Considering all the images you can see everyday that express less than the best of humans . It’s nice to celebrate an extraordinary achievement with this picture of the landing pad from the Phoenix spacecraft after it successfully landed on the Polar region of Mars on Sunday. With its landing the success rate for landing on Mars is now 50%.
May 25, 2008
How’s your Memorial Weekend going? On Saturday I helped some of my hang gliding friends launch from Kamehame Ridge. You’ll find pics of that at my Smugmug site.
On my way home I stopped at Sandy Beach to visit with a friend and fly his kite. Meanwhile the participants of the DJ Johnson 3-Day Round the Island Races Sailing Regatta went by. I sailed with my father as a boy and it was impressive how close these large sail boats tacked to the shore.
The lead boat in this picture started tacking towards us a few minutes later. The boat came within one hundred yards of the shore before turning out into the channel.
May 23, 2008
Scott Eccleston at Weekly Photo tips has put together a slide show to remember those who’ve given their lives for our freedom. As your enjoying the fruits of that freedom think of those who didn’t come back and tell those still with us Thanks.
May 16, 2008
We been living with Kona trades the past few days. Bringing vog back to our neighborhood. Fortunately it hasn’t been as bad as three weeks ago. It does make for sunrise photo ops. Like this view out my back door.
I’ve been playing with the different features of my Sony A700 to understand its capabilities. I used the D-Range Optimizer for this picture. It’s a feature designed to capture more detail in shadow and high contrast situations.
This is a versatile option. Not only is there a default setting. There’s an Advanced Auto and an Advanced:Level. The level allows you to adjust how strong to make it. Plus there’s a bracketing option. You take one picture and it creates three copies of varying optimization. And there’s no lag. Well there’s nothing more high contrast than a sunrise. Except a sunset.
But for sunrises all I have to do is set my tripod on the lanai and start shooting. I’ve used ND filters, bracketing and Photoshop to tease out decent pics. Of course the biggest problem is reducing/hiding the noise in the shadows without turning the detail into mush. So much for Photoshop (just kidding Adobe).
This is a versatile option. Not only is there a default setting. There’s an Advanced Auto and an Advanced:Level. The level allows you to adjust how strong to make it. Plus there’s a bracketing option. You take one picture and it creates three copies of varying optimization. And there’s no lag.
I can’t say I’ve noticed a big difference between Level 1 and 5. This shot was used with Level 4
May 13, 2008
May 12th marked my one year association with the Hang Glider pilots on Oahu. I was at Makapuu Lookout taking pictures when a voice behind me asked if I’d like to take some pictures from a better spot. Turning around I saw a group of guys with hopeful looks on their faces. They were looking for someone to drive the car back down from the launch point to the landing zone. Having a driver means they can all fly.
I had a good time. Got some great pics. I’ve been helping out ever since. So far this year I’ve got over six thousand pics of them hang gliding and another 2500 of the paragliders. The number on my Smugmug site is considerably less than that.
I know what you’re probably thinking. Have I gone for a flight? WHAT!? Are you insane!? Why should I jump off a perfectly good cliff? I’ll help them do it instead.
May 11, 2008
Do you visit the beach (or the Shore as we say on the East Coast where I grew up) and focus on one element more than another?. I like to catch a wave as it washes against a rock or rocks. I’m not referring to the kinda waves generated by a storm.
Just the daily wash of waves against the shore. There’s something about catching the splash and spray created by a swell reaching the beach. Digital allows me to indulge my desire to catch that brief moment in time and really observe it. To see how the water spreads out. The tiny droplets separating from the mass hanging momentarily weightless. Before gravity and time pull it back to the sand and water that flowed around the rock.
Sometimes I’ll freeze the action with a fast shutter speed or present a more silky flow of water around the rock with a slow shutter speed.
May 6, 2008
Everytime I use my flash, which isn’t often. I’m reminded I don’t use flash enough. This happened last Thursday night at the Gordon Biersch restaurant in the Aloha Tower. A friend of mine was playing guitar for a local band called Nethermind. I took my camera to do my Rock Photographer imitation. I’ve got a 5600 HSD accessory flash. I have the tools to make good images.
Yet my flash shooting is a hit or miss proposition. Just when I think I’ve got the right settings, the camera acts like it has a mind of its own. Just when I think I’ve got it locked in. The next picture is wickedly overexposed. Such as the above picture. On the left is a decent exposure. All I did was turn to the right and the skin on the musicians is blownout worse than the white t-shirt on the left. Yikes. Program, Aperture, Shutter or Manual mode it doesn’t matter.