If you like photographing flowers, and happen to travel to the big island of Hawaii, you really owe it to yourself to make some time to walk through the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden. Just a few minutes’ drive north of Hilo, it’s home to all sorts of beautiful tropical plants.

Here, for example, is a Pink Quill (tillandsia cyanea) bromeliad. It’s native to Ecuador, but apparently also available as a houseplant (although I doubt it’d do well for us here in Colorado):


More to come…

A little “light” entertainment

If you ever get to Hawaii (in particular, if you ever get to the island of Oahu), chances are you’ll wind up stopping by the Polynesian Cultural Center. It’s the #1 paid attraction in the state, after all. An adjunct of the BYU-Hawaii campus, the PCC serves a cluster of purposes — entertainment, helping college-age kids from across the Pacific pay for college, and providing some cross-cultural education.

Granted, the displays of polynesian culture at the PCC are “cleaned up” a bit (as you might expect given the circumstances), but for most visitors it’s at least a quick way to get exposure to a slice of Polynesia they wouldn’t see otherwise. The after-dinner show is also a great way to get practice photographing flaming torches:

A little

I was more than a little surprised that this shot didn’t require much noise cleanup — the torches do a great job of lighting the entertainer (just had a bit of noise in the darker background). BTW, this is a shot from the “Ha: Breath of Life” show. Great stuff for the kids…

Night along the trail

So let’s say you take a trip to Hawaii and manage to hike out to where the lava meets the sea. Pretty spectacular, particularly at night:

Pele's workshop

But of course, you hiked there in the dark (likely) over near-black lava (certainly), and now you need to get back to your car, in the dark. Makes for a pretty tough scene unless you brought a flashlight. Luckily, though, most folks remember this little item of equipment (although you’d be surprised how many show up unprepared)

Once you’re back at the trailhead, you can take a long-exposure shot of the folks behind you on the trail:

Night along the trail

If you’re having trouble visualizing what’s going on, here’s a VERY STRETCHED shorter exposure shot from the same spot:


Note that all the ground below the horizon is solidified lava flows, the sky is only visible here because I took this on a cloudy night. I’m still amazed at how much detail is visible in this frame…

Not your ordinary tide pool

In a post over on the old blog, I talked a bit about (and shared some video from) the green sand beach near South Point, on the big island of Hawaii. If you find yourself “in the neighborhood” but can’t (or don’t want to) hike to the beach, you do have alternatives.

Not your ordinary tide pool

This isn’t “the” green sand beach, this is a little tide pool about a mile away — but it’s managed to collect some of its neighbor’s sand just the same. It only covers about 200 square feet (so 20″ish” square meters), but it’s considerably closer to the trailhead.

Blowin’ in the wind

On our recent trip to Hawaii, I was happy to see that wind power seems to be catching on there. At one point we were driving along a highway that essentially parallels the coast, and saw a wind farm in the distance. Since we had a bit of time to kill, we headed off down a local road to get closer.

Blowin' in the wind

I took this shot from the side of the road (a single-lane access road for the local short-strip “airport”), just outside the fence. Pity the sky wasn’t clearer, but I still like the contrast between the windmills and meadow. If I find the time, I might just have to tinker with this shot in Photoshop to get rid of the clouds…

Waikiki evening

On our recent Hawaii trip, we spent the better part of an evening wandering around the beach at Waikiki. Mostly I was hoping to get a good sunset shot (the previous night, the sunset was gorgeous — but I was on a bus headed to our hotel from the airport and couldn’t get a shot of it), but I figured I should make good use of the opportunity while I was waiting. In this one, you can just make out the silhouette of one person walking deeper into the water:

Waikiki evening

BTW, I never did get my sunset shot — night after night, the clouds wound up blowing in just in time to block the view.