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).





Tree Burst

7 12 2010

In a previous post, I provided a photography tip. I suggested the importance of looking up and seeing what’s above your head. While visiting Muir Woods outside of San Francisco, I found a great opportunity to take my own advice. I used a wide-angle lens and created the HDR image seen below. The long lines formed by the tree trunks, the bright light of the sky, and the distant branches work together to create a fairly abstract image.

Muir Woods - Looking Up - Electric

A photo looking toward the sky at Muir Woods near San Francisco, CA.

For more photos from Muir Woods, please visit my Sights of San Francisco gallery.





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 – Don’t Take Scenes for Granted

1 03 2010

My photography tip or thought for the day has to do with taking a scene for granted. Long story short, when you’re looking at a scene, keep in mind that you may be able to get “that” photograph again. For a short story made longer, read on:

I first saw the barn in the photo below about 5 years ago. It’s located just off of Georgetown Pike (Northern Virginia) on the way to Great Falls National Park. I thought that it was an interesting photo subject but there was no where to park. I drove past the bard about 2-3 times a year for the next 4 years. Every time I visited Great Falls I thought about how I could get a photo or two of it. Eventually this past fall I sucked it up. I pulled my car off of the road and parked in some high grass. It was probably a spot that had no business being parked on. Anyone that has driven this road can probably picture the lack of “pull off” parking. I walked about 100 yards to the opening in the tree line that allowed me to capture the shot below.

Why do I tell you all of this? Well a few weeks ago, I took a drive to Great Falls shortly after the back to back blizzards (B^3 would have been a clever name). It was a day that there certainly no where to stash a car off of the side of the road because of 4 snow plowed embankments. I was curious to see the barn in a winter like scene as I had never gone to Great Falls with snow on the ground. As I approached the barn, I saw that the scene was no more. The roof had collapsed under the weight of the snow and I would guess that the barn will be demolished in the near future.

So with this photo of a barn in mind, I suggest taking a photograph of a good scene when you find one because it might not always be there for the taking.





Visiting Jefferson’s Treasures

26 02 2010

“I’m a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” ~Thomas Jefferson~

This quote seems to fit my photography pretty well. As I have focused more time and energy on photography, I continue to find better “luck.” It’s also a polite way of saying don’t just sit around and wait for things to happen.

Last weekend I spent part of a day in Charlottesville, VA while my wife spent the afternoon at a conference. I burned a few hours by visiting two of Thomas Jefferson’s historical locations. I was able to visit Monticello for the first time and tour Thomas Jefferson’s home. While the grounds were snow-covered it was still enjoyable to walk around. I was pleasantly surprised by the time I spent there. I thought that I would just be seeing an old house, but I good tour guide re-sparked an interest in the history nerd that lives inside me. The architecture of the building was also very unique and made for some good shots.

I also visited the center of the University of Virginia’s campus and took in the Academical Village and the Rotunda. As a college administrator, I found this area both unique and amazing. I have to admit that one of the first thoughts I had as I walked a corridor along student residences was “isn’t a fireplace a significant fire hazard”. The Academical Village is Jefferson’s idea of a university. It is a place where faculty, staff, and students closely interact benefiting the educational experience of the student. The Rotunda, which is the central building of UVA’s campus, is a great building. I will share some photographs that focus on this building in another post.

Here are a few more photos from my afternoon:

Jefferson’s thoughts also seem to provide a good life lesson. Hard work yields results. And while I do believe that luck does exist, effort leads to more positive outcomes. You’re probably better off putting in a little effort instead of just hoping things break your way!

To view more photos from Virginia, please click on any of the images in this post. My gallery of Virginia is a new project. I still have many places to explore.