Ala Wai Moonrise.

Moon rising over Ala Wai Yacht Harbor.

We were out on Wednesday night for a quickie shoot. My original plan was to explore the yacht harbor and moorings but my timing was off. I was a little late. This area is probably one of the most overly photo’d on the island of Oahu. BUT, it was still a beautiful sunset and moonrise – I never get tired of those. ;)

This image was made by doing a “vert-o-rama” with a Nikkor 28mm Perspective Control lens: my most favorite lens for serious landscape shooting.

KCC and Waikiki Sanpokatagata.

Bean poles and lens flare.

I met up with cuzin: J.T. – on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday – for a photo walk around Kapiolani Community College and Waikiki. (“Sanpo kata gata” is a Japanese term for: “while taking a walk/stroll”. I know everyone uses “osanpo” or “osampo” but that is boring!) The weather was awesome and JT has been looking for some lens upgrades for her Nikon kit. I don’t need “an excuse” to toss some glass into my bag and run out the door – that was TWO! ;) You can click on the photo above to view a gallery of photos from our photo walk, please do.

We swapped between three lenses that day: Nikkor 10.5mm DX Fisheye, Sigma 12-24mm DG HSM, and the Sigma 150mm DG Macro. I was shooting full frame and JT was on DX cropped sensor. Say what you like about “third party” lenses; I love those two Sigma’s! Did I mention that the Sigma 12-24 is a full frame lens? :mrgreen: NO ONE else has anything to match – not even Nikon (at the moment). The Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 is a phenomenal lens but it is also bigger, heavier, twice as expensive, and it “sees less”: 114 degrees for the Nikon vs. 122 degrees for the Sigma. (These are aspherical super wide zooms. IE: in general, horizontal and vertical lines stay almost perfectly straight.) Although the corner light fall-off for the Sigma is much heavier. So, one could argue that the Nikkor has just as much “usable field of view”. Personally, I have grown to appreciate the in-camera vignette – saves me a step in post… hehe.

Happy New Year.

Oahu night sky: South.

I hope everyone had a great holiday season! “Twenty ten”, that sounds nice. :) I enjoyed the movie. Let us hope that this reality will be just as good. ;)

I’ve been playing catch up for the last 30, or so, days. I have way too many photos to sort through… (-3-) I am most excited to go through those from our last trip to Japan. That is my, “dangling carrot”. (I am working towards that.) Please be patient, there will be a bunch of galleries in the near future. In the mean time, check out Chad’s Flickr. He has his latest photo selections, from Japan, online. (I gotta lose weight!) (~3~;)

I wish everyone the best for 2010! Aloha!!

Nevada and South Lake Tahoe.

Thumbnail image of Lake Tahoe.

Our last day in Tahoe was spent at leisure. As I mentioned in my previous post, we were supposed to drive back out to Reno-Stead but decided it was not worth the time/distance. I am very glad we decided to stay in Tahoe.

The night before we stopped on the Nevada side of the lake. The sky was pretty clear and light pollution was not too bad. It was better for the star gazing but the moon was not out. I’d definitely like to return and do more night time photo exploring with various phases of the moon. (I know it’s been done but i gotta see it with my own eyes — IRL, as it were.)

We had a little visitor in the night. ;) I had seen some evidence on the floor, in the way of dust fallen from the rafters. I actually said out load, “I think we may have a squirrel or chipmunk…” Then, Chad said, “Oh, I think there is a moth. I heard it flapping around last night.” Immediately, I knew what it probably was and, LIKE CLOCK WORK, the tiny bat leaped into the air – from its hiding place above the fireplace – and proceeded to scare the crap out of J. then buzz Chad and I. Good times! After a few tense minutes “die fledermaus” was gently coaxed out the back door. (Honest, we did not hurt it.)

With excitement like that, who needs the air races? :cool: We spent the rest of the morning looking at Emerald Bay and walking up the trail to Cascade Falls. It was more like a trickle when we got there. But that was a good thing as it allowed us to actually walk where water would normally be flowing. (What volume? I have no idea.) The weather could not have been better. It was a very cool diversion before our 6 hour return trip to the South Bay. Good weekend! Please click on the image above to view the photo gallery.

2009 Reno Air Race.

Thumbnail image of Blue Angels.

The 2009 Reno Air Race would be my very first experience of this kind. (See the gallery above.) Sure we’ve had more than a few Air Force and Navy air shows in Hawaii but nothing like Reno. The trip to Reno-Stead was inspired mainly by my father’s life long fascination with aircraft and flying; in part by a chance meeting earlier this year, in Hawaii.

I had done some architectural work for a regular client and the home owners happened to be Mr. & Mrs. Mike Brown. Yes, that same Mike Brown of Reno Air Race fame! Captain and patriarch of the 2006, gold medal, “Mike Brown Air Force”: September Pops, September Fury, and Big Boss Man. I knew very little about pylon racing and probably insulted Mike by asking, “Is it like the Red Bull?” He sorta straightened me out and outlined his experiences and small fleet of very impressive aircraft. I was hooked! And I promised myself that I would bare witness to a “real air race”, this year!

Well, we did it! Although it was “a day late and a buck short”. While at Reno-Stead, I constantly wondered, “Where is Mike?” The MB Air Force was no where to be seen. Only after returning to Hawaii did I realize why. Apparently, late 2008, Mike had made the decision to retire from air racing and sold EVERYTHING. I felt like more of an ass for making the Red Bull comparison!!! The reasons are the Browns’ alone and I respect that… I just wish I could have had the chance to see the MB Air Force fly, at least once!

We actually had purchased tickets for the entire weekend but after a long, MB-Air-Force-free Saturday, we decided not to return on Sunday. With MB absent, I was far less enthused to watch the Unlimited’s. And I knew enough about Strega to know that she and her new pilot would more than likely win their class… it’s no fun when you know who is gonna win before the race is run.

I am glad we attended the 2009 Reno Air Race. I may return. But I am sure there are many who were also very disappointed by the lack of the MB Air Force. I am glad I met Mike Brown and his lovely wife, when I did, and I wish them all the very best that life has to offer!

Joseph E. Grant County Park.

Thumbnail image of Chad at Joseph E. Grant Park.

Back from California. Everything worked out great! I hope to be taking many more trips like this in the future. Thanks to LEICA (and Uncle Harvey) the photo gang is reevaluating our “photographic experience”. The proof is in the pudding, so they say. Chad and I did very little photography (by comparison) on this trip.

Of course, we did do some. ;) Above is the link to an image gallery that spans the course of two days. Nestled in between Mt. Hamilton and the South San Jose foot hills is the Joseph E. Grant County Park. Nice place!

The next day we were up relatively early to visit the “City” (San Francisco). No photos but we hit Japan Town first. Saw the new pop culture museum / VIZ theater. It was nice but kind of “MEH”. The rest of the day is pretty well documented in the photos, so please click the thumbnail above to see. Stay tuned, more from California to come. :)