Ten-Years Ago (22-November-2007) — Hawaii

Hawaii Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan: Day 5

While we were out on our morning photography composition lesson, I found this black volcanic rock with yellow-green sparkles. I brought it back to the lodge where I had a macro lens, and spent the afternoon trying to get some pictures of the crystals. Later on I discovered that the crystals were a semi-precious gem known as Peridot (Pele’s Tears).

Peridot Crystals (Pele's Tears). Image taken with a Nikon D2xs camera and 105 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 100, f/22, 1/60 sec, flash). (David J Mathre)
Peridot Crystals (Pele’s Tears). Image taken with a Nikon D2xs camera and 105 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 100, f/22, 1/60 sec, flash). (David J Mathre)

Five-Years Ago (19-November-2007) — Hawaii

Hawaii Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan: Day 2

One of the first pictures I took while attending a workshop with Thom Hogan in Hawaii five-years ago was this small yellow bird in a palm tree. The workshop group was sitting outside at the hotel getting an orientation for the next few days. Ultimately, I was able to identify this bird as a Saffron Finch — which turns out not to be native to Hawaii.

Saffron Finch in a Palm Tree. Kona, Hawaii. Image taken with a Nikon D2xs and 80-400 mm VR lens (ISO 400, 400 mm, f/8, 1/640 sec). (David J. Mathre)
Saffron Finch in a Palm Tree. Kona, Hawaii. Image taken with a Nikon D2xs and 80-400 mm VR lens (ISO 400, 400 mm, f/8, 1/640 sec). (David J. Mathre)

Four-Years Ago (22-November-2007) — Hawaii

Hawaii Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan: Day 5

Four years ago today I was attending a photography workshop on the Big Island of Hawaii led by  Thom Hogan . We spent Thanksgiving day in and around Volcanoes National Park. Later in the afternoon we had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner at the Volcano House Hotel with other guests at the Lodge and some local residents.

The day started shooting sunrise over the Kilauea crater. In order to record the wide range of light, I took seven images with different exposure times. These were then processed using Photomatix (a HDR program). While traveling to the next photography location, Thom and Tony spotted a Nene (the Hawaiian state bird, also known as the Hawaiian Goose). The Nene is probably distantly related to Canada geese, however the Nene do not migrate. I guess that once they found Hawaii, they decided to stay 🙂 .  The Nene almost went extinct and is now protected by the state. It can also be found on some of the other Hawaiian islands. Finally, Thom helped with a composition including a fern.

Sunrise over Kilauea Volcano Crater, Volcanoes National Park Hawaii. Image taken with a Nikon D2xs and 17-35 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 100, 28 mm, f/5.). HDR composite of 7 images using Photomatix Pro (David J. Mathre)
Sunrise over Kilauea Volcano Crater, Volcanoes National Park Hawaii. Image taken with a Nikon D2xs and 17-35 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 100, 28 mm, f/5.). HDR composite of 7 images using Photomatix Pro (David J. Mathre)
Nene - Hawaiian Goose, Volcanoes National Park Hawaii. Image taken with a Nikon D2xs and 80-400 mm VR lens (ISO 400, 400 mm, f/8, 1/180 sec) (David J. Mathre)
Nene – Hawaiian Goose, Volcanoes National Park Hawaii. Image taken with a Nikon D2xs and 80-400 mm VR lens (ISO 400, 400 mm, f/8, 1/180 sec) (David J. Mathre)
Fern Composition, Volcanoes National Park Hawaii. Image taken with a Nikon D2xs and 105 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 100, 28 mm, f/6.3, 1/60 sec) with SB-800 fill flash (David J. Mathre)
Fern Composition, Volcanoes National Park Hawaii. Image taken with a Nikon D2xs and 105 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 100, 28 mm, f/6.3, 1/60 sec) with SB-800 fill flash (David J. Mathre)

 

Four-Years Ago (20-November-2007) — Hawaii

Hawaii Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan: Day 3

Three images taken four years ago while I attended a photography workshop on the Big Island of Hawaii led by  Thom Hogan . The first image is two women running to the ocean at the beach at Waipi’o Valley. The second image is of a palm tree overlooking  Waipi’o valley, located along the Hamakua Coast on the  Big Island of Hawaii. The third image is a sunset over the ocean (location unknown).

Running to the Ocean Waipi�o Valley Beach. Big Island Hawaii. Image taken with a Nikon D2xs and 17-35 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 100, 35 mm, f/8, 1/125 sec). (David J. Mathre)
Running to the Ocean Waipi�o Valley Beach. Big Island Hawaii. Image taken with a Nikon D2xs and 17-35 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 100, 35 mm, f/8, 1/125 sec). (David J. Mathre)
Palm Tree at Waipi�o Valley.Trail Overlook. Big Island Hawaii. Image taken with a Nikon D2xs and 10.5 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens. (David J. Mathre)
Palm Tree at Waipi�o Valley.Trail Overlook. Big Island Hawaii. Image taken with a Nikon D2xs and 10.5 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens. (David J. Mathre)
Sunset. Big Island Hawaii. Image taken with a Nikon D2xs and 12-24 mm f/4 lens (ISO 100, 12 mm, f/11, 1/15 sec). (David J. Mathre)
Sunset. Big Island Hawaii. Image taken with a Nikon D2xs and 12-24 mm f/4 lens (ISO 100, 12 mm, f/11, 1/15 sec). (David J. Mathre)

One thing that Thom helped me with during the workshop was how to compose an image with at wide-angle lens. You can see an example at Waipi’o Valley beach with subjects near, mid, and far distance at the following link: 20-November-2007. The other lesson was to include a human subject to give perspective and scale to the overall image. The image at the link above includes Thom as the mid distance subject.

 

Four-Years Ago (19-November-2007) — Hawaii

Hawaii Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan: Day 2

Image of a Green Gecko taken during the Thom Hogan  photography workshop on the Big Island in Hawaii I attended four years ago.

Gecko at Pu?uhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park. Image taken with D2xs and 105 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 100, f/11, 1/80 sec).. (David J Mathre)
Gecko at Pu?uhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park. Image taken with D2xs and 105 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 100, f/11, 1/80 sec).. (David J Mathre)

Four-Years Ago (18-November-2007) — Hawaii

Hawaii Photograph Workshop with Thom Hogan: Day 1

It was just four years ago that I arrived in Hawaii to attend a photography workshop with Thom Hogan. The day before I was in Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge in northern Colorado. I had only been shooting with Nikon DSLR cameras for a year at that time.  Soon after getting the first DSLR camera — a Nikon D200, I found Thom’s web site which became a very helpful resource. There was much I needed to learn about using a DSLR camera. I purchased Thom’s guides for the D200 (and subsequently the guides for the D2xs, D300, D700, D3, D3x, D3s). These guides are by far the best resource for understanding the capabilities of the Nikon digital cameras. Then one day in October 2007, I saw a note on Thom’s web site that there was a late opening for his Hawaii workshop over Thanksgiving week. I signed up right away since I knew that there was a lot more that I needed to learn to become a better photographer. I was working in Boulder Colorado at that time (which was closer than New Jersey) and a great way to use some of my vacation time.

Sunset and Sailboat off Kona Beach, Big Island Hawaii. Day 1 of Thom Hogan's 2007 Hawaii Photography Workshop. Image taken with Nikon D2xs and 80-400 mm VR lens (ISO 100, 400 mm, f/5.6, 1/500 sec). (David J Mathre)
Sunset and Sailboat off Kona Beach, Big Island Hawaii. Day 1 of Thom Hogan’s 2007 Hawaii Photography Workshop. Image taken with Nikon D2xs and 80-400 mm VR lens (ISO 100, 400 mm, f/5.6, 1/500 sec). (David J Mathre)

Three-Years Ago (26-November-2007) — Hawaii

Image Processing Techniques — Comparison of HDR Programs

A comparison of different HDR (high dynamic range) programs for rendering a series of images 7 images taken at different exposures (+3, +2, +1, 0, -1, -2, -3 EV). The programs compared are Photoshop CS5, Photomatix Pro, and Nik HDR Efex Pro. I should note that I am not able to run the Nik HDR Efex Pro on my desktop computer as it causes Photoshop to crash. I had to use a different computer to process the images using the Nik HDR Efex program. The images were taken during a workshop in Hawaii in 2007 with a Nikon D2xs and 105 mm f/2.8 VR macro lens.


Three-Years Ago (20-November-2007) — Hawaii

Beach at Waipi’o Valley. Comparison of RAW image converters.

Waipi’o Valley is located along the Hamakua Coast on the northeastern coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. The image was taken on day 3 of Thom Hogan’s 2007 Hawaii Photography Workshop with a Nikon D2xs and 12-24 mm f/4 lens (ISO 100, 17 mm, f/11, 1/200 sec). Four different programs were used to render the RAW image: 1) Capture NX2,  2) Photoshop CS5 with Camera Raw 6.2,  3) Capture One Pro 5,  4) DxO 6.5. The images were rotated 2.6° to level the horizon, sharpened with Focus Magic, and then converted to jpg and sRGB with Photoshop CS5. I am interested in feedback regarding the different renderings.


Friday (23-November-2007) — Hawaii

Hawaii Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan: Day 6. Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden.

We stopped at the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens on our last day of the workshop. The Garden is located about 7 miles north of Hilo along the Old Mamalahoa Highway overlooking Onomea bay. This was a target rich environment. I do recommend mosquito repellent and possibly an umbrella. The hike down the trail from the gift center to Onomea bay takes a couple of hours, and is about a 500 foot elevation drop. Just remember you have to walk back up (although there is a golf cart for the physically challenged to take you back up). Thom spent some time helping me get the focus right for the image of the yellow orchid. I learned that Varilux glasses can be a problem when trying to get accurate/critical focus through the viewfinder.


Thursday (22-November-2007) — Hawaii

Hawaii Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan: Day 5. Volcano National Park.

Early Thanksgiving morning we went to see the sun rise over the Kilauea volcano crater. There was no activity in the caldera, but the black and orange clouds looked like lava. While returning to the lodge we noticed a Nene. A Hawaiian goose. It looks a lot like Canada geese, but it does not migrate. The Nene almost went extinct, and are now protected. You can see the tags on its legs. Before lunch we spent more time on composition. I worked on the clump of ferns. I then worked on some macro images of a stone with green Peridot Crystals (Pele’s Tears). The guests at the lodge were treated to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner as well as a collection of local specialties.