no lifeguard

We went to Richardson’s beach to look for whales, but we had no luck. It was windy, the sea was choppy and the sky was grey. The lifeguard, had already called it a day.

desktop of the month – july 2010

We’ve only just returned from a month long vacation (plus some work for me) so I knew that this month’s desktop calendar image was not going to be posted on time. I looked through what I had but couldn’t find anything really appropriate and didn’t want to rush anything out. And then I realised that it was going to be 4th of July this weekend. So I waited, and went down to the Hilo Bayfront with family, friends and camera on tripod, and watched the fireworks.

I thought that this image was probably most appropriate given our location. That’s a big palm tree!

As usual, if you’d like a desktop at a particular size for your desktop, then just drop me a line. Here is the usual list that you can download: 1920×1280, 1900×1200, 1600×1200, 1280×854, 1280×800

a photowalking bridesmaid


I blogged about the Hilo edition of the Scott Kelby Photowalk in my last post and about how difficult (at least for me) the conditions were: wind, rain and early morning! Not a great combination.

In the end, I thought that I got at least a couple of decent shots which had some potential so I entered those. I was quite pleases with them and I had the good fortune of coming in second again. Again? Yes, I took part in this photowalk last year and entered this shot which also got me second place. Looking back, it was a good event and one that I shall support again in the future. In the end there were over 900 photowalks around the world with over 32,600 photographers – snappers, keen amateurs and professionals alike. Everyone welcome!

Given the conditions, I think us Hilo folks did well. You can see the entries here. I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate Jock on his wonderful winning image showing an infrared view of Wailoa Park in Hilo. It certainly got my vote!

And finally, many many thanks to Bob Douglas who organised the walk and got everybody together for this, keeping our enthusiasm going through the adverse Hilo conditions. Thanks Bob!

a log, a photo opportunity

wpid486-20090408-7026.jpgI went down to the Bayfront here in Hilo yesterday, just looking for an opportunity to take a few pictures. The canoe clubs were out paddling and it was raining on and off. The light was grey, but I didn’t mind – in fact, it’s what I wanted. The dim light would mean that I could use longer exposures and my aim was to try and capture an image which would depict both still-life and motion.

Walking along the bay, I came across this log which was being buffeted by the waves. I set up my tripod in the wet sand and started trying to create the effect I was looking for. Here are some of the better ones.




rainbow over hilo

wpid478-20090406-6873-hdr.jpgI received a beautiful reminder of why we love living on these islands. I went to the bayfront on Monday morning (I took the day off) with the aim of experimenting with HDR photography. Driving up to Coconut Island it started raining and I thought “oh no, rain again”. It seemed such a nice morning as well. 

But I decided that given that this is Hilo, the rain would pass soon. So I parked the car, chose my spot, set up my camera on the tripod, sat under an umbrella and started taking some test shots. And then what developed in front of my eyes, made my day. As the rain cloud made its way over the bay and towards the town the sun started to poke its head from around the clouds that were still laying over to the east. And as it did so, it created this beautiful rainbow you see in the image above.

As they say in Hawaii – “No rain, no rainbows”!

Halema`uma`u’s plume heads for Hilo

On the way down from the summit after finishing for the night we noticed something spectacular.

It wasn’t a great night – it was cloudy throughout which closed off the other optical and infrared telescopes, but because the JCMT is a submillimetre (i.e. sensitive to microwave radiation) telescope we can see through the clouds. However, the stability and ‘wetness’ of the atmosphere above us was poor, so although we could work it wasn’t great.

It was cloudy above but it was clear down to the coast and we had a great view of the volcano. In these pictures you can see the plume of volcanic emissions coming from the Halema`uma`u vent from the top of Kilauea volcano. Tom had some nice pictures of it close up when he went on his ‘shopping trip’ this weekend. The pictures below aren’t as clear as I would like (click on them to get a better look) as the Sun hadn’t fully risen yet so getting the right exposure (bright sky & dark ground) was tricky as I wanted to try and preserve some of the colour in the sky – I’ll see if I can improve them a bit when I get them into Lightroom on my return home.

I never cease to be humbled by the place we are privileged to call our workplace. It always gets me as we drive down from the summit, the fact that we are (usually) looking down onto the cloud tops rather than up. In these images we are looking down onto another volcano as its exhaust plume is carried away by the wind.

Ah, but notice, where is that plume heading? Not out to the ocean as usual. That’s because the trade winds that usually come in from the east and carry the vog (a uniquely Hawai’ian term, I believe, for ‘volcanic fog’) out to the ocean and beyond (and affecting the sky lines and respiratory systems of folks on our neighbour islands) are not there. Not this day. The winds were coming from the west (we call them ‘Kona winds’) and carrying the vog straight to Hilo!

I spoke with Mila that afternoon and she said that the vog was particularly bad that day…. no wonder.

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