Sunday (02-December-2007) — Colorado

Winter in Rocky Mountain National Park

Although the season is officially still Autumn, at the higher elevations of Colorado it is winter. I drove to Rocky Mountain National Park on a sunny Sunday morning. It is only an hour from Boulder, Colorado. The first stop was to get a picture of the “Chapel on the Rock” with Mt. Meeker in the background. Then it was into the park to get more pictures. Winter view of the Big Thompson River in Moraine Park; Winter Trail to Storm Pass along road to Bear Lake; and a Winter Panorama of Longs Peak taken along Colorado Highway 7

Saint Catherine Chapel and Mt. Meeker, Rocky Mountain National Park. (David J Mathre)
Saint Catherine Chapel and Mt. Meeker, Rocky Mountain National Park. (David J Mathre)
Big Thompson River, Moraine Park, Rocky Mountain National Park. Image taken with Nikon D300 an 17-35 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 20 mm, f/22, 1/40 sec). (David J Mathre)
Big Thompson River, Moraine Park, Rocky Mountain National Park. Image taken with Nikon D300 an 17-35 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 20 mm, f/22, 1/40 sec). (David J Mathre)
Winter Trail to Storm Pass, Rocky Mountain National Park. Image taken with Nikon D300 an 17-35 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 17 mm, f/22, 1/40 sec). (David J Mathre)
Winter Trail to Storm Pass, Rocky Mountain National Park. Image taken with Nikon D300 an 17-35 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 17 mm, f/22, 1/40 sec). (David J Mathre)
Longs Peak Panorama from Colorado Highway 7 View Area, Rocky Mountain National Park. Composite of 4 horizontal images taken with a Nikon D300 and 17-35 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 35 mm, f/22, 1/60 sec) processed with AutoPano Giga Pro. (David J Mathre)
Longs Peak Panorama from Colorado Highway 7 View Area, Rocky Mountain National Park. Composite of 4 horizontal images taken with a Nikon D300 and 17-35 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 35 mm, f/22, 1/60 sec) processed with AutoPano Giga Pro. (David J Mathre)

Friday (23-November-2007) — Hawaii

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.


Friday (23-November-2007) — Hawaii

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.


Thursday (22-November-2007) — Hawaii

Gone to See Hawaii. Big Island 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). That afternoon we were treated to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner as well as local specialties.


Wednesday (21-November-2007) — Hawaii

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.

Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe and Cruise Liner Early Morning on Kona Bay. Image taken with a Nikon D2xs and 12-24 mm f/4 lens (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/4, 1/250 sec). (David J Mathre)
Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe and Cruise Liner Early Morning on Kona Bay. Image taken with a Nikon D2xs and 12-24 mm f/4 lens (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/4, 1/250 sec). (David J Mathre)