Culture & Sugar

We did the road trip thing today taking in the west, north and middle of Oahu.

The west is very much more my idea of Hawaii than the east, with lush foliage, dramatic mountains and sleepy communities.

We visited the Polynesian Cultural Center and as we did not have much time, we were treated to a free canoe ride and a short trip around the polynesian cultures that are represented there. We made some great island purchases in the shop for friends.

Easter Island at The Polynesia Cultural Center
Easter Island at The Polynesia Cultural Center 

Click Image for a larger view.

Moving on up the west coast and past the popular Banzai Pipeline surf beach and on to a great little town of Haleiwa, which is sort of throwback to the surf towns of the seventies. Some great clothing stores, art stores and a first for me: Shaved Ice, interesting, but oh so sweet.

shaved ice
shaved ice

Click Image for a larger view.

If we were not sweeted out enough, a stop at the Dole Pineapple Plantation for an ice cream on the way back to home base was a finish to the day.

Memorial

Today we visited the Pearl Harbour Memorial site. I was impressed on many fronts. The respectful way in which the facts were presented, the lack of negativity towards the ‘then’ enemy in Japan and the restrained nationalistic approach to the whole memorial.

The free boat trip out to the USS Arizona memorial, the memorial site over the top of the now sunk ship and the great museum displays giving the full history of the conflict, were the highlights of the trip.

USS Arizona anchor
USS Arizona anchor
USS Arizona Memorial
USS Arizona Memorial
Gun Encasement of the now sunk USS Arizona
Gun Encasement of the now sunk USS Arizona

Click images for larger views

Sunday Downtime

Day 2 in Hawaii means total relaxation, sun, surf, sleep, read. All the things that are needed to recharge the batteries.

Looking around the beach here at Makaha brings up images of Tracy Island from Thunderbirds, I quite expect the palm trees to plop over and Thunderbird 2 to emerge from beneath the ground.

This beach is so perfect and surprisingly devoid of people. Could stay here for a lot longer, but know there is more to see.

our beach

Click Image for a larger view.

Going Underground

Yesterday, I got a nice surprise of a late Christmas present from a friend. A fabulous book:

Subterranean London von Bradley Garrett

A fine collection of images from underground London; sewers, rivers, railway lines past present and future, abandoned stations, and other ancillary tunnels and underground workings, such a fascinating read, you can buy it from Amazon.com  really worth a look. Makes me want to have more underground adventures.

Image of the Day

Going Underground

Back in 2010 while visiting the Blue Mountains, NSW Australia, we took time to visit the many caves and tunnels in the Jenolan Caves system. These are really worth a visit, set aside a whole day to do them justice.

going underground

Click the image for a larger view.

Misty Valley

Preparing for my upcoming trip to Hawaii, so sharing some older images from around this beautiful country before I jet away for two weeks.  WiFi at the various destinations will be patchy but I hope to share as much of the trip as possible.

This is a misty morning shot from Buchan in New South Wales, Australia.  A camping trip and a visit to various cave systems in the area meant a great weekend away.

buchan

Click the image for a larger view

Giving Moments in Time

I’ve been told I have a skill, and that is capturing moments in time, in the images I take. One way to help others is to make your skill available and give your time using or doing what you do best.

In 2014, I started a relationship with a local children’s charity Cottage by the Sea, Queenscliff, providing them with my time, so they can benefit from my images to represent the fabulous work that they do.

This charity offers children and young people Inspiration, Fun and Opportunity through diverse programs offered in a wide range of environments. During their camp experience, they provide opportunities for building positive relationships with peers and adult role models to help participants learn and grow. Whatever the program participants are encouraged to have fun, take risks and explore options in a safe and supportive setting. They seek to assist young people to develop self-awareness, confidence and resilience, inspiring them to remain engaged in education, family and their community and to achieve their goals.

I look forward to 2015, a special one, as it is their 125th year, and to capturing more moments in time for them.  Please take a moment out of your time to visit their site and  seeing how you can help.

Image of the Day

Moment in Time

This image is one of many I took while listening to this busker on a busy Melbourne city street. I must have stood for 20 minutes, during which time he played non-stop and never looked up. I later found out this guy is blind.

The intensity and serenity of his frame, and the bustle behind him give a great juxtaposition to the scene, and provided me with a moment in time.

I submitted a version of this image as one of the first to be critiqued in The Arcanum, and was provided with some great advice regarding cropping that I have taken and this is a revised version of my original.

The slowish shutter speed gives me the movement of the traffic, the normal aperture gives me a sharp image from a normally not so sharp kit lens.

Colour correction and shadow recovery in Lightroom have enhanced the vibrance and clarity of the image.

18-55mm f/3.5-5.6, 1/40sec @ f/5.6, ISO100
18-55mm f/3.5-5.6, 1/40sec @ f/5.6, ISO100

Click the image for a larger view.

The Lucky Country

The term is an affectionate nickname for Australia, but was actually born out of a less favourable quote from the book of the same name by Donald Horne in 1964.

“Australia is a lucky country run mainly by second rate people who share its luck. It lives on other people’s ideas, and, although its ordinary people are adaptable, most of its leaders (in all fields) so lack curiosity about the events that surround them that they are often taken by surprise.”

I do think things have changed since and many a notable Australian has made their mark on the world.

For my part, I feel extremely lucky to have been able to move to ‘The Lucky Country’ of Australia in 2001. The luck of my birth into a ‘free’ nation, the United Kingdom, allowing me freedom to choose, freedom to travel and indeed, freedom to leave, is not one afforded the vast majority of the world’s population.

I thank my Luck on a constant basis.

Image of the Day

The Lucky Country

This is a random image from my archive of a beautiful scene from the  island state of Tasmania, which I have had the privilege to have visited 3 times now, and will again, no doubt.

No real playing with this one in Lightroom, it is what it is, beautiful.  Just some sharpening, clarity and vibrance to enhance to beauty as I normally would with most of my images.

Tasmania
Tasmania

Click the image for a larger view.

 

 

Standing Tall

So what types of photography do I like to do?

When it comes to genres, I am a pretty mixed bag, from pure Landscapes to Architecture, from Nature to People, from Travel to Street, I like a dabble in most. Some photographers will say you need to specialise to be truly good at something, but for now I’m not ready to box myself in, I look for a good shot in everything I see, for me it is about the interesting, or as a fellow photographer puts it “it is all about the awesome”, I love that saying and I know he would not mind others using it.

You will see the mixed bag as you continue to follow my blog, but even though I enjoy many genres, a certain style is starting to develop in my edits which can be seen across my portfolio.

Examples of my work at can be found on my website:

http://www.lightaustralisphoto.com

Image of the Day

Standing Tall

One thing I have not yet experimented with is Macro photography, but I do like what I call close-up photography instead, using a standard prime lens and get as close as the focus will allow, which in precise lenses is pretty close and getting the shot, this works particularly well in nature shots like this one of Lavender in my garden.

The out of focus areas of an image are just as important as the in focus, if you have a pleasing background that pushed your subject to the fore you have done a good job. Even parts of subject can be out focus like in this shot, just hints of individual flowers are all that is needed to tell the story.

I have introduced some split toning into this shot, giving the highlights a golden brown feel and the shadows a hit of blue. I enjoy using split toning in Lightroom to introduce tones that are not naturally in the image but compliment them.

35mm f/1.8, 1/500sec @ f/2.8, ISO100
35mm f/1.8, 1/500sec @ f/2.8, ISO100

Click the Photo for  larger view.