Wait Your Turn

9 12 2010

While visiting Maui in May, my wife and I spent a day driving the Road to Hana. It’s a great drive, unless you get nauseous. For a while, I thought that she would just say she didn’t feel well when we were out taking photos (read “while I was out taking photos and she was along for the ride”) and was tired of stop and go driving. After a few trips out sight-seeing, we learned that she doesn’t do well on windy roads. But enough of the side story; car-sickness or not, driving to Hana along the north coast of Maui is an unforgettable ride. There are great views of the ocean, cliffs, beaches, and a few small towns along way. We enjoyed the adventure of exploring Maui.

During our day out, we stopped at Waianapanapa State Park to check out the black sand beach and the surrounding lava shelves. While there, we walked through a beach cave that led to the ocean. As we walked through the cave, I took my camera out to take some photos. When we got to the end, we came across a boy that was looking at the water. You couldn’t continue through the ocean side without getting pounded by the waves. In my mind, I wanted a photo of the cave and ocean; I had no real inspiration to have a person in the photo. But as I patiently waited for my “turn” at the front of the cave, I decided to snap a shot or two using him as a subject. The resulting photo is posted below. Taking a few moments to wait and get the photo I wanted actually provided the opportunity to take what turned out to be a significantly stronger photograph (at least in my opinion).

When we turned around to leave the cave, we found about 25 people in one of the larger areas. As we approached the exit, we found that it started to rain fairly hard and people came to the cave for cover. We decided to make a run for the car and wait out the short shower there.

Additional photos from Maui and Waianapanapa State Park can be seen in my gallery named Maui: The Valley Isle – 2010.

Watching the Water

A boy watching the ocean through a beach cave at Wai'anapanapa State Park in Maui (Hawaii).

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Golden Gate Bridge

5 12 2010

I’m just one in a long line of people that wanted to take photos of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.  I had my first opportunity in early October when visiting the area with family. I didn’t take a lot of time to shoot the bridge, but did take a few minutes from a few different perspectives. While San Francisco didn’t offer much in the way of sunshine when near the bridge, I did have the opportunity to work with some good conditions. A couple of my favorite shots are posted below. Additional photos from my time in the San Francisco area can be seen in my Sights of San Francisco gallery.

Golden Gate Bridge and Fog - Color

The fog started to roll in around the bridge as I arrived with my camera.

Golden Gate Bridge with Wave

Baker Beach provided a unique perspective of the bridge with some active waves on the shore.

Golden Gate Bridge Long Exposure

Big waves are slowed down by a slower shutter speed.

Looking at the Golden Gate Bridge

A view of the bridge with a person viewing the bridge.

 





Views from Alcatraz Prison

4 12 2010

Alcatraz prison was far smaller than I imagined it to be.  And not nearly as remote as the stories of failed escape attempts would lead you to believe. While touring the former prison, I was able to capture two shots of views from inside the prison. The first is through a window looking out at activity on the water. The second photo (HDR) was taken in the yard; a view not likely to be seen by a prison inmate.

View from Inside Alcatraz

A view from inside Alcatraz looking through a dirty window frame.

 

This is a view from the Alcatraz yard into the bay.

 





Maui Landscapes – Road to Hana Part 1

11 07 2010

I had the opportunity to visit Maui for the second time in May. The island provides a great blend of luxurious resorts, quiet beaches, golf, and opportunity for adventure. From a landscape photography perspective, there are scenic beaches, small towns, rugged coastline, mountains, and opportunities to watch the sun rise or set.

Toward the end of our visit, my wife and I drove one of the scenic byways on the island. We traveled the “Road to Hana” which is a 50 mile road with hundreds of curves, more than 50 one lane bridges, and numerous narrow passes. Along the road, there are excellent views of Maui’s coast, the ocean, valleys, and waterfalls.

Two of my favorite landscapes from the trip were captured along this road. You may see them below. Additional photos from our trip to Maui can be seen here.

Akoi Island is along the coast of Maui.

Haipuaena Falls along the Road to Hana in Maui





4th of July – Sandy Point State Park

6 07 2010

A sunrise trip to Sandy Point State park didn’t allow for true sunrise photos, but was not a lost cause. The park did not open until about 3 minutes after sunrise and a long line of visitors looking to get 4th of July celebrations set up were ahead of me. The early morning provided strong light and comfortable temperatures. Check out a couple summer Maryland landscapes!

Chesapeake Bay Bridge from the Sandy Point Beach.

Sandy Point Shoal Lighthouse in the early morning light.

A fisherman's setup at the Bay Bridge.





Photography Tip – Look Up

28 02 2010

In my previous post, I shared a photo of the dome ceiling at the University of Virginia’s Rotunda. That got me to thinking about another similar shot. Apparently I enjoy taking photos of domes. The photo below was taken in the Chapel on the campus of the U.S. Naval Academy. This led me to recall a photography tip that I read about a few years ago.

A lot of things happen over our heads. Some things are man made and others are natural. The ceiling in my living room has a ceiling fan and a textured finish. A textured finish isn’t put on a ceiling for anything more than being pleasant to the eye. In more complex buildings ceilings include domes, arches, lines, and curves. All of these are things often appealing to the eye. In nature trees grow over us and clouds float by. For some people jokes exist in a realm above the head. And if you don’t get what that means, I’m talking about you. Regardless of where you are, many opportunity for good photographs exist above our heads.

All of that being said, it’s very easy to forget to look up. Most of the things we look at do not require much tilt of the head and neck. Whether you’re clicking photos with an iPhone, a point-and-shoot camera, or something more complex look up and see what your options are. Give your neck some exercise!





Raising the Bar in Jefferson’s Rotunda

27 02 2010

Thomas Jefferson designed the early phases of the University of Virginia to place the student body in close proximity to the library and members of the academic community. At the center of Jefferson’s Academical Village is the Rotunda. The building is a symbol of the University of Virgina and is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The building is best known for its dome and columns; it was based on the Pantheon in Rome.

I gave myself a quick tour of the Rotunda and enjoyed the history and architecture of the building. It was an enjoyable building to tour because there we not many people around. The lack of people made it easy to get some good photographs of the building’s interior. The photos below are among my favorite from the past weekend and of the year so far.

These stairs lead up to the dome room. I really like the symmetry, lines, and curves of this shot.

I like how this image shows the shape of the room and the unique architecture of the columns. Again, solid symmetry.

I was able to use a wide angle lens to capture the seating arrangement of the Dome Room with the Skylight in the dome ceiling. The sun was also shining through to add some pattern to the shot.

This shot was taken looking at the skylight in the dome. The sun was shining through onto the dome creating a unique pattern. The image reminds me of a jellyfish.

My sister commented on a previous post and said that I was raising the bar. While I appreciate compliments that people share, I am often critical of my own work. But this is one case where I would agree by saying that these photographs are among my better shots. I guess I am raising the bar.