Instagram Favorites October – December 2016

Limited Travel

Instagram Favorites

Happy Christmas (more exactly Happy Boxing Day!).

I haven’t been as many places this year as usual. This “lighter” travel schedule will very likely continue into 2017. It seems the airlines and hotel chains aren’t quite as excited as before to have me. Regardless I think posting semi-regularly some of my favorite Instagram posts is fun so here we go!

Hawaii November 2016

NYC December 2016

Windy Lanikai Mountain in Black and White

Death on a Mountain Revisited

There are times, when I post process my images, that I have a terrible time deciding what the image wants to convey. I feel very strongly about this notion actually, every image has a story, and my responsibility is to find that story help the image to communicate this in the best possible way. Perhaps this duality might in part be reflected in my sister’s experience nearly taking a tumble down the side of a cliff. Last week’s image is my feeling of the scene, but this more expressionistic view is perhaps how I interpret my sister might feel about the same place. Which is your favorite?

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 in Black and White

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

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

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

Makapu’u Tidepools

Second Favorite Easy Hike on Oahu

Without a doubt, my favorite “easy” hike on Oahu is the Lanikai Pillbox Hike. Almost every time I visit Oahu I make an early morning trek across the island from Waikiki to Lanikai and hike up the hill to the old Pillboxes. It’s a hot hike, but Lanikai Beach (one of my favorite in the world) is waiting below to wash your hard work away. The problem on my last trip…RAIN!

Never fear, the Makapu’u Lighthouse trail is almost entirely paved! I started up, but realized I had never taken the not entirely sanctioned (or safe) Tidalpool side trail. It’s a wonderful view down on the rocky beach. The blowhole was in good form and there were almost no people around! You can’t tell, but this tidalpool is about two stories down from the cliff I shot it from and could easily hold 100 or more people! You can JUST see the Makapu’u Lighthouse in the background.

Photo Technical Info

Sunrise at My Favorite Spot

Favorite Places

Do you have a favorite place?

I usually have a hard time picking a “favorite” anything. Favorite country, favorite animal, I even find my favorite color problematic! There though is an easy answer to my favorite morning…Lanikai. I exist in a world of movement. I am constantly going places, most of which I will never return to, but I keep going back to Hawaii and specifically back to Lanikai Beach. If I have the morning in Oahu, I will always do the same thing. I hike up the Pillbox Trail, then go and swim at Lanikai Beach. One day, I hope Pamela and I will live out my remaining days on Oahu, watching the most perfect sunrise, knowing, there is no place on this Earth we would rather be.

Photo Technical Info

Fiery Sunset on Waikiki

Worth the Time

I know when I come back from trips, I have a huge number of photos and a good swath of them I label in my head as unusable for publication. Maybe you do too and I want to challenge you to think differently about those photos. Something originally grabbed your attention and caused you to snap the picture. It was worth taking and recently I have begun to believe there is value in working on these less than stellar gems. Experimenting in processing allows for a world of new results.

Today’s Photo

I was originally drawn to this fiery sunset on Waikiki, a subject I have looked at numerous times, but much differently today. I discounted this shot because there were so many people and so much clutter. Instead, I upped the contrast and rendered the bulk of the foreground in silhouette, all the while creating a surreal sunset giving everything an unworldly red/orange hue. The great thing is this was processed entirely in Lightroom 5! Try taking a fresh look at your unusable images. Focus on what drew you to take the shot in the first place, then find the photo!

Photo Technical Info

Remembering You

Beauty and Tragedy

One of my favorite things about Hawaii is the freedom. It exists deeply in the place. All of the beaches are public and free for everyone to enjoy. Often access to these places are difficult and people tend to look the other way when you go someplace you shouldn’t. Signs give warning, but often these are ignored on the islands.

I love this section of cliff in Oahu. I have been several times…I like to sit and take it all in. I also know this is a place of tragedy. The ocean below is treacherous and a fall from the cliffs would be all too easy. There are a few memorials like this and I have always put off processing them, but I think perhaps the danger, the beauty, the harsh reality of this place is what draws me to it and to ignore the tragedy is to ignore part of the freedom that live gives.

Photo Technical Info

The Lanikai Pillbox Hike

Every Time I Visit Oahu

If there is time, and usually there is, I do a morning hike to the Pillboxes overlooking Lanikai. It’s an easy hike, as far as hikes go in Hawaii. I wouldn’t suggest taking any little ones up unless you are confident of their skill. There are points that can be treacherous in muddy conditions and plenty of opportunity to plummet to your death if you don’t take reasonable precaution. Make sure to have reasonable shoes, though I have seen everything from hiking shoes to flip-flops. One trip, I was passed by a man doing sprints up the path, he was wearing trail runners.

The mountain has little opportunity for shade, so it can be exceedingly hot at times. The best part is the beach waiting below. Lanikai beach is my favorite beach in Hawaii. The black sand beach in Maui comes in close, but it’s not quite as comfortable and further away by car from where you will inevitably stay. After a hot hike, there is nothing like the calm waters of Lanikai…it’s what they mean when they call Hawaii, heaven. I can’t think of a more perfect morning.

Photo Technical Info