About W Brian Duncan

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

Kauai Sunset from The Beach House

Not MY Beach House

Ask a local. I can’t tell you enough how important this is to traveling. There are locations in the world (China…I am looking at you), where (and this is only in my limited expereince) you might get the recommendations they “THINK” you want, but most locals are happy to tell you good info. This is the case with this great sunset location in Kauai. I asked the bellmen at the Grand Hyatt Kauai where the best, close sunset spot was and they directed me to Beach House. Maybe this was one of those, they “THINK” I want to go to a bar, eat and catch sunset, but I found three or four wonderful angles to view sunset. Ask a local and you are bound to find some great adventure.

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The Na Pali Coastline of Kauai, Hawaii

The Pull of Hawaii

Kauai isn’t like the other Hawaiian islands I have visited. There is a wildness here, evermore so than on Maui, my closest reference. This was my first time visiting Kauai and it absolutely will not be my last. Every time I go to the islands, I can feel that seductive pull that traps people and never lets go. Something about the place makes me want to be there, it’s more than the beautiful weather and landscape, I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I will keep exploring the feeling.

Quiet Isolation

To me Hawaii is synonymous with hiking. There are places in Hawaii that are incredibly over-crowded, but part of the islands magic seems to be the ability to lose yourself with incredible ease. I found this magic on the Phiea Trail. At the trails head, dozens of people were gawking at this incredible view. I took this photo and kept on walking, climbing over rough terrain and in 10 minutes…silence.

I was alone on the trail with the wind and the ocean and the trees. Occasionally I would come across a fellow hiker, we would nod or say hello, but their footsteps and mine someone were an invasion of the peace. Rapidly, the magic would take over again as the other hiker would fade into my distance and I into theirs. I would once again find myself alone enveloped by the power of nature.

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A Lock on a Dock by a Lake

Security on a Dock

A quick photo for today. I found this random chain and pad lock on the shoreline of Lake Michigan in Chicago. Nothing was attached and nothing was around so I have no idea why it was there. Maybe someone regularly locked up their bike to this pillar and just left their lock there all the time. I cant imagine that chain is light. Consequently, today’s title made me feel a bit like Dr. Seuss!

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The Most Exclulsive Address in Disneyland, Club 33

A Disney Exclusive

It doesnt get more exclusive than Club 33 at Disneyland in California. The wait list is said to be in the years. When they do call be prepared for the $25,000 join fee, and $10,000 a year membership fee. There are a few places where you can get a few glimpses of the club from outside, but these only give you the most vague feel of what it must be like inside. If you happen to work at Disneyland and need a photographer to photography The Club…I might know someone!

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Visiting the Home of Mickey Mouse

I Told You to Watch Out

If you noticed the theme brewing, never fear…I am off to Hawaii again soon so that will capture my attention soon. This is a shot from the small, but wonderfully detailed world of Toontown in Disneyland. It’s almost like the set of Who Framed Roger Rabbit exploded all over with some of your favorite Disney Characters thrown in for good measure. Here I am visiting the Home of Mickey Mouse.

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Reflections of Tomorrowland

Love for the Mouse

I you have no love for “The Mouse” please excuse my next three post indulgence. It seems I am getting carried away by my Disneyland Adventure. I am always surprised at how much FUN I have visiting these parks. There is always too much to do when overseas, but I almost would love to see how things are different. I have been twice to Walt Disney World in Florida, but this was my first visit to Disneyland in California. The park is noticeably much smaller, but I’m not convinced that is a bad thing. If feels more intimate…more special somehow. Perhaps it’s the personal touches of Walt Disney himself that makes it so wonderful.

This view of the entrance to Tomorrowland was taken on my final night in the park. Check out my Gateway to Tomorrowland photo from the Magic Kingdom. I don’t suppose you can tell what my favorite “Land” is in the parks.

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Tiny Lighthouse on Lake Michigan

Where’s the Sunrise!

There is something to be said for trying. I took this photo the same day I took my Sunrise at Navy Pier photo one cold morning in Chicago. I had got up at 4am to take the train into the city to get this and it was clouds, clouds, clouds. I kept moving toward my destination…I was always headed for Navy Pier, and just as I reached the end of the pier, the sun finally broke though the clouds. I caught the whole thing for today’s photo. I sat and stared at what appeared to me to be a tiny lighthouse (it wasn’t really tiny) off in the distance. Despite the bitter Chicago cold, it was a good morning.

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Cinderella’s Castle

Disney Nostalgia

When I think back to Disney, I am always nostalgic. As a kid growing up, we were always “going to go” to Walt Disney World…we never did as a family. I went in High School on a band trip, which in retrospect at that age was probably the perfect way to see The Magic Kingdom. I didn’t go back to the Florida Wonderland until last year and had a surprisingly good time. Today’s photo is one of those photos that maybe I would have taken as a kid visiting The Magic Kingdom. Its a “vintage” feel for a modern digital camera photo. Note the wire where Tinkerbell makes her magical descent every evening to kick off the fireworks show!

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Gaudi Chimney’s and a Blue Sky in Barcelona

The Forms of Gaudi

I have been thinking about Barcelona recently. It’s such a beautiful city and everywhere you turn it seems there is an explosion of art. Random acts of beauty, more-so then you get with most European cities (which is generally quite a bit). Barcelona even takes the time to make it’s subway stations amazing. Obvious placement not withstanding, I often find the little thing the most delightful and it was very much so the case on the roof of Casa Milà, one of the many Antoni Gaudi masterpieces of architecture. These are some of his terracotta chimney designs, something that most designers would overlook, take on a life of their own against the blue Barcelona sky.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 19 February, 2013
  • Focal length: 17mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Location: 41° 23.7203′ 0″ N 2° 9.718′ 0″ E
  • Shutter speed: 1/500s
  • Title: Gaudi Chimney's and a Blue Sky in Barcelona

Wild Flowers on the Shores of Oahu

Incredible Diversity

One of the things I absolutely love about Hawaii is its incredible diversity. It is a CRAZY melting pot of people from all over the world who seek paradise, but I am talking about the landscape. From rocky shores to sandy beaches (and every color imaginable), from forests to mountains, from tundra to big city speed, Hawaii seemingly has it ALL! On a hike to the western tip of Oahu and Ka’Ena Point where I found a cool/weird lighthouse beacon I noticed there wild flowers along the shore. They reminded me of the wild flowers that grow on the fields of Missouri, despite the roar of the Pacific Ocean in the background.

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