Tag Archives: Hawaii

Sometimes Simpler is Better

Philodendron Leaf, Hawaiian Botanical Gardens

I enjoy photographing botanical subjects.  When reviewing my work, many times I quickly pass over an image that at first does not catch my eye as a “select”. I was going through some images that I photographed a year ago in Hawaii.  This image just grabbed me.  Instead of a leaf, I saw bright lines radiating out, I saw shadows and voids.  I saw a triangular shape inserting itself into a void.  The green color did not add anything to the image, I thought black and white.  The image emerged.

Beauty of Moloka’i 8

Moloka’i High Cliffs from Mo’omomi

Waves peacefully swirl
Against protruding cliffs,
Inspire wonder inside me.

This is a long exposure perspective of Molokai’s high cliffs shown in my previous post.  My workshop associates were all around me.  I was totally engulfed in the moment and scene in front of me.  I felt completely alone with Mother Molokai’s  wonderful gift.  I long to go back.

Beauty of Moloka’i 7

Moloka’i North Side Cliffs from Mo’omomi

Guardians strongly protrude above
Thundering waves crash below
The spirit of Mother Moloka’i conducts the score

These cliffs protruding from the north shore of Moloka’i are the tallest in the Pacific.  I spent several minutes just gazing in amazement at this magnificent gift of nature before I first pushed down the shutter. 

Beauty of Moloka’i 6

Palm Grove – Moloka’i

Warm, calm, relaxed
Eyes first close, then slowly open
A new perspective appears 

I set up to photograph the sun setting over the horizon.  I anxiously waited as the sun descended slowly.  Every so often I would shoot a set of exposures for a HDR combination later.  I started to relax and just enjoy the scene.  Then the idea came to take a long exposure.  This resultant image best depicts the peaceful feeling I had watching the sunset.

Beauty of Moloka’i 5

Color of Life

“The color of life —
Older under emerging,
as laughing lines play.”

One of the most insightful lessons I experienced during my retreat at Hui Ho’olani was an exercise of creativity.  Groups of three were formed.  We were told to create a “haiku-type” poem of what we were experiencing at the moment.  A little twist was injected; member #1 would write down the first line, #2 would write down the second line, then #3 would finish with the third line.  Each member would build on the other.  It totally amazed me what beautiful and creative poems were composed in a short time of less than 15 minutes.  It all goes to show that there is creative talent in each of us if we just let it flow freely out!

I tried a derivative of this process with a dear friend.  I sent her the above photograph.  She jotted down several short poems expressing her feelings.  The above 3 lines are hers.

Thank you, my dear friend!

Post Processing Experiment

Polihale State Park – Kaua’i, Hawai’i

It was a beautiful day!  The paved road ended.  We saw a rough dirt road, drove a slow 5 miles and had this beach pretty much to ourselves.  It was so very peaceful and relaxing.  I felt enlightened just to stand, see, and hear the waves crashing on the beach.

I took this image with black and white post processing in mind.  I liked the blue sky and the tan beach sand.  I liked the increased tonalities and mood that B&W gave me.  Time to experiment …. I added split toning into the B&W image, then blended it back into the original photo.  I like the result.

Looking Back at Me

Salt Collecting Rocks at Lapakahi Historical Park

I was walking along a path in a historic Hawaiian Village when I saw this face looking back up at me.  I couldn’t resist stopping and capturing an image.  See the eyes, nose and mouth.

These small hollowed-out stones were used by the Hawaiians to collect salt. Sea water was poured into hollowed-out stones like these.  Sun evaporated the water leaving pa’akai (salt crystals.  Salt was used to preserve fish and season food.

Think Creative

Onomea Falls Water Color

I recently visited the Hawaiian Botanical Gardens, near Hilo, Hawaii.  My mission was to photograph creatively.  I did not focus on the overall beauty of the environment around me.  My focus was on separate scenes, small vignettes, and macro detail while using creative photographic techniques.

For this image, I took multiple exposures covering the range from the bright water and sky to the dark shadows.  When I brought them together into an HDR, all the tonalities were captured. However, I lost the feeling of the dense tropical rainforest setting.  So I decided to play a little with Topaz’s new ‘Studio” software.  I used the watercolor effect to create this image.

I haven’t given up on the natural presentation of this image yet.  It will require a lot of luminance masking with layers to get the natural image that I saw in my mind.  I will do this at a future time when I am in a very patient mood.