About W Brian Duncan

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

Stonework in Machu Picchu Peru

Master Builders

A quick detail for today of the masterful stonework that makes up the amazing structure that is Machu Picchu. The huge stones were brought into the site and worked together in a mortarless system. Though often a knife blade cant be inserted between the blocks, sometimes plants are unstoppable.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 4 September, 2015
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 250
  • Shutter speed: 1/250s
  • Title: Stonework in Machu Picchu Peru

The Greatest Sunrise on Earth

The Greatest

I have been a good number of places and seen a LOT of sunrises and sunsets. I admit a preference to the latter of these as they aren’t placed so darn early in the morning. The benefit to the former, is most people don’t bother to get up early enough to see them so they tend to not be as well attended as the sunsets. I also have to admit a preference in sunrise and the greatest sunrise on Earth is in Maui, Hawaii atop Haleakalā. With the right weather, the light and color move in a dance that can rarely be fully witnessed. From the top the volcano you can fully experience the symphony of nature playing it’s beauty. It’s a spectacle like none other and one I hope everyone gets to see.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 22 July, 2012
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1.3s
  • Title: The Greatest Sunrise on Earth

Tea Leaves for Inspection in Shanghai, China

Smelling Tea

The thing I have learned though Pamela’s love (some might say obsession) with tea is the joy of tea is much the same as the joy of wine. The terrior, the growing season, how the tea is harvested, the method to refine the tea for drinking, even the sampling methods are reminiscent of wine. How do the flavors hit the palate, what flavors are apparent and perhaps a surprise because of some of the above mentioned conditions. It is honestly quite fascinating. This bowl of (I belive) oolong was set out at one of the very first places in Tea City, where Pamela and I stopped to sample tea. I think I have never seen her so overwhelmed with joy, shyness and perhaps an equal part reverence that that first visit to Tea City.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/4
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 30 June, 2015
  • Focal length: 35mm
  • ISO: 3200
  • Shutter speed: 1/125s
  • Title: Tea Leaves for Inspection in Shanghai, China

Riverside Eucalyptus Trees in Peru

Fragrant Trees

When we arrived at our rather palatial hotel in Urubamba, Peru we felt a bit guilty. The place is ultra modern and designed for a extremely low carbon footprint. We decided to try and take it easy on ourselves because of the altitude and because we had an extremely early start, boarding a train to Machu Picchu. When we got to the rear perimeter of the properly we heard the babbling of the Urubamba River and smelled the most wonderful fragrance. We soon found the source, these towering Eucalyptus trees gently bathed the trail around the hotel campus in yet another bit of natural luxurious aromatherapy.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 3 September, 2015
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 500
  • Shutter speed: 1/640s
  • Title: Riverside Eucalyptus Trees in Peru

Cactus Flower Oahu, Hawaii

Visiting Bee

As I hiked up Lanikai Mountain in Oahu I came across this lonely cactus. It had been abused by unkind passers by, stepped on, trampled and cut. I noticed however a lovely flower. Regardless of its pain and abuse by the world, it produced something beautiful. While I was noticing this, a bee seemed very happy to visit the lonely and discarded wretch on that dry hill. I took this as a divine lesson, and try to keep it in my heart.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 27 May, 2015
  • Focal length: 35mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/2000s
  • Title: Cactus Flower Oahu, Hawaii

Remember…The Enola Gay

Remember

Today we recognize Memorial Day and those who died serving the armed forces and also, hopefully the costs of war. My visit to Air and Space in D.C. was a highlight of visit. The most impact came from this shiny Boeing B-29 Superfortress. It’s big, but size is common in this hanger. It’s shiny, but there are a number of unpainted highly polished planes around. It’s impact comes from the simple lettering of her name…Enola Gay. The plane helped end the War and saved untold numbers of American lives all while killing 140,000 Japanese. Today, remember and be thankful for our service men and women who lost their lives defending our Nation. Remember too the horrible cost of war for all and say thank you the Veterans in your life…for they carry an intimate knowledge of these costs, that we will never understand.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 29 May, 2012
  • Focal length: 25mm
  • ISO: 1600
  • Shutter speed: 1/200s
  • Title: Remember...The Enola Gay

Waiting for a Train in Shanghai

Trainspotting

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

Antiquity

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