Somewhere over the …

•8 January 2010 • 2 Comments

But instead of Judy Garland, think Iz Kamakawiwo’ole.

This is another shot taken on our last day on Kauai, the last day of 2009.  The day started out sunny and warm: at lunchtime, it was 86 degrees at Hanalei Bay.  (oh, yeah.)  The waves were big (12-18 ft.) and the surfers were out in force.

Two hours later, at Ke’e Beach in Ha’ena, a storm blew in from the west and we were drenched and cold.  (OK, so it was 70 degrees, but there was a serious wind chill…)  Back to Anini Beach in Princeville, where the weather lifted a little bit and we could dry out and warm up.

The surfers were gone so it’s hard to tell the scale of the waves here.  Trust me, they’re still big.

Bye bye, Kauai

•6 January 2010 • Leave a Comment

After spending the last two weeks of 2009 on Kauai, we flew home New Year’s Eve.  As in, wheels up at 11:30pm.  Which left us the whole day to enjoy the island, topped off with a scrumptious dinner at Scotty’s Beachside Grill in Kapa’a.

And beachside it really is: the back wall (all windows) rolls up like a garage door for an unobstructed view of the beach and the water.

And — on this particular once-in-a-blue-moon opportunity — a full moon shining down through the palm trees.

This would have been an easier shot if I’d had a tripod, because this exposure took 2.5 seconds (at ISO 1000).  But I don’t have one, and even if I did it would have been packed away in my luggage by then.  Fortunately there were some large boulders lining a path along the beach that more or less served the purpose — although since the top of the boulder wasn’t level, the pictures I took from there were all cattywampus.  This is when some surgical cropping and straightening really saves the day.

Fiddling while the wind blows

•4 January 2010 • Leave a Comment

From the vast to the tiny…  Yesterday’s photo was a panorama of the Na Pali coast from the top of Waimea Canyon.  Today’s is just a teensy bit of detail from the same spot.

One of the things that always surprises me about Kauai is that it’s not all palm trees, hibiscus, and bougainvillea.  Yes, there are some near the coast, but the plant life is much more varied than I expect on a tropical island.  There are giant fir trees, especially as you go to higher elevations.  And lots of ferns.

There are also those lovely tropical breezes, all day long.  Which makes it challenging to shoot leafy plants and get a clear shot.  (Unless you use a plamp, which seems like cheating to me and probably wouldn’t have worked here anyway.)  Instead, I went for as short an exposure as I could, with a wide-open aperture which gives a nice dreamy shallow depth of field.

Na Pali coast

•3 January 2010 • Leave a Comment

Waimea Canyon, on Kauai, is breathtaking.  From the end of the road, there are immense vistas of the canyon on one side and the Na Pali cliffs on the other.   And at 4,000 feet high, the colors seem brighter than they do at sea level.  Kauai’s famous red dirt glows in the sunlight, and the ocean is a shade somewhere between indigo and lapis lazuli.  It absolutely looks fake, but I promise I did nothing to enhance the color in this shot.  (Click on the thumbnail below to get a larger view.)

Hold it right there…

•25 December 2009 • Leave a Comment

Having lots of light is a luxury, especially this time of year.  With enough light, you don’t have to make trade-offs between shutter speed and depth of field — to put it simply, you can get just about anything in focus, no matter how fast it’s moving or how far away it is.

Consequently you can catch birds in mid-air, stop them cold even when they’re swooping and diving.

Case in point: this white-tailed tropicbird.  This particular specimen was dodging and weaving around the waves and cliffs at Poipu Point on the island of Kauai.  Up one second, down the next, around and through — it could almost have tied that flashy tail in a knot at the rate it was going.

More doors

•20 December 2009 • Leave a Comment

Sometimes it really is just about color.  The juxtaposition of the pink roses and the pink garage doors struck me as whimsical, especially on a foggy grey day.

This photo is a couple of years old, one of the ones I keep coming back to until I can (hopefully) get it right.  I’ve cropped this one a couple different ways now.  Originally I had a smaller part of the image, with very little of the shingles above the door and without the hinges on the right side.  But it always bothered me, and so I finally went back to the original frame and came up with this.

Something New – A Contemporary Art Show!

•16 December 2009 • Leave a Comment

So here’s something new for me: contemporary art.  Most of the photos here are anything but.

And yet — I’ve had two photos selected for a juried show of contemporary art, which will run through the month of January at the Parklane Gallery in Kirkland, WA.

One of the pieces is in the previous post (Corrugations); the other is a full-size version of the header image of this blog (Incoming Tide) — this one is 42″ wide, so the little bitty online image doesn’t really do it justice.

“Something New” – Jan. 5 – 31
Parklane Gallery
130 Park Lane
Kirkland, WA  98033

Artists’ reception on Thursday, January 14
from 6:00pm to 8:00pm.

(Click on thumbnails to see a larger image.)