About W Brian Duncan

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

Windy Lanikai Mountain

Death on a Mountain

Lanikai is one of my favorite places in the world, so when I took my sister to Oahu, Hawaii we, of COURSE, had to hike Lanikai Mountain! She actually did great despite a bit to huffing and puffing up the side of the “hill” but it was somewhere around this scene on the decent that I nearly lost her down the side of the mountain! Never fear, despite an ankle injury, she is otherwise fine but it goes to show in spite of any relative ease hiking always needs to be taken seriously! Next week, a different interpretation of this same image…since I liked it so much I figured I would translate it two different ways!

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 13 November, 2016
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/125s
  • Title: WIndy Lanikai Mountain

The Dome of St Peter’s Basilica

Highest of the High

There is something both wonderful and awe inspiring about visiting a European Basilica or Cathedral. Each has it’s differences of designation within a religious faith, but the meaning seems clear. First, stuff lots of people in. Check! Second and perhaps more symbolic, the church is meant to represent the house of divinity. Obviously for the infinite, you need an AWE inspiring structure. This view of the very impressive dome of St Peter’s (yes, that St Peter…”Upon this rock…”) is from one of the lower balconies that lead all the way to the top of the dome and perhaps one of the most spectacular views of Rome. Be forewarned, it’s a strenuous climb. An elderly woman collapsed upon reaching the top on my trek up. I believe she was okay in the end, but what a way to go!

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 18 January, 2016
  • Focal length: 35mm
  • ISO: 2000
  • Shutter speed: 1/125s
  • Title: The Dome of St Peter's Basilica

Cliffs in Hawaii

Geologic Beauty

It’s a funny thing, the mind. I have visited this location in Oahu more than half a dozen times. It’s a great location for interesting carvings (probably done by bored kids) and a beautiful introduction to the diversity of landscape on the islands. I had it in my head this was the filming location for From Here to Eternity. I even told my sister how she had to see it. It was only after returning from Hawaii that I realized I was actually at the wrong stop!

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 12 November, 2016
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 500
  • Shutter speed: 1/800s
  • Title: Oahu Cliffs5

Flowers in the Desert

Desert Blooms

A quick photo for today. I took this in Jardin Majorelle in Marrakesh, Morocco. I was surprised to find how incredibly splendid the gardens are in Morocco. I love touring gardens (not gardening myself) and this one was absolutely an interesting place!

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/4
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 26 April, 2015
  • Focal length: 33mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/2000s
  • Title: Flowers in the Desert

Inside Brunelleschi’s Dome, Florence

Way Up There

Its funny how things scale. When I went to Florence, Italy I HAD to see the Cathedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore. I have read WAY too many Dan Brown novels to pass this treat up. I like active trips and climbing the stirs to the top of the Cathedral’s dome is quite an active day. The dome is a marvel of its time (honestly of today as well) and getting through the ever narrowing and sideways passages around the dome to the top is a tad spooky!

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 14 January, 2016
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 1600
  • Shutter speed: 1/25s
  • Title: Inside Brunelleschi's Dome, Florence

Art Nouveau Parisian Metropolitan Station

Art Deco Paris

You can find more exquisite examples of Art Nouveau in and around Paris that just about anywhere I have been. There are whole areas of museums sure, but even walking around the city you find beautiful organic utility. This metro station is just across the river from Île de la Cité. I suspect it’s been installed or restored because of the prime tourist location, but that doesn’t at all detract from the beauty. I am headed back to Paris next year and cant wait to sit in its cafe’s just taking in the atmosphere.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/4
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 8 October, 2011
  • Focal length: 50mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/250s
  • Title: Art Nouveau Parisian Metropolitan Station

On Living and Dying

Constant Struggle

I miss the sea.

I find a certain solace just being near her. I often just sit and think. Ultimately this leads me to wonder about birth, life and death. I consider the island, born of the conflict of fire and water, made solid into land. The ocean though, does not forget and slowly begins reclaiming the land to its watery depths.

This was once a solid piece of land. The ocean began eating it away, leaving a spike of land that eventually collapsed. Slowly, the ocean will completely devour this too and return it to where it started. The circle is all around if only you wish to see.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/5
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 26 May, 2015
  • Focal length: 24mm
  • ISO: 1250
  • Shutter speed: 1/6400s
  • Title: On Living and Dying

Before Congress Comes to Work

WAKE UP CONGRESS!

I took this one early morning on my first trip by myself. I wanted to see if I could really “do it”. In retrospect, being afraid of solo travel is natural, but also a little funny at this point having been all over the world by myself. It’s really peaceful on the Capitol grounds before all the tourists and Congress men and women come to work. Really it was only me and a few cranky guards upset about my tripod! I though this really illustrated what they mean by Capitol Hill!

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 28 May, 2012
  • Focal length: 18mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter speed: 1/160s
  • Title: Before Congress Comes to Work

A Walk Above the Clouds in Maui

Higher Then the Heavens

My parents are planning a trip to Hawaii which made me latch onto this photo of the first time Pamela and I went to Maui. One of the MUST do things is a sunrise atop Haleakala. After the light show, Pamela and I visited the visitors center. Then we set out for a hike around and into the volcano’s crater. There are periods up there when you are outside, the sun beating down on you and the clouds roll in and you realize, you are looking down on a part of the heavens.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 22 July, 2012
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/500s
  • Title: A Walk Above the Clouds in Maui

Temple of Heaven Fire Baskets

Favorite Historical Sites

If I had to pick between the big three UNESCO sites in and around Beijing my preference, BY FAR would likely be with the Temple of Heaven. While in antiquity this was a temple for the Emperor of China, today its is an expansive and exquisitely beautiful park near the heart of Beijing. There is a majesty in walking up the path reserved for only the emperor. There is a grandeur and elegance that masks (along with modern perception) the religous rites preformed here to bring a good harvest. If for some reason you have to choose between The Temple of Heaven, The Forbidden City and The Great Wall, I would chose in that order.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 6 September, 2016
  • Focal length: 31mm
  • ISO: 640
  • Shutter speed: 1/1000s
  • Title: Temple of Heaven Fire Baskets