Category Archives: Nature

Images of our natural & pseudo natural World.

Wa‘ahila Ridge Hike.

Thumbnail image of shaded path on Wa‘ahila.

I joined my friend Ryan S. and the Shinnyo-en YA for a hike up Wa‘ahila. Big MAHALO to (Kristin) Adele, David, and the rest of the YA crew for organizing the event and making me feel welcome! :D (Thanks for inviting me RS!!!) I met a lot of super people, had a great time, and got some much needed exercise! I hope to see everyone again. Please click on the photo above to view a gallery of images from that day.

A Stroll Through Golden Gate Park.

Thumbnail image in front of CAoS.

My last Saturday, in California, was spent at Golden Gate Park. I believe the area I was in was specifically called the San Francisco Botanical Gardens. (Not absolutely sure about that though.) The fog rolled in that morning: it was gray, a little chilly — “typical” SF weather (I am told). Definitely not, “lay in the grass and nap”, kind of weather. It was good for photographing colorful plants though. Direct sunlight is actually really bad for vividly saturated colors. More precisely: digital (and analog to a smaller extent) color channels tend to “blow out” much more easily in direct light. Please click the above thumbnail to view the brief photo gallery.

I did more walking than shooting, that day. I wasn’t “in the mood”. It was fun following the Humming Birds though. Once I figured out which calls were theirs, it was pretty easy to figure out where they were / would be. Getting my focus was another story however.

The California Academy of Sciences (CAoS) was a mad house that day! The front of the building was as close as I dared get. (Plus I waited till closing time.) ;) I have a 360 pano to follow up this post. Please keep an eye out for it.

D700 does KCC cacti.

Link to KCC cactus gallery.
About a week ago, I had some time to kill and stopped at Kapiolani Community College. (For no other reason than to turn off my car and conserve gasoline.) :mrgreen: But I had the D700 with me so I decided to take a walk through the cactus garden and find some shots. If you click on the “Pokey” thumbnail –@ left– it will take you to a very small gallery of images.

I have made it a habit to carry the D700 with me every where. As a result: I am learning to love my old prime lenses all over again. My favorite lens recently is the Nikkor AF-D 35mm f/2. All of the images from the cactus garden were made with that lens. With an FX sensor it is just wide enough to get in comfy-close but also a good “70mm tele” in cropped mode. So far, I have not been in a situation where I was terribly upset about my chosen focal range. If Nikon were to update the 35mm f/1.4 AIS to an auto focus version (with AF-D 28mm f/1.4 IQ) –I’d definitely buy one. *fingers crossed!* ;)

Foster Gardens: more images.

Click to view FBG image gallery.
Mahalo for the personal comments on my Foster Gardens QTVR guys! For those interested, I went through and grabbed a few more images out of the shoot folder and put together a SimpleViewer gallery. Please click on the thumbnail (at left) to view it.

We have a bunch of weddings this week so I will not be posting for a while. I am sure I will have lots to write about once we are done though. Reminder: Olympic opening ceremonies begin on 08-08-08 (Friday). Keep your eyes peeled –the athletes are cool but prototype cameras and lenses are way more fun for those of us not competing! ;)

Foster Botanical Gardens.

Click to view QTVR.

Last weekend I visited Foster Botanical Gardens (FBG), on the edge of Downtown Honolulu. This is one of the few public botanical gardens in Hawaii that charges an entrance fee. It is minimal though–$3 for kama’aina w/ ID; $5 for everyone else (see FBG link above for details).

As far as botanical gardens are concerned it is relatively small. But given it’s unusual location –smack dab in the middle of metropolitan Honolulu (the freeway runs on one side and the Downtown business district is on the other)– it is a small miracle! Within the garden is a huge variety of trees, shrubs, and flowering plants. 24 magnificent trees are officially listed as “exceptional” and are protected by City ordinance. 5 of them are clearly visible in my QTVR (click linked image above).

For those of you who are “bug buffs” (like me), FBG is a virtual bug safari! Also, there are tons of Gold Dust Day Gecko’s in the Bromiliad patch. :mrgreen: I could spend the entire day there doing nothing but bug hunting. FBG is literally a Downtown oasis for insects, small reptiles, birds, small mammals, and humans even.

I have lived on Oahu for most of my life and have only been to Foster Botanical Gardens one other time — and that was back in grade school. It is astounding to think about how much I take for granted, as a long time resident. Actually it is kind of sad. I think I’ll get that annual pass and make it a point to visit FBG regularly…my bug portfolio is looking kind of thin. ;)