Sunday, February 27, 2011

Every Friday Night

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before that every Friday night, the Hawaiian Hilton in Honlulu sets off a fireworks display.  It lasts about 10 minutes, but it's pretty nice and not a bad way to spend the early part of the evening.  Last night, Leah, Caleb and I headed to town to see the display.  First we stopped at a street carnival so they could get something to eat (which was very good, by the way) and then we drove to Magic Island. 

We arrived after dark, so I didn't have the chance to take photos of the returning sailboats and the hotel lights glowing in the dusk night air, but it was still beautiful.

I'm still not ecstatic with the photos I got, but there are a few more Friday nights left before I leave, so I'll try again.

Today (Saturday), the kids were going to spend the day together, so I had all day to do what I wanted.  It was a beautiful day--the kind you imagine when you think of Hawaii, so after running some long-overdue errands, I headed to the North Shore.  After a detour to Haleiwa for a Shave Ice, I finally stopped at Sunset beach, grabbed my camera, my beach bag and chair and settled myself on the beach.  Not much wave action and very few surfers because of that, but this next image probably gives you an idea of what a glorious day it was.  I hunkered down in the shade of a tree, spread out my towel, made a pillow out of my beach bag and took a little nap.  Sigh...  By the time I finally decided to sit up, the shade had shifted and I had done a little sunbathing as well, which was awesome.

On my way home I decided to stop at Laniakea Beach where I used to work as a turtle (honu) guardian. There was one turtle basking, and it was at just the right angle for a change, so I lay down in the sand and shot away. 

All in all, a very satisfactory and productive day. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

The USS Missouri

Yesterday Caleb and I went to Pearl Harbor to visit the USS Missouri.  For those who might not know, it's the ship on which the peace treaty was signed that ended World War II when Japan surrendered.  The ship was still being built when the war began, but it was the star attraction at the end of the war.  The treaty was signed in Tokyo Bay.

I've been there several times, and it takes my breath away each time I visit. 

This first photo is of the memorial list of the men who perished on the USS Arizona.

This is one of the anchors that was recovered from the Arizona.

This is the Missouri.

Caleb is kneeling at the exact spot where the treaty was signed. 

The next two images are just random scenes from below decks on the Missouri.

You can see the bow of the Missouri, and the white structure in the water to the left of it is the Arizona memorial, with the Ford Island Bridge behind it.

As our tour guide was finishing with his talk, I noticed off to the rear of us that there was a retirement ceremony going on.  Naturally, I left the tour and went over to where I could take photos of the ceremony.  It was very awesome, and even though I have no idea who that person was, yup, you guessed it, I had tears in my eyes.  It was totally beautiful.  The man standing with his back to the camera was the retiree, being presented with the flag.

After receiving the flag, which by the way, was flown for one day at each of the duty stations of the retiree's career specifically for this ceremony, he handed it off to another sailor.

As he turned back to the crowd, the emcee announced, "ladies & gentlemen, I present to you, retiree so & so."  As you can see, he gave a little victory cheer.  23 years of honorable Naval service.  Good for him!

On March 26 I will have the huge honor of being the photographer for a retiring Marine who served for over 30 years. I can hardly believe that he's entrusting me with this privilege.  I pray I do it justice. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Finally, a sunny day--at least this morning and early afternoon.  Then the clouds and vog began rolling in again.  But sunny long enough to make a trip to Waikiki and lay in the sun for a little while.  And take some photos with blue sky.

I felt like a kid in a candy shop.  Blue sky, white clouds, photo ops abounding.  Wow!

So these are just a sampling of the few photos I took--some of them standing in the waist-deep, calm, cool water...

Cloudy Again

As I've mentioned, it's been cloudy and voggy here a lot lately.  Very discouraging, but as long as it's not acutally raining, it's worth getting out and doing things.  So yesterday, Britt, Betty, Caleb and I decided to tackle Makapuu Lighthouse.  It's about an hour's drive and a steep uphill 1-mile walk to the point where you can see the lighthouse down over the side of the hill.  If you're there on a good day, you can see whales breeching off in the distance, beautiful aqua colors in the water and islands off in the distance. wasn't a good day. It was cloudy again.  Betty brought along her binoculars and didn't see a thing.  It was so hazy we could hardly see the horizon, let alone another island and the water certainly wasn't aqua.  But it was still a wonderful day (any day without snow is a good day in my book) and we had a great time.

Now, this lighthouse is on the windward (aka-rainy) side of the island, so it always confounds me that there are so many cactus plants along the path.  But there they are, in all their glory.  This is the first time I've ever seen these "flowers", which were really beautiful, in their own sort of way.

This is looking back down the path and at the top of the point is a pill-box used durning the war. 

And, the star attraction, the lighthouse. 

Maybe I mis-spoke before.  This is the star attraction, at least for me--Caleb.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Some More Sunsets

Last night I attended a sunset-shoot meetup.  That's pretty much a misnomer, since there really wasn't a sunset, to speak of.  But I still took many photos. 

I've been playing around with hdr lately, so I took this particular image with the intention of practicing with the hdr program.  I'm house-sitting again, for just 10 days.  Because of that short duration
I didn't bring my hdr instruction manual with me.  Figures I'd want it...

Anyway, this is the original image--this is the exposure the camera told me to take.  Now, I know I could have adjusted my settings, but I deliberately did what the camera said so I could plug it into the hdr program and see what would happen.

This next image is the result of the hdr magic--although it's still pretty wimpy because I didn't really know what I was doing.  I like it anyway.  Guess I should go get my manual and practice the right way on the other image I took for hdr.

About a Million Years Ago

The photo meetup I  belong to here organized a sunset shoot on the western side of the island.  I haven't been doing much shooting lately, so I was determined to participate.  The island was completely socked in today with clouds and vog, and I had a vague feeling that the sunset wouldn't be much to brag about, (and I was right) but I went anyway.

As I've said several times before, standing on a beach, with the breezes blowing, and the sound of the waves lapping the shore isn't a bad way to spend the early evening, even if the sunset is boring.

The directions were:  go west on ___road and when you see the power plant on the right, the beach is right across the street.  Very easy and for once I didn't get lost.

It was still pretty light when I arrived, so I looked around for something to photograph.  I thought this bench, overlooking the ocean was interesting, so I began taking varying shots of it.

Some people, however, just don't get the concept that when you see someone pointing a camera in a certain direction (and on a tripod no less, which usually means that they're serious about what they're trying to photograph), that you don't just go plop yourself down in the middle of their scene.  Oh well, on to other scenes.

About a million years ago (ok, that's an exaggeration), in another lifetime (that's not an exaggeration) I spent several months on Molokai.  During those several months I must have seen about 5 fanatastic sunsets per week, no kidding.  In the past 4 years of spending 3 months per year in Hawaii, I've probably seen only 5 fantastic sunsets.   Tonight's sunset didn't break the streak. What's up with that?

I loved this tree.  It was the only one in that area that was right near the water.  I didn't see any of the other photographers trying to get the tree in their scenes--they were all right up to the edge of the cliff (I use that word lightly, it wasn't really a cliff, just a drop-off to the water).  I wonder what kind of images they got????  I also wonder why none of them wanted the tree in their scene???

I'm glad I went.  It was a beautiful evening, and if I hadn't gone, I would have just spent the time in the house being bored.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Yesterday in Kauai

About a month ago, a friend and I registered for a Photo Tour in Kauai.  So we booked the flight, reserved the rental car and started dreaming of the great images we were going to snag while traveling around Kauai.

Little did we give a thought to the fact that it might rain.  Well, you know that winter is the rainy season in Hawaii, but did we consider that?  Oh no, not us dreamers!  Two days before our trip I received a frantic email from my friend--"what are we going to do?  The weather forecast is for rain."  Sigh.  The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft aglay" (you know, "the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry" or in other words, as the country song goes, "if you want to see God laugh, tell Him your plans).

So the tour cost wasn't an issue--we hadn't paid yet.  But the plane and rental car were already charged to my card, so off we went early in the morning.  We spent yesterday in Kauai.

We landed in the rain!  We drove to the tour place in the rain.  We discussed whether the tour would take place in the rain.  We watched the webcam of the rain.  And then it was decided that we'd head to the southern part of the island, because it wasn't raining there.

So...we all got a discount on the tour and off we went.  We wound up having a decent day, but I wouldn't say it paid off in spectacular images.  Just mediocre as far as I'm concerned, but I did get to practice my slow shutter speed with the flowing water.  And, I am now the proud owner of a new, snazzy camera strap. 

I was exhausted by the time we landed back on Oahu and was very glad to arrive home. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Here's the Answer
Several people wondered what the last image on my previous post was.  Well, it was.... oh, wait.  Let me tell you about these first.

I went out walking around the neighborhood this afternoon, and this time I remembered to bring my tripod.  Always a good idea.  I still feel pretty steady, but the fact of the matter is that when I see some of the images I take, I realize that a steady hand ain't what it used to be. 

Along the way, I stopped at the community center of the housing area where I'm staying.  As I was clicking away in front of the building, I heard a voice through the window.  I was then invited inside to see a special potted palm, and in the process I noticed these paintings. 

Now, I'm not usually a fan of  oil paintings--I gravitate toward watercolors.  But these were truly beautiful and when I asked if I could take some photos of them, the owner agreed wholeheartedly.   They kind of lose something in the translation, but take my word for it, they're beautiful.

So that was my afternoon, or rather 1 1/2 hour of shooting.

Oh yes, what was that image in the last post?  Hmmmm.  Okay, okay!  It is a vinyl-coated chain link fence.  I took it as a horizontal, but it loaded to the computer as a horizontal.  After I edited it, I realized that I liked it better in the horizontal format.  So there you have it.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

7 on the 7th
In January I randomly came across a blog on the 12th of the month.  The blogger had posted 12 images, saying that she got the idea from yet another blog.  Post 12 images on the 12th day of each month.  Well, I thought that was a pretty interesting idea, but I wasn't too excited about waiting until the 12th to post 12 images
So my idea was to wait until the 5th of the month and post only 5 images.  Okay.  So the 5th of February came and went.  Today is the 7th and I didn't want to wait any longer, cause the longer I wait the more images I have to post at once.  I stepped outside the door late this afternoon, knowing that it would be dusk pretty soon, and grabbed my 7 images.  They are as follows:

Okay, okay, this obviously wasn't taken outside.  This was the last image I took as I reentered the house, so it should be the last in the series.  However, moving images around on this blog is pretty much a nightmare, so here it stays.

So, there you have it.  7 images on the 7th.  If I remember next month (and considering it's about 28 days away and remembering by then is a very iffy proposition), I'll try and post on the 5th--a mere 5 images.  I'm thinking if I go for the 1st of each month--nah, too boring. 

Saturday, February 05, 2011

 The Baby Shower
Today we celebrated the new addition to the Hughes family.  His name is Owen Thomas.  We met at "A Cup of Tea" in Kailua.  We had our own little room, but this is the main room at the tea house.  Very Victorian, very sweet and very classy. 

There were hats hanging on the hooks in our room, and, needless to say, many of the ladies tried them on before we were served.  Since I was there, with camera in hand and because taking the photos meant I didn't have to put one of the hats on, I happily obliged...

(This, of course, is Betty, trying to dodge the camera)

The new mom, Emily.

The new mom, Emily, her mom, Darlene & and the star attraction, Owen Thomas--about three weeks old.