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.
Gone to See Patagonia 2010/2011. Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan. Day 4: Estancia Helsingfors.
This was our first full day at Helsingfors. We started out by getting up early (before sunrise) to see if Fitzroy would be visible, and if there would be any interesting colors. Since this is summer in the southern hemisphere – getting up early means before 4:30 AM. Helsingfors is right on Lago Viedma so we didn’t have to walk far. Fitzroy presents a side view from Helsingfors, and can potentially be seen lit up both at sunrise and sunset. This morning it was not very visible being hidden behind clouds. I did get a panorama of the mountain right across the lake. Later, when it was light I took some images of Lupines with the lake and the mountains to the north. Before lunch, the group worked on techniques for taking images of Horses. A local Gaucho rounded up a small herd of horses and we got to photograph them in the corral, running in a field, and crossing a small stream. In the afternoon, the group went on its first short hike to a point just beyond the Helsingfors property in the National Park. On the way I found a small waterfall and spent some time with Thom working out how to best capture the image. The wind was very strong at the point. Coming back from the hike we found many examples of the local Green Orchid, which we tried to capture with macro lenses. The sun doesn’t go down until late, and it is after 10 PM when we are trying to capture some images of Fitzroy lit up as the sun goes down. All in all, a very long day but well worth every minute.
Nikonians Academy Big Sur Workshop. Day 1 – Afternoon/Evening.
For the Afternoon, we spent time at Redwood Gulch Falls. The light levels within the forest near the falls ranged from very bright to very dark — well beyond the capability of DSLR sensors. Here I used Singh-Ray filters (to smooth out the water flow) and HDR (took 5 images under and over exposed) which were then combined using Photomatix. Later on we traveled to Sand Dollar beach. Our first exercise was to use filters at the beach to give the waves a soft ethereal effect. As the sun set over the Pacific ocean, I used HDR again to adapt to the wide range of light.
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.