Hawaii Photograph Workshop with Thom Hogan: Day 1.
Ten years ago, I arrived in Hawaii to attend a photography workshop with Thom Hogan. It was hard to believe the day before I was in Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge in northern Colorado. At that time, I had only been taking pictures with a DSLR camera for just over one year. Soon after getting the camera, I found Thom’s web site which became a very helpful resource as I was learning to use the camera (much more useful than the Nikon manual provided with the camera). I purchased his guides for the D200 (and subsequently the guides for all of the new Nikon cameras I have used. These guides are by far the best resource for understanding the capabilities of the Nikon digital cameras. I saw a note in 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. The first evening in Hawaii, we went down to the beach for sunset. I took these two pictures of boats with the sun setting behind them. Little did I know, it would become a contest between some friends on a Semester at Sea voyage to get images of boats or ships in front of the setting sun.
Hawaii Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan: Day 6
Five years ago I completed a photography workshop on the Big Island of Hawaii with Thom Hogan. While on the way to the airport to catch our return flights, we stopped at Lighthaus Camera. Coincidentally, it was “Black Friday” and everything was on sale. We noticed that the store just received their initial shipment of the newly released Nikon D300 camera. Three or four of the workshop participants purchased the cameras on the spot. I have to admit that mine was an impulse purchase. Over the next four years, I took nearly 55K images with the camera (2007: 3164 images; 2008: 20371 images; 2009: 29355 images; 2010: 919 images; 2011: 628 images). This was my last Nikon DX sensor camera. Since then all of my Nikon DSLR cameras had full frame FX sensors.
The last shooting location for the workshop on that day was at Hawaii Tropical Gardens. I reprocessed an image Onomea Water Falls using Nik Silver Efex Pro.
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.
As the year comes to and end, and I try to reflect on everything I have done and everywhere I have been — all I can say is WOW!. The year started out with a great photography trip to Patagonia with Thom Hogan. We will ignore the extra few days we were held hostage in southern Chile. This was followed by the Nikonians Ultimate Travel Workshop II on the Semester at Sea M/V Explorer lead by Michael Mariant. This started in San Diego, and then stopped in Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama (including a transit through the Panama Canal), Costa Rica, Honduras, Belize, Mexico, and ended in Fort Lauderdale. My parents were along for this trip. I then attended a Nikonians workshop in Death Valley, also lead by Michael Mariant.
There have been a number of challenges at work. We shut down our San Francisco operations which included part of my group, and thus no more regular trips to California. We ended the year achieving (and exceeding) all of our objectives. I also attended a work sponsored executive retirement seminar. It is hard to believe that I have been working long enough to even consider retirement, but then again maybe I could spend more time working on photography.
This year I expanded beyond my Nikon cameras and lenses — adding a Leica X1 and Leica V-Lux 30 P&S cameara. NAS did add a couple of lenses to the kit (500 mm f/4 VRII and 600 mm f/4 VRII telephoto). Also at the end of the year I added a Nikon 1 V1 (mirrorless) camera body with the 10 mm f/2.8 lens, the 10-30 mm lens, 30-110 mm lens, and the 10-100 mm lens. I am looking forward to the FT1 lens adapter so I can use this camera body with a telescope.
Looking through my image database, it looks like I took something over 120K images this year — a new record for me. It also meant that I needed to update my digital asset management strategy. Lightroom is good, but can’t handle this many images. I’m currently testing Media Pro (Phase One). Capture One Pro (also Phase One) is now my primary image processing workflow, although I still am using Adobe Photoshop CS 5 and many Nik, OnOne, and Topaz plugins. I also needed to update my image storage and backup strategy after some hard drive failures. I’ve moved to a couple of Drobo disk arrays (16 TB) on and off-site.
Plans for next year? Thought about, but I didn’t sign up for the Semester at Sea Enrichment Voyage to the Carribean and Brazil (including a trip up the Amazon river). Thinking about a Hurtigruten cruise in Norway to see the Northern Lights, Nikonians Ultimate Travel Workshop III (San Diego, Central America, Peru – including Galapagos Islands), and also a trip to Cuba. If none of this works out, maybe it it time for a road trip out west. The White Ram (Roadtrek RV) is anxious for a road trip!
After dumping Facebook last year when my account was hacked, I joined Google+ this year. Google+ is a better platform for photographers. I really like the Daily Image Themes, and have been contributing a number of images.