Gone to See Hawaii. Big Island 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.
Gone to See Hawaii. Big Island Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan. Day 6: Kona.
The workshop team stopped at Lighthaus Camera in Kona before being dropped off at the Kona airport. This was “Black Friday” — the infamous shopping day after Thanksgiving. We noticed a pile of just delivered Nikon D300 cameras behind the counter, but assumed that they were all preordered by local camera enthusiasts. After some discussions, we found out that they were available for purchase and with a 5% discount as part of their “Black Friday” sales event. At least three of us walked out with a new D300 camera body that day. I wasn’t planning of getting a D300, and had to pay cash since they didn’t accept AMEX. In his D300 review, Thom did comment that he was the last of us to get a D300. I took a few pictures with the new camera while waiting for my plane back to the mainland at the Kona airport, and had many hours to read the manual.
Gone to See Hawaii. Big Island Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan. Day 4: Kona and Volcano National Park.
I woke up early, and walked to the harbor where I saw a group rowing a Hawaiian outrigger canoe with a cruise ship in the background. I liked the juxtaposition of historical and modern. We then checked out of the hotel and traveled to Volcano National Park. After checking into the lodge, we went for a photo-walk down a tropical rain forest trail. The lessons here included using a flash, how to manually focus a macro lens, how to adjust the focus for camera viewfinder, and always thinking about the composition.
Gone to See Hawaii. Big Island Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan. Day 2: Wildlife at Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historic Park.
We spent the afternoon through sunset at Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historic Park. There were some Hawaiian Green sea turtles resting on the beach at Keoneele Cove. When I was supposed to be working on a composition of one of the temples, I found this bright green gecko with blue eyes that kept posing for my macro lens.
Gone to See Hawaii. Big Island Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan. Day 1: Kailua Kona.
It is hard to believe that the day before I was taking pictures of wildlife in Colorado. I read a note on the Thom Hogan site a month earlier that he had a late opening for this workshop so signed up as quick as I could. At that time I was working 2 weeks a month in Boulder, so it would be a bit easier to fly to Hawaii. I previously purchased his D200 and D2xs eBooks and wanted to learn more about the cameras and become a better photographer. For the first three nights we stayed at the Kona Seaside Hotel. The group of four students and Thom met in the lobby at 15:00 for our first lecture. We then walked down to the beach to photograph the beach, some tidal pools, and sunset. Part of this first shoot was for Thom to observe our photographic practices and skills so he could customize individual instruction for the rest of the workshop.
I used different tools to process the last two images. I think I like the HDR version better because the sun is a disk and not blown out, although the sky/clouds are better in the first version.
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