There are so many beautiful places – even in our own backyard. It’s about seeing them in the moment when we’re there.
Fortunately, we have these amazing magic boxes in our pockets that help to us capture these magic moments – so we can go back to them – again and again.
A big part of my love of photography is how it takes me back to these places, these moments – to so many places I’ve been and back those moments that are deep in my memory. That image the camera snaps in the moment helps us go back, remember that special time, that light, those colors, even those smells.
There’s a special place on the big island of Hawaii where Parker Ranch meets the sky. On a drive back from Hawi, we came upon it – and for me it will always be captured in this image. A lone tree in a pasture up there where the ranch meets the sky.
With several photographer friends, I recently attended a lecture by photographer John Paul Caponigro sponsored by the Palo Alto Camera Club. He spoke on the subjects of “Illuminating Creativity” and “Landscapes Within”. A 20 minute version of his creativity talk from 2010 is available as a TEDx video.
Caponigro’s purpose in his talk was to push us to explore our own creativity – to realize that we’ve got a lot more that we might not even realize. I’m not sure about that in my case (!) – but I tried to take some of what he taught to bear on this particular image.
It’s a morning sunrise shot from the Kona coast in Hawaii. Sunrise, of course, occurs in the east – and this image looks to the west – off the coastline of the Kona coast on the big island of Hawaii. There was a lovely bank of low clouds (not visible in the image) which were reflecting lovely sunrise colors down into the ocean waters – and that’s what I tried to capture as I processed this image.
Processing involved several steps – including an excursion into Lab color, selective use of Topaz Simplify, some luminosity painting – and other steps I’ve already forgotten!
This is one of those special images that brings me back – back to a very special early morning, walking along the coast in Hawaii and watching the light slowly shift and sparkle. Beautiful. A beautiful memory. For me, that’s what creativity is all about.
I’ve been experimenting a bit more with textures – and picked this image tonight to experiment with. The base image has a couple of textures added on top – in Photoshop using Overlay and Soft Light blend modes. It’s very different from the monochromes I’ve been doing recently – but that’s why I like it!
Up on the north end of the Big Island of Hawaii – near the town of Hawi – are about a dozen big windmills taking advantage of the prevailing winds sweeping through the area.
In this image, a few horses are enjoying themselves in the warm wind in a field near the windmills. Shot with a Nikon D600, the image was post-processed in Photoshop using some of Tony Kuyper’s luminosity masking techniques.
One of the things I’m always looking for when out shooting is a puddle – something that can be used to shoot reflections.
Here’s a shot based on a big puddle – a hotel swimming pool – shot shortly after sunrise. I loved how the palms were shimmering in the surface of the pool’s water.
I used Lightroom and one of Trey Ratcliff’s Lightroom presets to process the image- Infrared Morning to help create the effect. Naturally, I also flipped the image upside down so that the trees look semi-normal!
One of my favorite things about Flickr is how I get to see some of my older images – just because someone else found them by searching on Flickr or Google! Each day, I enjoy looking at a report that Flickr provides of activity on all of my photos.
A couple of days ago, an earlier color HDR image of this photo turned up. It brought back memories of that place – on the Big Island of Hawaii on the road heading east of of Hawi. I shot this as a 3-image handheld bracketed shot with my Canon 5D Mark II. The original image I posted on Flickr was processed in Photomatix Pro.
Tonight, I opted to process the HDR using Photoshop’s Merge to HDR Pro. I then brought it into Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2, added some control points for tweaking before finishing it back in Photoshop with some dodging and burning using some new techniques we’ve been learning.
I find this composition very pleasing to the eye – with that gradual slope on the hillside, the beautiful angle of the tree and the foggy skies above. Ah, Hawaii indeed!
Three years ago, in 2010, we took a winter vacation to the big island of Hawaii.
We met up with our friends for a Saturday morning drive up to the Waimea Homestead Farmers Market – and captured this shot of these “bright beets” with my Canon PowerShot S90. I’ve put some of my other shots from that morning in this set of photos on Flickr.
I’ve since sold that camera – and upgraded to the Canon PowerShot S100 – but I learned so much about compact point and shoot photography with that little S90. Brings back lots of great memories – including the great time we had in Hawaii on a winter vacation just three years ago.
This is another view of the Winona – this time at sunset in early August 2009. I spent considerably more time on post-processing this version – and I think the results show it! Be sure to click on the photo to see a large version.