Moloaa Beach

Moloaa Beach was another new discovery for me on my photo hiking tour of the east and north sides of the island of Kauai, HI with Kauai Photo Tours.

I shot quite a few images here with my Nikon D-7100 and Tamron 10-24 and 18-270mm lenses, but it’s this image from my Lumia Icon smartphone that I like the best.

Why?

Possibly because it’s native aspect ratio lends itself to landscapes such as this.  We were getting ready to leave, and I pulled my phone out and made this image using the automatic setting as I wanted to send one of “those” emails. You know what I mean.  One of “those” emails or messages we tend to do from time to time when we want to share something… and perhaps make someone a little jealous…  It’s a sign of the times – vanity made easier by technology!  In this case though, I wanted to share it with Mrs Frog who was enjoying her time at a different beach.

My next favorite images from this location were made with the 10-24mm zoom.  It’s just time and well, time that are keeping them from being posted at the moment.  I’ve never done scenics on a beach with a 10-24 before, and I have to admit that I really enjoyed it.

I am not getting paid for this – but I do have to say that I love my Tamron 10-24mm lens.  It’s not a Nik**, and no ultrawide zoom is perfect, and for what the Tamron costs compared to the Nik**, you can either save a lot of money or use that money to put more toys in your camera bag.  But I digress…  You’ll have to wait to seem more of that lens’ work.

Back to Moloaa Beach…

Technical details:  This jpg is from a dng file.  The original was at 0.00035 seconds, f2.4 at ISO 64.  The camera is also capable of full manual settings, shutter priority and aperture priority, any one of which could have improved upon the original just a bit – but not bad from a phone camera at all!  I tweaked the image just a bit in Perfect Photo Suite 9 – adding a slight skylight filter effect as well as a slight color enhancement.

Moloaa Beach on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai.

Moloaa Beach on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai.

This image of Moloaa Beach is in the Coastal and Beach Scenes Gallery on Laughing Frog Images.

 

Sometimes, your lens is too short

We’ve probably all been there before – you think you’re prepared for what you’re going to be shooting, and then reality decides to toss you a curve – and, sometimes, your lens is too short.

It seems that when this happens, it simply doesn’t matter which lens you have with you.  I’ve had this happen on days when I’ve had a 500mm lens and a 2X teleconverter with me.  It’s just the way things go sometimes.

In this case, I was on the north shore of Kauai, and there was what we think was a juvenile Humpback heading east and breaching several times.  Why, we’ll never know – but you can learn more about humpbacks breaching here.  Those of us that were there would prefer to believe that this was happy breaching on a beautiful day.

So, while us humans were there taking in the spectacle, jaws agape, I decided to pick up my camera a snag a shot.  And I did.  With an 18-270mm fully zoomed out.  Which was fine for the scenic images that I had planned to be shooting.  To say that the lens was grossly inadequate for breaching whales is a minor understatement.

Without cropping, the whale looked like a black dot on a blue rippled background.  So I cropped the image.  A lot.  Just to prove that I got a shot.  Notice I did not say “THE” shot, I said “a” (note the lower case) shot.

Is it a killer shot that’s going to grace my wall?  Nope, not even close.

Is it going to be my conversation-inspiring screensaver on my computer or phone?  Nope, not even that good.

So, why did I keep it?

Easy answer.

Because sometimes, it’s not about THE shot, or the quality of a shot that matters.

Sometimes, all that matters is that you got A shot that makes you smile and think back to what was happening at that moment in time.

And, sometimes, that’s all that really matters.

Sometimes, your lens is too short. A Pacific Humpback whale breeches near Kilauea Point. Kauai, HI.

Sometimes, your lens is too short. A Pacific Humpback whale breeches near Kilauea Point. Kauai, HI.

You can check out more whale shots here on Laughing Frog Images.

Thanks for looking!

Puukumu Stream meets the Pacific Ocean

Puukumu Stream meets the Pacific Ocean is one of my favorite images.  It has a bit of an unlikely story behind it.

I was on a hiking photo tour of Kauai with Kauai Photo Tours.  It was a bit of a last minute thing that Mrs. Frog encouraged me to do, so while I had my basic photo gear that I travel with (Nikon D-7100 body and Tamron 18-270mm and 10-24mm lenses), I didn’t have what I would take on a planned landscape shoot.  (That’s another post and discussion!)

So, our group is hiking down to the mouth of Puukumu Stream. Puukumu Stream runs north from the mountains of Kauai between Kahiliwai and Kilauea carrying rainwater to the Pacific Ocean.

My gear is in my bag.  We’ve crossed the stream and are heading north northeast to a small waterfall where the stream empties into the ocean.  And the group is moving.  And my gear is in my bag.  And the group is moving.  I look to the left and think “hey, that’s a great shot…”  And my Icon is in my pocket.  So, I stop briefly, pull out the Icon and snap a few in automatic mode, and then keep moving.

Puukumu Stream meets the Pacific Ocean on the north side of Kauai, Hi.

Puukumu Stream meets the Pacific Ocean on the north side of Kauai, Hi.

I thought it might have been a good grab shot.  And the more I looked at it later in the day, the more I realized that it wasn’t just a good grab shot, but that it was in fact a great shot!

This image was taken in DNG format with a Nokia Icon in Auto mode, ISO 64, 1/1500 second.  Minor post-processing took place in Perfect Photo Suite 9.

Puukumu Stream meets the Pacific Ocean can be found in the coastal and beach scenes gallery on Laughing Frog Images.

This image would be no ka ‘oi (“the best” in Hawaiian) as a metal print or on metallic paper in 1 high x 2 wide format (10″x20″, 12″x24″).

Little Green Bucket.

When I was working on Stories at the Princeville Pier (the previous post), I couldn’t get my mind off of the little green bucket.

The original color image was simply washed out as I was deliberately shooting into the sun to be able to work with silhouettes in the final image.

I was fine with that.

But the little green bucket was calling me.

DSC_6943 lgb 600hI had to do something with that little green bucket…

So, it was back to the digital darkroom.

This time, I opened the image in ACDsee Pro 8 and did something I’ve never done before.

I’d read about it many times, but this was the Frog’s first time removing color from an image.

Using the Advanced Color Feature, I removed all of the color from the image except the greens.

The only evident color in this image is the little green bucket.

Yes, there’s a little left in the water.

But your eye is drawn to the little green bucket.

Depending on how you’re viewing this post, you might be doubting me right now.  If you’re doubting me, click here.

Both images – Little Green Bucket and Stories – are in the coastal and beach scenes gallery on Laughing Frog Images.

Thanks for visiting.

Princeville Pier

When I saw this shot of Princeville Pier, I didn’t see it in color.

I took it in color, but I didn’t see it in color.

Not that there was much color in it.  They say you’re not supposed to shoot into the sun for a reason…

Lost yet?

I saw a some stories at Princeville Pier that could be told in shadow.

I saw a man pondering the rough surf in the harbor.

I saw two children.  Little boys testing mommy’s mettle.

One brave and adventurous – that’s the one on the left that wanted to help the small rocks get back into the water.  He’s deep in his follow-through after one such effort.

One has his bucket and shovel, but slightly more timid.  He wanted to play in the sand, but was not so sure that the cold water was worth it…

I’m not so sure that males ever grow out of testing females, how we do it and who we test just changes throughout lift.  But I digress…

Stories.  In silhouette.  In black and white. At Princeville Pier.

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I saw this as being a black and white, with the people silhouetted against the water.

I was shooting dead into the sun, and I knew I wasn’t going to get any detail of the people in the foreground, but I knew (hoped) that the shot would work in black and white.

So… off to the digital darkroom I went.

The color raw file was opened in Perfect B&W within Perfect Photo Suite 9.5.

I darkened it a bit to bring out the detail in the sand in the foreground, and also to emphasize the silhouettes.

I wanted it to be a bit gritty, especially the tree and hill detail across the harbor, so I selected a film profile that mimic’s Kodak’s legendary Tri-X Pan film.

I adjusted the shadow detail to bring out the detail in the columns supporting the pier.

And here’s the finished product.

Thoughts?

You can find this image in the coastal and beach scenes gallery on Laughing Frog Images.

The original image was made using a Tamron 18-270mm zoom on a Nikon D5100.  Exposure was 1/2500 second at f13, ISO 1000.

Power versus Persistence, Part 2

It has been said to the Frog that perhaps the image of Power versus Persistence was in fact a bit too ominous or haunting.

In looking at it, I can see that perspective.

Recognizing that a picture speaks to different people differently, I asked “what would be different in your ideal image of Power versus Persistence?”

The common answer was along the lines of the untold story in the shadows.

So, off to the digital darkroom I went.

This time, I went to ACDSee Pro 8.  Why, when the original was created using onOne Perfect Photo Suite 9.5?  Well, I really like the Light EQ feature in ACDSee Pro 8 – there are nine (9) separate channels available to adjust an image.  Sometimes, I use this feature to rescue an image from long ago, and sometimes I use this feature to fine-tune an image as I did in this case.

I worked on bringing out the detail in the roots and branches while not washing out the water and the waves.

DSC_6842 power vs persistence copy copy ALT 600 wmAs I was working on the image, I realized that I was telling a story that the original image left untold.  The gnarled roots are part of the story of Power versus Persistence.  You can see the tops of the roots – this is where the land once was.  Power, aided by the wind, has slowly gnawed away at the sand.  Persistence has dug deep and reached out to anything it can to resist power and stay alive.  Persistence isn’t giving up, but you can see that Power is slowly winning.  There will come a day, perhaps in my lifetime, and perhaps not, that Power will prevail.  I don’t know how long the battle of Power versus Persistence has been going on, but I hope to be able to check in on their status from time to time and see how Persistence is faring.

It’s another of nature’s stories playing out before mankind.

Both versions of Power versus Persistence are available in the coastal and beach scenes gallery on Laughing Frog Images.

It would be interesting to see your comments on which version of Power versus Persistence you prefer and why.

 

Power versus Persistence

You might notice an unusual use of capitalization in the title of this post.  Don’t worry, it’s intentional.

Power versus Persistence tells a story.

All the way at the end of the paved road in Kauai if you’re headed counterclockwise lies Ke’e, and Ke’e State Beach.

That’s where the story of Power versus Persistence plays out.

It’s rough water there, and going in for a swim isn’t advised.  There are six different signs with infographics about all of the bad things that can happen to you if you go in if the surf isn’t enough to intimidate you.

But, if you’re a photographer, it’s safe.

One of the first things you see as you enter the beach by the Lifeguard Station is a very prominent tree.  Persistence.

And when you look to your left, you see the pounding surf.  Power.

You feel the wind.  Occasionally, you feel the spray.  And you see the tree.

And you wonder how the battle is going, the battle of Power versus Persistence.

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Persistence wants to stay put and live out its life.

Power wants to control everything in its’ path.

And day by day, grain of sand by grain of sand, my bet is that Power will prevail over Persistence.

Persistence won’t let power win easily.  Persistence is fighting with every fiber in its’ roots.

Someday, when Power has moved enough sand, Persistence will fall prey to the laws of physics, specifically gravity and friction.  And Power will win.

It has been said that there is almost a haunting quality about this image.  Personally, I’d possibly make that association if Persistence were dead.

I see it as a reflection of a struggle among elements of nature.  If you want to go really deep, you could say that it is a visual metaphor of one’s struggle (Persistence) to hold course in what has become a complicated and fast moving world (Power).

It’s likely that each one of us sees something along the lines of just holding on and staying fast, and that’s fine.

If it’s true that a picture paints a thousand words, what would your words be?

Power versus Persistence is available in the coastal and beach scenes gallery on Laughing Frog Images.

Image made with a Nikon D5100 and a Tamron 18-270 zoom; RAW image file exposed at ISO 200 for 1/250 second at f8; processed in Perfect B&W / Perfect Photo Suite 9.5.

With a sneer of derision…

Ever get “that” look from a cat who really doesn’t care if you think it’s a nice cat or not?

As Dr. Sheldon Cooper would say – “a sneer of derision.”

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In the category of pictures that say a thousand words, I think this qualified as one of those looks…

And, perhaps there were only four words behind that look “Pretty kitty my a$%…”

All that said, if I come back in life as a feral cat, I want to make sure I end up at the Lihue Marriott on the island of Kauai….

Sunrise Done Different

Most of the time you see a picture of a sunrise, the photographer is looking at the sun…

Always having to be different, the Frog presents an alternative way to capture a sunrise.  Look the other way!

While on vacation in Hawaii (before you East Coast folks start, it’s closer to me than Boston is right now…) on the island of Kauai, I awoke to a very bright day (which is easy to do when you’ve traveled west).

I looked to the east, and the sun was hidden by a cloud layer.  No shot there…

But, as I looked to the west, well, here’s what I saw:

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The mountains were in shadow, the clouds were lit by the sun, there was a faint rainbow, and the moon was still out!

Being 2015 and all, I did what most anyone would do – I grabbed my phone to take a picture!  I would have grabbed my camera, but the phone was closer and the rainbow was changing (for the worse) before my eyes as the sun rose behind me.

This image is straight from the camera’s raw file (Nokia Lumia Icon), and was cropped to a square image and converted to a jpg for posting and sharing.

I tried to play with it a bit in an editing program to bring out the rainbow, but as every action has a reaction, and the reactions were not favorable, I decided against that train of thought.

You can find the image here on Laughing Frog Images.

Thanks for looking!

Ode to a burger.

I like food.

I think and talk about food often.

Mrs. Frog is a most excellent cook.

And this is an ode to a burger…

Almost everyone has a favorite burger.  For most folks, that favorite burger is probably in their town/city, or at least close by.  They don’t know how lucky they are.

And then, there are the tortured souls like me…

I have a favorite burger, too!  Only it’s not in my city.  I can’t even hop in the car and drive to get one.  It’s about 2600 miles away, and my only choices to get there are a plane or a ship.

I have a long-distance love affair with my favorite burger.  Every time I leave, I begin to lust for my return and the next one.

It’s a tortured existence… for I fell for the Feral Burger (which actually isn’t even on the menu) at The Feral Pig in Lihue, Kauai.

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Isn’t it beautiful?! It doesn’t even look like a regular burger.

So, what is this ode to a burger all about?

Let’s see….

  • Kauai ground beef,
  • ground, house-smoked pork shoulder,
  • pork belly,
  • caramelized onions, and
  • secret aioli sauce.

Looking at that list just initiates burger lust, as well as the rational thought that the blood flow in my arteries and veins is perhaps better off because I can’t just drive to the Feral Pig and get one of these on a whim.

And, with airfare as it is now, it’s not like I’m going on a burger run anytime soon.  But one can dream, can’t one?

It’s decadent.  It’s sloppy.  And, it’s soooooo good.  I don’t know when the next time will be, but I’m already looking forward to it.

If you’re in the neighborhood, you’ve got to at least try a Feral Burger (with fries and a Mai Tai, but that’s another post or two…).

You might like it.

You might not like it (doubtful…).

Or, you might just become another tortured soul like me, living vicariously through a picture until the next time…