About W Brian Duncan

HDR Photographer, techie, vegetarian, fitness enthusiast, dreamer, creative and all around nice guy. Lover of wine.

Waiting for a Train in Shanghai


I enjoy spending time in places of transit. I know others find the airports and train stations stressful and tedious (and they can be), but almost always I find them relaxing. There is a part of me that just lets go when I enter one of these spaces. Often I have a bit better access than the general traveler. I know some inside “secrets” and tend to use then as frequently as I can, but even when I am someplace without the greater comforts, I still am able to exhale and settle in. Often I take photos, when they are allowed, as with this one waiting for our train to Hangzhou.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 30 June, 2015
  • Focal length: 31mm
  • ISO: 1600
  • Shutter speed: 1/250s
  • Title: Wating for a Train in Shanghai

High Atop the Awa’awapuhi Trail, Kauai, Hawaii

Big Hiking Payoff

There are so many spectacular hikes in Hawaii. The Awa’awapuhi Trail in Kauai is probably my favorite BIG payoff. The hike itself if moderate and the scenery along the way is a bit…well meh, but the end of the trail will make your jaw fall to the ground. It is a truly breathtaking sight.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 25 May, 2015
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter speed: 1/640s
  • Title: High Atop the Awa’awapuhi Trail, Kauai, Hawaii

Old Handle in Bahia Palace, Marrakech


I may never understand my attraction so some things, one is photos shot in shallow depth of field of old handles that grace the old palaces of the world. I can probable at this point put together a book of the worlds greatest things to “grab and open stuff”. Here is another such example of my odd affection for these rings and knobs from Marrakech, Morocco.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/4
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 26 April, 2015
  • Focal length: 27mm
  • ISO: 640
  • Shutter speed: 1/200s
  • Title: Old Handle in Bahia Palace, Marrakech

Hyatt Villa One Night in Bali

Wandering at Night

It is not something I much do. I tend to go places with large populations, so it’s likely very safe +1 for safety. I also tend to carry around a bunch of camera gear, -1 for safety. I generally have a big tripod at night which is like a modern day mace, +1 for safety. You can see where all this gets you, overall protecting yourself and your stuff can be complicated. As such my traveling rules generally are don’t drink much in public AND be back to the hotel before the town rolls up for the night (or becomes a different world all together).

In this case in Bali, I was oddly on a resort…something I almost never do. I stayed here for three days almost exclusively and had a really relaxing time just sitting and reading by the beach. At the time, it was perhaps the perfect thing I needed. As such, walking after dark was almost entirely safe!

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 17 February, 2015
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 1000
  • Shutter speed: 15s
  • Title: Hyatt Villa One Night in Bali

Sakura Blossoms in Ueno Park


I get why the Japanese have a word specifically for cherry blossoms and another for the viewing of these wonderful flowers. My visit to Japan this last April was toward the end of the blossoming season, just at the start of the fall. There is an otherworldly beauty, not unlike snow, but different all the same, as the still cool breeze blows and petals fall, gently invade all your senses. I think for me Hanami is a perfect explosion of color after the desolateness of Winter. Wrapped, surviving in the cold, then one day the beautiful promise of Spring.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/4.5
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 9 April, 2016
  • Focal length: 31mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/800s
  • Title: Sakura Blossoms in Ueno Park

The Emperor’s Box at the Colosseum in Rome

In Remembrance

This is the box reserved for Cesar. As a penance against religious intolerance, a Christian cross was placed here. Now, historian’s will argue, but it’s improbable that any (or many) Christian’s were thrown to the proverbial lions. It’s not that said atrocity never happened in ancient Rome, but probably not at this particular arena. Regardless, the sight makes for an odd out of place experience and a bit of wonderful photographic contrast in an otherwise ancient structure dedicated to death and mayhem.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 16 January, 2016
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 500
  • Shutter speed: 1/320s
  • Title: The Emperor's Box at the Colosseum in Rome

Old Guard House of Japan’s Imperial Palace

A Preferred View

This is the view of this particular guard tower I prefer. It sits in stout defense of the unseen palace behinds its wall. It, guarded by a moat that would leave attackers undefended in crossing. The think is just outside the frame is a mass of new Japan. Big buildings and construction equipment abound. Behind is a massive parking lot. I don’t show you these. This photo looks old, but was taken in 2016. I guess in many ways our fortresses and our photographs aren’t unlike ourselves.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 11 April, 2016
  • Focal length: 30mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/50s
  • Title: Old Guard House of Japan's Imperial Palace

Instagram Fav’s January – April 2016

On Fleek

The other day Pamela asked my what “on fleek” meant. I guessed on point would be close, but had to look it up in truth to confirm my guess. Something that looks good, is sweet, perhaps it’s a stretch, but this is how I am feeling about being up to date with my Instagram Favorites posts! Maybe I should make up some new vernacular to express my pleasure at having my posts shared, like “mmmhum, we instage”! Regardless, these are a few of my favorite images posted on Instagram from January to April of 2016! Please hit up your favorites with a Heart!

Florence, Italy – January 2016

Rome, Italy – January 2016

Vatican City – January 2016

Tokyo, Japan – April 2016

Takaosan (Mount Takao), Japan – April 2016

Instagram Fav’s Sept – Dec 2015

Instagram Favorites

Catching Up

More favorite posts from Instagram today and with this posting I have all of last year online! I am going to make a calendar point that three times a year I need to get these sorts of posts together. I really feel like the mobile phone camera revolution is one of the most important artistic exploration tools of our time. The iPhone and Instagram, for me, are a sort of sketchbook. You will often see some of my best Canon 5D images on the blog, first explored in real-time on Instagram months be they even make into a fully realized blog photo. I can play and explore, try things I wouldn’t, but on Instagram I feel more spontaneous and free.

Sept 2015 – Machu Picchu, Peru

October 2015 – Oahu/Maui/Kauai, Hawaii

Kyoto, Japan – November 2015

Instagram Fav’s May – Aug 2015

Instagram Favorites

WAY Behind

I realized I am WAY behind on sharing some Instragram images on my blog! Here are some from earlier in 2015. Please like your favorites! I think it’s so important to promote mobile phones as an excellent camera they are. So many people think you have to have an expensive camera, but the best camera is the one that is with you!

May 2015 – Kauai, Hawaii

June 2015 – Shanghai/Hangzhou, China

Hong Kong S.A.R- July 2015

New York, NY – August 2015