Friday, April 29, 2011

Winding Down.....

Well our time on Kauai is coming to a close, my family leaves tomorrow and Jen and i leave monday. Jen flies back home to california while i fly to the Big Island for another week. Its always hard when your time here is coming to an end and it hits you that you have to leave this little speck of heaven out in the middle of the pacific and return to the stresses that make you go on vacation in the 1st place. Still we are grateful to have had this time here, to visit with friends and most importantly to be able to share it with family. I think that their experiences here will be long remembered, from remembering just how much sweeter fruit tastes here, to the magic of a sunset in Hanalei, or the beauty of a sunrise at tunnels and seeing the sun drape its golden light upon the green cliffs of the north shore. So many things that we love about our second little home here are now etched in the memories of my family forever. We have had a great time, lots of great memories have been made. Aloha for now :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

New Experiences......

Yes we are alive, i thought that we didnt have internet access here but just discovered that we do! So i thought i would give you all a quick update. My family (mom, sister, brother inlaw and nephew) flew in on Saturday and we have been enjoying exploring the island ever since. We had the amazing priveledge and blessing to be able to fly my mom and sister (both who have never taken a vacation) in to experience one our favorite places on the planet. it has been a week of new experiences all around, seeing my nephew get so excited when he saw a turtle for the 1st time was something that i wont soon forget, the whole family is enchanted with the "magic" of this place to say the least. For me the biggest thing that is new is shifting my focus from being a photographer to being with my family and being a host, this has always been difficult for me but i am slowly learning. While i have not been shooting as much as in previous years i am afforded some opportunities here and there, Jen keeps me in line when i start to wander of the path. After this i still have a week on the big island that will be nothing but shooting photos 24/7 which i am very grateful for. Overall this has been one of the most rewarding trips so far, its amazing sharing your love for a place with others and seeing their enjoyment of it as well. Here is a collection of various photos taken over the last several day (except for the turtle which is the one i saw at tunnels a few days ago) Enjoy and Aloha!

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Well sort of.........for years ive had this shot that ive wanted to do. Recipe for success? Take a snorkeling session at tunnels, add one turtle underwater and finish it off with the beautiful cliffs o the north shore in the background. Seems easy enough right? Did i mention that i have been trying to do this for years now? 1st i needed to get an underwater housing, did that and got it with a port for my most used lens. Problem number 1, image needs to be half in half out of the water to get what i want.....must have large dome to displace water. Buy large dome, check. Problem solved. Try again..........problem number 2. Contrast difference between underwater exposure too great, cant record detail above water and under at the same time. Need flash underwater to bridge that gap. Borrow flash housing from friend, check. Problem solved. Problem number 3........need turtle in shot, they come out when they darn well please. 3 days ive been out searching and waiting for these creatures and getting scratched up by random spiny things, and beat up by ridiculous currents and still nothing. Ive been shooting fish and other random things while i wait which has been good because i have used the time to get more comfortable with shooting flash under water. Yesterday i decided to go out on a whim and am so thankful that Jen let me go while she stayed at the vacation rental place and FiNALLY after 3 days of swimming out there for over an hour and a half i got a turtle. I was so excited! Problem number 4.........sun needs to be in the right place. Uggggg! if its not one thing its another, for it to work i need to shoot in the morning which i have been doing but turtles dont like to co-operate. So i will take whatever i can, in the end i did and didnt get the shot that i wanted. The concept is there and im a lot more comfortable using the flash now, but the time of day is wrong. The cliffs need to be front lit which only happens in the morning, so it really just comes down to keeping at it and hoping luck is on my side. I may not get it this year but i will keep trying until i get what i want.........i dont give up easily. Still, i had a great time out there and i didnt walk away empty handed, i managed to get some shots i was happy with. So with that i leave you with the concept shot that i got and some more photos for you to take in. Aloha and enjoy!! :)

spotted moray eel, totally wrong lens to shoot him with but he was to cool to pass up

he looks small, but at night him and his friends make a lot of noise!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sunrise at Tunnels....

Enjoyed a beautiful sunrise at tunnels beach this morning, no clouds anywhere which was kind of a bummer so in that sense it wasnt all that spectacular............but really is there anything here that doesnt stop you dead in your tracks and make you feel small? I am not a morning person at all but will say that there is a sort of ceremonial grandeur to sunrise, the transformation from the cool light of the moon to the warm tones as the suns rays begin to bathe everything in light is really quite magical. Just a few quick ones from this morning. Enjoy and Aloha!

Lessons in frustration and patience

Sometimes in order to move forward you have to take a step back. This year i have added/borrowed a new variable to the underwater formula.......a flash. While photographers have been shooting flash underwater for ages many of those are scuba divers. Shooting in the depths brings its own challenges, shooting close to the surface can be a total nightmare at times. While i love to experiment in order to grow this one addition has really brought me out of my element and to be honest makes me a little uncomfortable. Shooting ambient light underwater is challenging enough, there's weird shadows you cant control, currents that toss you all over the place, wildlife that doesnt co-operate, holding your breath, diving down deep.......and the list goes on, its exhausting. Now add a flash and realize that on top of physical exhaustion youre now adding a lot more mental fatigue as well, a flash underwater brings a lot of challenges with it, water SUCKS up light, theres sand and tons of other particles in water that are not present in the air and shooting a strobe lights everything up like a christmas tree making crappy images, the rig is bulky, the flash sits on top of the camera with no way to move it making light look flat. So right now after a full day of shooting underwater i am a little discouraged, my images are nowhere near the quality that i am used to. So its a little frightening to feel like i might not get anything useful, but like i said sometimes you have to take a step backwards in order to move forwards and learn new things. So i am back to square one ad feeling like that 1st year that i started shooting underwater, but in time i learned and it got easier and the images got better. I am hoping that i am a quiker learner these days and can turn this all around before heading home. Today despite its frustrations was a blast, being around my wife makes things easier and more enjoyable. With that said, i didnt walk away completely empty handed today.............and theres always tomorrow. Enjoy and Aloha!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Adventures in Paradise

ALOHA TO ALL FROM THE BEAUTIFUL ISLAND OF KAUAI!!! Well its finally here, our what seems to be annual trip to Hawaii, we are having a blast and are thoroughly enjoying our time here. Had a beautiful sunset today, and the waterfalls are running like crazy, we are staying on the north shore for our 1st week and just absolutely love it up here.Ill be shooting as much as i can but wont be blogging much, want to spend as much time with my lovely wife and my family when they arrive. With that said heres a few from today, dont get to used to these as i will be re-editing them them once i get back home and into my calibrated and color controlled environment. My apologies if they look like crap on your screen, but if at all possible try to enjoy them. Aloha!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Times goes by so slooooooow...

When youre looking forward to something great, on monday we leave for Hawaii for 3 weeks. After months and months of waiting and planning and getting things lined up for people to watch the house and the dogs and endless other things that we have to take care its hard to believe that its finally here.I am BEYOND excited!! Most of the gear is packed and ready to go, hard drives are cleared a long with tons of memory cards. My heart just races thinking about it! We have been blessed to be able to go to hawaii almost every year, some people say that we are Hawaii crazy and to some extent that might be true. My reason for continually going back runs much deeper than that, over the years i have developed a great connection to hawaii. It is a special place to me, i can go there and as soon as i step off that plane it all melts away and i feel like i am truly home. We have been blessed to have developed some great friendships there with incredible people that i keep in touch with. All of them have accepted us with open arms and have made us feel like family..........i always look forward to going back. On top of that Hawaii's beautiful landscapes have been the subject of many of my photographs. Afer many years of traveling there i have developed quite a collection, for those of you who are interested or care here are some of my favorites. Enjoy!