Archives for December 2010

Hawaii Blues

Our quick week in Hawaii is over and we are back home in Portland where it is blustery and rainy…as usual. But, I still have my memories and my photos of Hawaii to warm me.
From our snorkel trips…

where we had close encounters with turtles…

To the peaceful moments we spent on Hawaiian beaches simply relaxing…

and the palm trees that I love so much…

I brought my infrared camera along and used it more than any other. It was simply the right thing to do in the situation and conveyed my impressions of Hawaii.

Images created with Nikon D200 (converted to infrared), AF-S 18-200mm VR, Sony Cybershot in underwater housing (rented) on Lexar digital media

Now Available In Kindle Edition!!!

My new book Composition: From Snapshots to Great Shots as just been released in the Kindle edition so now you can keep your hard copy at home and take your Kindle edition in the field with you as a reference manual.

Shameless plug…why not give either the hard copy or the Kindle edition as a gift to all your photo friends. There is still time for Christmas! ๐Ÿ™‚

Haleakala…Sunset To Sunrise

No, the heading is not backwards…the manner in which Frank and I saw Haleakala for the first time is though. We left Kahana yesterday morning and traveled the northern route of Maui on our way to Kula Lodge (our base of operations for the next eighteen hours). We headed right up the canyon, through the clouds and back into clear skies. When we reached the summit we found the sun had already dropped below the horizon leaving the crater bathed in a bluish cast from twilight skies…

As darkness descended upon us we were headed down the 22 miles and seven thousand foot drop (Kula Lodge is at three thousand feet) to our home for the evening…three o’clock comes early. You see, I wanted to photograph start trails and the night sky from the top of Haleakala and the moon did not set until late. When the alarm sounded I actually thought (for a split second) of turning over and going back to sleep. But, when that little voice that reminds me of what I might miss started in I knew we had to head back up the volcano to photograph the night sky. When we arrived at the top there were already about a dozen cars with folks moving around with their headlights or flashlights. No chance of star trails from here. But, I was fascinated with the night sky and decided I would work the Milky Way and the stars so, I set up my camera with the AF-S 24-120mm lens attached and began making photographs of different locations in the sky. I was fortunate in one of my exposures with the Haleakala Observatory in my viewfinder to have a car’s headlights paint the domes nicely as it passed by…

The hours passed and the temps kept creeping lower and lower. Luckily we had brought our wind block fleece jackets (can you believe that) with us to Hawaii! As twilight slowly gave way to dawn, I found myself looking not at the sunrise but at the sky 180 degrees from the sunrise…

There were different colors every direction I turned. So, I kept turning and finding new subjects to photograph…

Just as the sun crested the horizon, I was in place to capture the first rays…

At sunrise the temperatures hovered near the thirties with a slight wind chill but the view warmed my soul and I continued photographing hardly noticing that I had no feeling in my toes (I didn’t bring warm shoes on this adventure). The sun rose above the clouds blanketing the valley, bathing the world in it’s warmth and cameras were heard clicking all around me, my shutter joining in the symphony that was recording the beauty all around us…

Five hours after we had left the lodge we were headed back down the volcano for the last time making a total of 88 miles and fourteen thousand feet of elevation gain and an equal amount of descent. We savored the night sky and subsequent sunrise in our minds as we dropped back to sea level and another world entirely. Am I glad we did it? You bet! Would I do it again? In a second! I’m going to find a good place for star trails next time. Stay tuned.

Images created with Nikon D3S, AF-S 14-24mm, AF-S 24-120mm VR on Lexar digital media

Tech Tuesday…Give The Gift Of Photography This Holiday Season

The holidays are upon us and for many, it is a time of exchanging gifts. With that in mind, I will dedicate the next few Tech Tuesdays to holiday gift ideas for the photographer in your life from little stocking stuffers to that really exotic piece of equipment for the photographer who has everything…

Really Right Stuff BH-55 Ballhead.

Quite simply the number one ballhead on the market! Lightweight, yet stable. Positive locking mechanism with little to no drift and oh, so smooth! For the discerning photographer who settles for nothing less than the best!

Really Right Stuff L-Bracket

It’s a natural to add a Really Right Stuff L-Bracket to the BH-55 package. Each L-Bracket is custom designed and machined to fit most cameras like a glove. An L-Bracket can truly improve image sharpness by keeping the camera over the center of gravity whether in horizontal or vertical orientation.

Hoodman Hood EYE Eyecup

A great stocking stuffer! The HoodEye is a comfortable rubber eyecup that is designed to wrap around your eye blocking all extraneous light or distractions. Five models to fit most Nikon and Canon cameras. Adjustable to work with either right or left eyed shooters.

Fine Art Print from their favorite photographer.

Most photographers sell fine art prints. Who does your favorite photographer admire? How about a signed print for that special gift that can be enjoyed on a daily basis.

1 year membership to NAPP

The best $99.00 you can spend on that special photographer. Give the gift that gives all year long with hundreds of tutorials, discounts and/or free shipping from many vendors, subscription to Photoshop User magazine, HELP desk personnel to answer Photoshop or Lightroom questions, scanner, printer, peripheral advice and yours truly at the Photo Gear desk. All that and $100.00 off your entry to Photoshop World where you recoup your membership fee! Win…win…you make points with such a thoughtful gift and your photographer receives a wonderful gift!

Lexar 32GB 600X Compact Flash Card

Your special photographer will always appreciate extra memory. Sneak a peak at the memory cards their camera uses (SD, Compact Flash, etc) and surprise them with a memory card so they can keep on shooting when the photography gets hot.

Singh Ray Vari-ND

This little guy packs a big punch when it comes to blur motion. The Vari-ND has a 2-8 stop range of neutral density allowing your favorite photographer to capture the cotton candy, blur of moving water or whenever they need a slow shutter speed and there is too much light.

Wacom Intuos IV Tablet

Not only will using a pen tablet save on wear and tear of your wrist, they enable the creative photographer finish their images with speed and ease. I travel with a tablet everywhere I go. And at home I have the Wacom Cintiq for the ultimate in creative control in the process of creating beautiful images.

That’s it for this week but, stay tuned as each Tuesday until Christmas I will post several gift ideas for your favorite photographer from the inexpensive and practical to the pure sublime!