Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Fish and Fowl


I found this black swan taking a swim in a koi pond at one of the resorts on Maui.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Triple waterfall


This was taken hand held along the road to Hana on Maui. I was trying to get that silky water you get with a slow shutter speed but I couldn't slow it down too much because I didn't have my tripod.

Monday, February 27, 2012

More from the Road to Hana


This is a view from the road looking out towards the ocean. I think we were about half way through the drive at this point. The water ponds you see are for growing taro, a plant the Hawaiians use to make poi. If you've never had it, poi is the ground up taro root made into a yummy paste. OK. it's not so yummy. If you have ever accidentally gotten wallpaper paste in your mouth then you know just about what poi tastes like. I think you need to be REALLY hungry to enjoy poi!


One of the many one lane bridges you have to cross on your way to Hana.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Weird Plants





I don't know what kind of plants these are. We came across these during our drive along the road to Hana and they were so different I took some photos. I do know the bottom photo is something that was growing out of a bamboo shoot. Kind of reminds me of dreadlocks. LOL

There were so many different plants on the windward (wet) side of the island that you would have to be a botanist to know what they all are.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The last lava flow....


... at least for now! This lava flow occurred in 1790 and was the last lava to flow on Maui. Even after more than 200 years not much was growing out of the lava. When we first saw this area it looked like someone had plowed up the dirt for miles and miles and several feet deep. I had to get within a few feet to tell that this was an old lava flow. It was very rough and rugged and not something you would want to walk on, although I was tempted to walk to the collapsed vent just to take a peak in. It's a good thing I had a car load of people and not my hiking boots or I may have just ventured into the lava field.


The lava flow went from the lower side of the moutnain/volcano all the way to the ocean.


So the next time you find yourself on Maui, make sure you enjoy the "Natural Area Reserve". Just don't touch any of the old hand grenades! Only the federal government could blow a place up and then call it a "natural" area.

Friday, February 24, 2012

A visitor from the past



The other day I heard a plane that sounded funny as it flew over the house, quite a number of float planes fly over my house but this one didn't sound normal, it sounded far too quiet.

Out of curiosity I headed down to the local seaplane haul out to have a look. Sure enough this visitor was a Cessna 195. Last of the Cessna radial engine airplanes, these classic birds were only build from 1947 until 1954. What a treat to see one of these airplanes in our humble inlet!


17 miles straight up!


No, not really but for Parkers's sake I'll say it is. It is pretty much straight up though and I'm assuming there is probably a cave somewhere on that mountain. LOL

Grab your back pack Parker and let's go hiking!

This is one of the smaller mountains on Maui. It is located just north of Lahaina. Pretty much just across the road. A few low clouds were rolling in that day. I thought it might rain but it never did.

A three hour tour?


I caught this sail boat coming out of the Lahaina Harbor one afternoon. I think the women were shopping (again) so I was taking a stroll on the beach with my camera to see what I could see.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Twilight In The Post Oaks


BONES of A POST OAK


The photo above shows what's left after a wildfire. Bones and bare ground!
Although shocking and stark to most folks, this is nature's way of  rejuvenating and preserving it's grandeur! In the Spring, new grasses along with wildflowers (some that haven't been seen for years), will begin to surface, feeding on rich nutrients sacrificed by last years growth. Cleansed by fire, only the Native plants will  survive, rid of the pesky new arrivals! Once again, the circle of life begins, without Man's interference! The Twilight years of this Post Oak forest along with the grass plains surrounding it have been staved off once more by the elements!



Arriving back at camp I found that Twilight had indeed found me!



Leon and his Twilight Bungalow

He really wasn't looking for me nor I him, but it was nice to see that he was still kicking! While my friend Ron, along with a couple of friends and I were exploring the freshly burnt area of the Wichita Mtns. Refuge, Leon had slipped in and parked his vintage fifth wheel trailer in the camping site next to mine. The camping sites carved between the Post Oaks in this ancient forest provides a most welcome spot to center out of while hiking and exploring the Wichita Mtns. of Oklahoma.



Long past it's years, the Bungalow is only a Memory!

Always with a styrofoam cup of hot coffee in his hand, and usually a smoke, Leon told me he bought this Baby when it was New!  A conversationalist from the old school, words came easy! He and my Dad shared these Post Oak campgrounds over thirty years ago, and continue to do so, from time to time!

After the watermelons are picked is usually when he shows up. Seems he always has a big melon to give to the many campers at Doris Campground! A gentle man bringing a gift of of the Earth!

I guess the moral of this story is; Live Life! Even in your Twilight years, 'Bring a Sweet Melon to The Party!'.


Maui Whale Watching





This is another series of shots I took of the whales in the ocean off Maui. These were all taken with a Sigma 150-500mm lens at 500mm and these shots are cropped 50%. This whale was way out there and I was shooting from the shore on these.

I shot 12 photos in this series but I am only posting the four because these show the best "action". I thought this whale was going to get completely out of the water but he/she didn't. It was real close but the tail never cleared the surface.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lots and lots of color




Here are some more shots taken on the windward side of Maui during our drive to Hana. We stopped in several places to look at the plant life. The difference between the two sides of the island is amazing with the windward side being lush and green everywhere and the leeward side being dry and more of a tan with some green thrown in every now and then.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Standing tall


This is known as a Rainbow Eucalyptus or "Painted Gum" tree. They are found all over Hawaii and are known by their smooth and colorful bark. These trees intrigued me a lot for some reason. The colored bark really got my attention. I took this top picture with the Sigma 10-20mm lens.


I don't know what kind of tree this one is, I didn't want to make the hike over to get a closer look. I was on vacation after all. I think it is another of the Rainbow Eucalyptus trees.

Both of these photos were taken on our drive to Hana on Maui.

RAW & JPEG

This is a follow up on previous post from Paul.  If you are wondering how the camera processed the JPEG, and RAW file.  I have attached the flow chart above to show you how the file stored in your memory card, and file conversion.  As you can see why the JPEG picture is always looks more detail than the RAW picture, because the data it goes through the Bayer interpolation, is modified by in the camera set parameters such as white balance, saturation, sharpness, contrast ect, is subject to JPEG compression and then stored.

When to shoot RAW, when to shot JPEG? 
The main reason to shoot JPEG is that you get more shots on a memory card and it's faster, both in camera and afterwards.  If you shoot RAW files you have to then convert them to TIFF or JPEG on a PC before you can view or print them.  If you hundreds of images, this can take some time.  If you know you have the correct exposure and white balance as well as the optimum camera set parameters, then a high quality JPEG will give you a print just as good as one from a converted RAW file, so you may as well shoot JPEG.

You shoot RAW when you expect to have to do some post exposure processing.  If you're not sure about the exposure or white balance, or if you want to maintain the maximum possible allowable post exposure processing, then you'll want to shoot RAW files, convert to 16-bit TIFF, do all your processing, then convert to 8-bit files for printing.  You lose nothing by shooting RAW except for time and the number of images you can fit on a memory card.  Also, you can shoot RAW+JPEG, this is the best of both worlds.

Happy shooting everyone!


Monday, February 20, 2012

Levitation?


Maybe not!


I was wanting to take a photo of this waterfall and at the time I didn't see this guy who was in the trees at the top. Once I framed my shot and took the photo I saw him flying through the frame so I just held the shutter release down. You know, just in case he did a belly flop. LOL

Taken on the road to Hana on Maui.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Red Tail Hawks


Actually only one has a red tail. Pretty sure the other one is a juvenile.

Just for the fun of it I have posted the processed in Photoshop RAW image (above) and the as shot JPEG (below). Both pictures are about a 30% crop out of a larger picture.

The path to a Day Dream



These were taken during our drive to Hana. We stopped at a botanical garden along the way and walked the two miles of trails they had looking at different plants, valleys and waterfalls.

Both of these were shot with the Sigma 10-20mm lens.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Boogie Board Fun



I found this guy having a blast on the windward side of the island one day. As I was watching him he was doing 360 degree turns on the boogie board as he was riding the wave.

Flying

Took a picture from about 1/2 mile away with the Sigma 120-400 (handheld) then cropped it to about 1/4 of it's original size to get this picture.
Just for the fun of it I was shooting in RAW and JPEG, this is the RAW version converted to JPEG in Photoshop.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Duke's on Sunday



Duke's Beach House, this is a restaurant chain named after Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku (August 24, 1890 – January 22, 1968) He was a Hawaiian swimmer, actor, lawman, early beach volleyball player and businessman credited with spreading the sport of surfing. He was a five-time Olympic medalist in swimming.

The restaurants have spread out over three differenet islands and there are even two on the mainland. The one on Maui sits in a perfect spot on the beach at the Honua Kai Resort on Ka'anapali Beach.

When we first arrived at the restaurant I thought this was a great spot and it was. The only problem is the food was not great. Don't get me wrong, the food was good, just not great. Not what I expected for the location and the price. They touted a macaroni and cheese dish as being world famous and it may be, but I doubt it's famous for being the best mac and cheese. It was pretty much a bland tasting dish with extremely over cooked noodles. The rest of our food was also just OK. It wasn't bad but it wasn't something you would want to write home about either. I might mention the service was impecabble which helped make up for the food.

If you're looking for a place to sit and have a cocktail around sundown and watch the people and the beach then Duke's on Maui is a great place to be. If you are wanting excellent food I would suggest several other places including Kimo's in Lahaina.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thar she blows!


This was taken as the whale blew air just before it surfaced. We were told they didn't really know why the whales did this but they thought it was a way for them to run off other whales or tell them their company wasn't wanted.



I know Paul will find these boring since he sees whales all the time up his way but I have a few more jumping whale photos for him.

1331 Miles to Santa Monica, Ca.

Rand McNally tells me that is how far from Yukon,Oklahoma to Santa Monica, California that I would have to travel to reach my destination. Been thinking about taking a look at the Pacific Ocean again. Last view was when my brother and I took my Dad there to lay to rest his last living sister ! (Now that is what you might say 'that's a whole other story by itself! She left home in Oklahoma in the 1930's and only surfaced to her nine brothers and sisters, some fifty years plus later!) And what a story her history has! I really don't know how I can get so off base on a post!



Noticed my left front tire was low on air this afternoon? I'm a stickler for keeping tires at their proper pressure! Flipped on the air compressor and shot about twenty pounds of air into the anemic tire.

Hurried up to see my Buddy Chuck to get her fixed before she went flat! One ugly nail, and a No Charge ticket, had me fixed up Untill!!

this is the year that tires on my truck, along with my fifth wheel trailer, needs to be replaced. maybe if i write quietly with no large letters the estimate of replacement will not hurt.

OUCH! and chuck only smiled, as I waved goodbye to new lenses and other toys for this year!



The 'Joads" in Steinbecks "Grapes of Wrath" would be laughing out loud and slapping their knees at my dilemma! The 'Clampets' on their way to Beverly Hills would probably have Jed or Granny standing guard with a shotgun to make sure I didn't get off with their New Spare Tire!

I'm always wondering! I wonder how far it would be if one could travel Route 66 again 'sans' I-40? I've had the good fortune to travel the Mother Road , Rt.66, with my parents to California
 before I-40. And we had not a clue that my aunt lived in Santa Monica! There has been several re-alignments to the old road going west. At one time it even reached to Santa Fe, NM following the setting sun! The eastward journey to Chicago from Yukon, was travelled in my later life, when I used to call the Windy City home for a few months at a time. I-55 was the direct route, with Rt.66 rusting in the shadows. Hope memory serves, but it seems like Lake Shore Drive and  Jackson Blvd. intersecting at Grant Park was the start, or the End, of this road, the other at Santa Monica at the Pacific's shore at the pier.

Born and raised on this old road, wonder if I could just borrow the spare, hang a couple of desert water bags from the front bumper, stay off the fourlane, eat some of those chicken fried steaks that melt in your mouth, and save a couple of grand for new tires? Guess not! Just wish old Chucky Boy with his high priced tires, understood that! Last thing I heard leaving the shop was, 'I gottem in stock'. My last words were ' Think these tires would be good for another 3000miles or so, I've got a new spare? !'






Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentines Day Dinner


I spent part of the afternoon yesterday making sushi for Cheryl for Valentines Day. She loves the stuff. Me, I had a couple of good ole chili dogs! I was going to photograph the whole spread but Cheryl got to it before I got the pictures.

Just in case you are wondering, there are four different rolls here. The first is a smoked salmon, avacado and cucumber roll. The second is a lemon teriyaki smoked salmon and shrimp roll. The third is a lemon pepper garlic asparagus with shrimp and green onion and the fourth roll is a crab (real crab legs I might add), shrimp, avacado, cucumber with saracha sauce. Not necessarily in that order in the photo.

Oh yea, the chili dogs had mustard and onions! LOL

RAW vs. JPEG

About a year ago Q convinced me that I should only be shooting in RAW format. Thank you Q! Since then, that's the only way I shoot and although there is an additional step to do in any post processing I have found that it does give me a few more choices.

Here's the set up; it was night time and dark, my subject(s) were moving (certain parts faster than others), they weren't lit very well, I was about 60 feet from my subject(s), no tripod and an f3.5 to 6.3 lens. The lens was set at 130mm and f6 with a shutter speed of 1/40th of a second. The flash on the D300 was cranked all the way up but it still wasn't enough to make a difference.

This is the original photo as taken, only converted to a JPEG in photoshop.



The second image is after I tweaked it in the RAW converter changing the exposure, brightness, contrast and adding a little fill light, all adjustments in the RAW converter. Shooting in RAW saved an otherwise unuseable photo. I might mention that I tried to adjust the lighting of the first image in photoshop and not the RAW converter but it left a lot of grain in the photo that the adjustments in the RAW converter didn't.

Granted, this could have all been avoided by having something other than the on board flash, a faster lens and being a lot closer but I had to use what I had. Shooting in RAW isn't a bad thing.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Photoshop fun!

I'm not sure but I think this may have been one of Santa's elves on holiday in Waikiki!