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.
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.
The textures and shapes of this little stream against moss-covered rocks caught my eye. I blurred the flow of the water to capture the soft feeling of this little stream. Color was not important, in fact, it detracted from the feeling I had. Converting to black and white made the image for me.
I saw some soft flowing grass with different colors and shades. I thought it would make a good abstract. I did a diagonal pan along the shape of the flowing grass. In post processing, I added a little contrast and softened the image.
The textures of the various plants, moss, and rock caught my eye. The hardness of the rock, the softness of the moss, the glossy smoothness of the the blade-type plant coupled with the variegated shades of the three-leafed plant attracted me. I converted to B&W to focus on the various tonalities and textures. Just experimenting …
As the afternoon progressed, dark clouds started to come in. The atmosphere of the day changed from bright wildflowers to stark dead sagebrush. It was a sign to start heading back to the trail head. It was a very special day, a day of seeing, a day of reflecting. I look forward to future visits.
As I look at things, an urge to play sometimes comes over me. I couldn’t resist, the devil made me do it. I simply did a slow shutter speed circular swirl to capture this interesting abstract. I tend to see these abstracts when I notice an object with at clear center point and things radiation out from the center. This sagebrush provided an interesting opportunity. The following is the sagebrush from a normal perspective.
As I walked along the trail at Snow Mountain Ranch, I stopped frequently and just looked around enjoying the countryside. Almost every time, something caught my eye. This simple image of rocks and flowers was one of those moments.
Photography has taught me to see the beauty and interesting things around me. Today, everywhere I look, I see something interesting that makes me step back and enjoy the moment. When I become engrossed on a photographic subject, I feel like I become part of it. I am no longer just an observer.
Back to Snow Mountain Ranch. Before it was a conservancy preserve, this beautiful countryside was a working ranch. Throughout the preserve, remnants of the past history are scattered about: watering tubs, barbed wire fences, barbed wire rolls, sheds, small corrals. These remnants of the past add interest to the preserve as well as provide photo opportunities.
Stairs to a Hidden Garden – Golden Gardens, Seattle
My friend and I went out for a little photoshoot on a bright Spring day. This was the first thing I saw. The stairs, surrounding rocks, and the plants were all different shades of brilliant green. I thought the different tonalities would make a good black and white image.