image of the fire boat that the clouds have the same detail as if you were standing there looking at them. Notice the stern of the boat where it would normally be underexposed resulting in a very dark or black area. This particular image was a compilation of five exposures. One exposure was at the regular exposure while the others deviated from over to under exposed. All of the over or under exposed areas were thrown out of the equation and the result is a very detailed image that almost looks like a painting rather than an image captured by a camera.
This photograph of a Honolulu Fire Boat is one of my favorite. Like with a lot of my favorites, it was stumbled upon by accident. This serendipitous shot was taken after taking a long walk through downtown Honolulu and China Town. The harbor across the street from China Town is a little hard to get to since walking is the only way unless you have special parking privileges at the harbor. The sky was perfect, the water calm, and the lighting just right. I held the Nikon camera as steady as I could and shot five bracketed shots. Each shot was of a different exposure. I know the result appears to be a painting, but let me explain what you are seeing that makes it look that way. The five exposures are compiled and the parts that are over and under exposed are thrown out. The result is that all parts of the image have great exposure and the detail that would normally be washed out by light or blackened by the lack of light is not there. Painters sometimes do this as well, especially if they are there with the subject before them. They can see all of this detail, so why leave it out? As a photographer, I can see all of the detail, so why not include it in the final image?
     Notice the difference between the two images? The second image is one of the five images used and is the correct exposure. Because of the sun providing the lighting from above and slightly behind the boat, the stern is underexposed and the clouds are over exposed.