Sunset on a Lava Rock Beach, Kauai, Hawaii

After Glow

After the sun sets with its magical rays and the light starts to fade, some photographers pack it in. The sunset watching crowd, all the time complaining that the people and their electronics don’t really SEE the sunset behind those gadgets, start to wander home. I tend to stay around and see what’s left very often there is a surprising calm or a last burst of light that makes your trip. Maybe that’s another of those good life mottos, stick around you never know what you will find.

Photo Technical Info

Waikiki Beach Pier Sunset

I have visited pier on Waikiki Beach many times in the past. It’s not the main crowded pier, but one to the East that hardly gets any attention. This location always looks different to me and in much the same way my photos look different each time I sit down to work on them. The previous was bright and colorful, this one dark and moody. Perhaps my current temperament effects my processing decisions more than I think or perhaps I am drawn to darker images in the first place when I am feeling less than chipper. Despite the duality, I love both images and it’s a great reminder how different days create totally different moods, both in photography and in life.

Photo Technical Info

Gondolas of the Venice Grand Canal at Sunset

Perfect Moments

It was January on the water, I had a respiratory infection, and the sea air seemd to do me no more good then it did for Gustav von Aschenbach in the novel Death in Venice. I actually spend a good deal of time later this night contemplating if my breathing got worse, how would I get to a doctor…does a water ambulance come and take you to the hospital? Luckily, my problems were run of the mill sick, nothing like the plague, but you can escape that history either when you visit Venice.

All of these problems and dark thoughts one would think could drag down anyone’s spirits, but not me…not in Venice. It is a jewel, one that specifically requires blinders, but even the most amazing gemstones have flaws. The people who built this city undoubtedly understood the sea, its power and majesty. They must have also been a bit mad, but standing on that pier looking at the sunset, I believe we have the same heart.

Photo Technical Info

A Desperate View of the Doge’s Palace in Venice, Italy

Choosing Photos

I find myself wondering as I type this, what draws me to a particular photo to work on it. There may be one singular element that triggers interest for me. Often, there are just photos I know will do well with my particular process, today’s photo wasn’t one of them. Today, I was intrigued by two things in this photo. One was how I caught the smallest sliver of the setting sun behind the bridge. The other, and most important element was the ghosted people along the corridor by the Doge’s Palace. The vantage point of this shot is from the front of the Venetian Prison and something about those distant uncaring ghosts seemed perfect to me.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/4
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 25 January, 2014
  • Focal length: 27mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Location: 45° 26.0237′ 0″ N 12° 20.4647′ 0″ E
  • Shutter speed: 10s
  • Title: A Desperate View of the Doge's Palace in Venice, Italy

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.

Photo Technical Info

Walking the Roof of Il Duomo at Sunset

Il Duomo at Sunset

I suppose it depends on the time of year you go, but I went to the room if Milan’s major Cathedral, I stayed up there for a long time. It neared sunset when the guards ran the last of us off and followed us out. It was peaceful up there and not terribly crowded. There is a something special about getting to wander the roof of such and old and central building like Il Duomo. The history of European cities can often be paralleled to the history of their main Church. This is perhaps the single most important structure in the entire city, and I spent the evening in the heavens.

Old Processes

At times I miss the darkroom. The smell of fixer is something you don’t forget. The chemistry one of the things that originally drew me to photography. I found never-ending joy in trying to find new and creative ways to splatter my chemicals to get an uneven result. Eyedroppers, spray bottles, tossing chemicals…I was manipulating WAY before I found Photoshop. I used quite a few processes to get this result today, but I was going for a modern day wet-plate look. How do you think I did?

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 5 April, 2014
  • Focal length: 32mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/250s
  • Title: Walking the Roof of Il Duomo at Sunset

Cannon Beach Oregon Haystack Rock and The Needles

In Search of Childhood Film Locations

This was the photo I was looking for when we ended up at Ecola State Park. When we arrived at Ecola and stood on the lookout point, I realized right away we had arrived in the wrong location for the photo I wanted. This happens quite a bit. A helpful local tells you about their favorite vantage point away from all the crazy photographers on the beach, not understanding you are, in fact one of the crazy ones.

Today’s Photo – Goonies Never Say Die (and neither do photographers)!

We were lucky to make it to Cannon Beach just before the sun went down. You might recognize Haystack Rock (on the right) and The Needles (on the left) from the 1980’s film The Goonies. When the circumstances of life throw up a roadblock to what you want, it’s easy to give up…to settle. The much harder thing is to plunge in and risk everything. Sometimes the reward makes the gamble worth the risk.

Photo Technical Info

Sunset at Ecola State Park in Oregon

Day’s Gone By

I sometimes struggle with what to say about a photo. How do you capture your feelings as succinctly as the camera captures that decisive moment? What can I say about a beautiful scene that really brings home what it was like to stand in that spot. Maybe I share how I got there, or the smell of the ocean and a million trees. Maybe I just let you take it in and create your own story, sometimes the camera does a better job than I ever could.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 7 March, 2014
  • Focal length: 32mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/500s
  • Title: Sunset at Ecola State Park in Oregon

Hong Kong at Sunset

Strange and Wonderful

I get myself to some crazy places these days. By crazy I of course mean amazingly awesome! Hong Kong is special in a number of senses. The blend of east and west make for a region of Asia that is like none other for Western travelers. I have a feeling I will forever recommend Hong Kong to anyone asking where to go in Asia for their first visit. It’s also an incredibly active city but with tons of natural wonder to explore.

Top of the Island

We visited Victoria Peak the last night in Hong Kong. Most of our time in the city was enshrouded in fog and the last evening was our best opportunity to photograph. There is an intriquate network of trails around the peak that take you out and away from the commercial areas. Here are a few suggestions for photographers:

  • Skip the peak tram and take a taxi. You will only spend a few HKD more and save HOURS!
  • Arrive Early! Because of the above, I didn’t feel like I got a prime spot. There will be many people with tripods.
  • Wear your walking shoes. There are lots of trails…we found our spot on Lugard Road.
  • Bring some layers. It gets cold up on top of Victoria Peak.

Waikiki Lifeguard Stand


I couldn’t help but think of David Hasselhoff when I came across the occasional lifeguard stand on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii. I caught the 2E stand at sunset before following my monk friends down an ocean walkway. It really Waikiki is a wonderful place for a sunset if you can get over the cheesy beach vibe and overlook the throngs of tourists. It’s a great place to spend a bit of down time!