About W Brian Duncan

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

A Dead Tree by the Ocean

For the Love of Hawaii

People have stated to notice the frequency of my visits to Hawaii. I go maybe two or three times a year. It’s an easy trip that I often get upgraded on, but there is something more than the 8000 or so miles I earn. Hawaii pulls me back. The Hawaiian islands are paradise, but not for the reason’s people are sold. I was talking with an old friend this weekend and I think we felt similarly. Its not the sun, or the beaches, or the joy of temporary vacation. It is the ease at which everything operates in Hawaii. There is a calm there that is infectious and calm is perhaps the thing we need the most these days.

Speaking to Trees

This is one of my favorite trees in the world. It, for now, sits alone on a beach in Kauai. It can’t speak any longer. It is dead. But it still stands as a monument to itself. A beacon on a cliff that will likely fall into the ocean soon as well. This tree seems to me to encapsulate the spirit of this place. All around is life and death, air, earth, fire and water all in their rawest forms, constantly battling for supremacy. Somehow even in death, this tree speaks to me. I need to go back to hear more of its message, before it vanishes, returning to the sea.

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Henderson Waves Walkway Singapore

Cool Walks

This is one of the neater urban walks I have ever been on. Singapore is such an interesting place (in SO many ways). I was specifically taken by the Southern Ridge Walks which for me concluded at the Henderson Waves. Many of the trails are elevated over flora is Singapore, many are see through so you have the feeling of walking through the canopy like the monkeys that frequent the trails, which sadly I never saw. The Henderson Waves are different, an artistic creation of impressive form and function. The day I was there people were repelling off the side to paint the underside of this massive walkway.

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Chinese Window Art

Chinese Details

Another Chinese garden design element. This window at YuYuan Garden in Shanghai is another example of those great natural forms that Chinese artists bend to their will.

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Machu Picchu from Afar

A 40 Year Journey

This year marks my 40th of life…and oh what a journey its been so far. When Pamela asked where I wanted to go for my 40th birthday, I answered immediately…Machu Picchu. There was none of my normal indecision. I have always wanted to visit this mystical forgotten city in the clouds. The Inca must have found some great spiritual vortex to build so far into the mountains. I expected to find something in the ruins. I am always searching for it, but the odd thing was…it wasn’t there. Not in the way I thought at least.

Getting to Machu Picchu itself is also a journey. In the end multiple planes, hotels, cars, buses and trains. This trip also marked my stepping foot on six continents in one calendar year (I am only missing Antarctica). I don’t know what the next 40 years will bring. As Bono, I still haven’t found what I’m looking for, but the one thing I have learned in my now 40 years…the JOURNEY is worth it!

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Chinese Dog Carving at Lingyin Temple

My Love of Random Sculptures

A quick photo today from my favorite part of Hangzhou…Lingyin temple. It’s probably an obvious photo for me to take at this point, but I just love the little details around Chinese gardens, monasteries and the like. The craftsmanship at the Lingyin area is exquisite and this little dog is no exception.

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Orchid on the Climb Up Machu Picchu Mountain


I didn’t do fantastic in the altitude of Peru. I have tested the limits and I think I am good to 10,000 feet. After that I need to start talking with my doctor! Short stents at altitude aren’t going to bother most people, but the time we spent in Cusco (over 11,000 feet) made me ill. It was much like having the flu, without any of the normal fever. I don’t know how these orchids do it, but they are part of the beauty of hiking MontaƱa (Machu Picchu Mountain).

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Super Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse September 2015

Blood Moon

This total lunar eclipse on September 27th, 2015 took me a bit by surprise. I didn’t realize it was happening and sort of lucked out seeing post on Facebook. I quickly checked outside and I happened to get my camera setup just about midpoint of the eclipse. I am not an astral photographer (obviously), but it just goes to show you, you never know what awesome things will be happening in your own back yard!

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 27 September, 2015
  • Focal length: 300mm
  • ISO: 1600
  • Shutter speed: 1.3s

Field in the Mountains of Peru

Scenic Beauty

There are jaw dropping views in Peru. Even when the clouds blanket the landscape in fog, the place is beautiful. When the sun comes out…be prepared to be in awe. I was never quite sure when we were at high elevation and when we had descended into a valley, but this area was full of farm fields. I am not entirely sure what they grew, but it was likely the giant kernel corn they have in Peru. Oh so tasty and what a site this field makes!

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/9
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 4 September, 2015
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 1000
  • Shutter speed: 1/800s
  • Title: Field in the Mountains of Peru

Peru Rail Train to Machu Picchu

Hotel Train

We woke up early the morning we went to visit Machu Picchu. We had a wonderful breakfast at the Tambo del Inka hotel in Urubamba. The thing was, it wasn’t THAT early because the hotel has it’s own Peru Rail train station to Aguas Calientes, the town that rests at the foot of Machu Picchu. We honestly felt a bit spoiled, but at the same time, Machu Picchu is a journey. Be sure to plan your rest stops and departures carefully. Tambo del Inka and their private train station made everything super easy!

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/4
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 4 September, 2015
  • Focal length: 17mm
  • ISO: 2500
  • Shutter speed: 1/160s
  • Title: Peru Rail Train to Machu Picchu

A Survey of the Peruvian Countryside

Please Spay and Neuter Your Pets

I would say more photos of the people of Peru, but I thought today I would talk about the DOGS of Peru. I have never seen so many free roaming dogs in all my time on this Earth as during our visit to Peru. Since they seem to all be free roaming, they appear to also be free to mate. It brings me to an important public service announcement. Please spay and neuter your pets!

A Good Hard Look

This man was looking out over the field on the outskirts of Cusco. I only caught two of the three or four dogs that were following him around. It wasn’t that cold in Peru, but it was winter and we were at 11,000+ feet so it seemed like everyone local was bundled up WAY more then the 65 degree temperature mandated. Can I just say…I love all the hats in Peru!

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 3 September, 2015
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter speed: 1/1600s
  • Title: A Survey of the Peruvian Countryside