Sunday, September 28, 2014

Angels In Paradise.

The Blue Angels, that is.  The U.S. Navy precision flight demonstration team dropped-in from the mainland, putting on two great shows for O'ahu residents this weekend.  Michele and I enjoyed front row seats for the shows from the lanai.  My photographic efforts weren't as successful as hoped for, so please click on the link for professional images of the aircraft, pilots and support crew and all the information about this elite team.  Now, if you will all please prepare for takeoff:

Without a doubt, the best of the best--and I'm not just talking about those exceptional pilots!  I got very lucky with this photo.  It's one of the only images in which the bold blue and yellow paint scheme is visible.  They took off at four PM, which meant contending with the sun for these photos.

Probably the second best photo of the two days.

A shot of their takeoff on Saturday.

One of their thrilling and dangerous maneuvers over the field.

Hang-on to your cookies!  If you click on this image, you can see the group heading toward the field in the upper-right portion of this photo.  I was hanging over the lanai railing to capture this jaunty image and decided not to use the "straighten" function of the photo software.  It was my hope that it might give you a feeling of what it's like flying with them. :))

Smoke on, zooming back to the airport.

A personal favorite.  They're between five and six miles away from our location, the lens was significantly zoomed and it was beyond my wildest hope to ever capture all six aircraft in the frame.

A final image as they flew past the crowd.  That's the airport tower, but you probably knew that. :)

How about the sunrise illuminating some morning clouds instead of a sunset? :)  This was taken at 6:22 AM, before I headed out for a jog on Friday.

I really tried to not include a sunset, but this one, on the 24th, just seemed too nice to leave out.  Sorry. :)  Hope you all had a nice weekend!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Some Fun With The Camera.

Whenever a touch of boredom creeps in, it's fun to put the camera lens up-close to unremarkable household items and see what we get.  Having favorites blown-up to poster size is something we've done before.  They add an inexpensive splash of color to homes with all neutral colors.  Here are the latest curiosities:

I've already forgotten what this was, but here it is after a close-up and some computer magic.

This one is a tulip.

Another tulip-inspired image.

Clouds catching the last blast of the sun.

One of the day's inspirations.  Not exactly the season for tulips!

A final shot of "reality". 

Hope you all had a great day today! :)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Catching-Up A Little.

This post covers the last week, or so, culminating with a bit of a "travel-jog" to Waikiki Beach this morning to have a look at the large waves south-facing beaches of O'ahu will be enjoying through Tuesday.  Here we go!  Click on any of the photos to enlarge.

September 12th, just after six AM.  We don't see the sunrise from our lanai, but we are able to enjoy it indirectly as it illuminates whatever clouds are about.  The colors were so beautiful that morning.

Later that morning, we were having breakfast on the lanai and heard a rather distressed voice.  Looking down, we noticed this homeless man had decided to take a nap on the sidewalk.  All of his few belongings are in the baby stroller seen in the photo.  Passersby walked around him, sometimes even entering the street to avoid getting too close.  Eventually, paramedics arrived to check on his condition.  They spent about fifteen minutes with him and before they departed, he was up and moving slowly with his things.  Even Paradise has its share of homeless people, many of whom need mental health care much more than food or shelter.  It's sad to see emergency medical professionals, as well as, police, called upon to respond to people who should clearly be in institutions designed and staffed to properly care for them.  Maybe someday...

This was taken this morning, 14 September, at 6:03 AM.  I've posted a photo of this state government building before, but this morning I saw it in a "different light", so-to-speak.  I never realized it was a giant stained glass window!  During daylight hours, it simply looks like decorative cut-outs, with no hint that it's so much more.  I was on the way to Waikiki Beach to have a look at what was predicted to be waves up to eight feet high.  It's the second south shore swell in just over a week.

Made it!  My previous surfing experiences were at Star Beach Boys, located just down the beach from Hawaiian Oceans Waikiki, but I had a reason to try this place.  A neighbor in our building is a surfing instructor here, so a week ago Friday, I jogged over and took a lesson.  Todd is about my age, in great shape and really knows how to teach.  With his help and great coaching, I caught four decent waves and was very pleased with the experience.  Sadly, their photographer wasn't there to capture my success, so you'll just have to take my word for it. :)  Today, however, I was only there to play tourist and snap photos of the big surf.

The water was crowded with experienced surfers eager to try the great waves.  This was taken at 6:38 AM--a beautiful time to surf.  The sun hasn't yet risen over Diamond Head, the sky is pink and blue and the water is perfectly comfortable.  Farther out, you can see the sun illuminating the breaking waves.  This young lady will soon be out there!

A group of early-rising tourists have gathered near the shore to get photos of the large waves.

Sorry about the poor focus, but this photo still shows a surfer having a great ride.  The sun made the white water really stand-out.

Looking west, the sun has lit-up the Sheraton Waikiki hotel.  Nestled in front of the Sheraton is the "Pink Palace of the Pacific"--The Royal Hawaiian hotel.  All of those boards lined up belong to Hawaiian Oceans Waikiki.

Another not-so-hot photo, but notice the tip of a surf board sticking out of the white water.  Must have been an exciting wipe-out!

Two more surfers working their way to a spot to enter the water.  These guys must be very good surfers according to their boards.  Beginners (like me) are usually on boards twelve feet long, which is like surfing on a dining room table! :)

The waves crashing into the beach.  The orange canopy to the right, is where Hawaiian Oceans Waikiki instructors and attendants hangout.

One final shot of the action.  These waves would have been wasted on me!  I plan on pursuing surfing with my neighbor until I can competently handle waves this big.  That is, if I stay healthy and mobile for another couple of years! :))

On the way home, I came across this vintage auto at the Luana Hotel.  I don't know if they use it to pick-up guests or if it's just a beautifully-restored static display.

What a sweet ride.

Nice radiator cap.

A bit of a building boom is underway here.  I like the contrast of the curve of the trees along Kapiolani Boulevard with the angular condo tower under construction.  Still on the way home.

The previously "Super Moon" setting and plumeria blossoms.

The "Never Ending" Self-Portrait at 64.  This photo was taken on 9 September and after re-examining it today, I decided it was the closest yet to looking more like a painting than a photo.  It's gone now, too, re-worked to death until it had the blended look I'm so eager to get beyond.  Maybe, just maybe, it will morph into a final and completed self-portrait before I turn 65! :) 

Yeah...I know...another boring sunset. :)

Have a great week everybody!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Harbor, Sunsets And Favorite Portraits.

Today, I thought I'd share a few spectacular sunset photos, some examples of what I consider to be exceptional portraiture by envy-worthy artists and a very clean harbor.

This was taken at 6:36 PM on August 29th.

This image of the harbor was taken at 10:37 AM on August 31st.  I wanted you to see an example of a busy port with water clean enough for fish to live in and people to swim in.  This morning the colors were what you expect to see at tropical island beaches, not a harbor.  Moving on...

Sunset, August 31st.  Click on any photo to enlarge.

A detail of a self-portrait by Lucian Freud.  My blogger pal, Rhonda Carpenter commented about not knowing what I was trying for after seeing the rework of my Self-Portrait at 64.  This would qualify as an excellent example. :)

This portrait was painted by Anthony Connolly.  Not much blending to be found here, but another example of what I'm trying to do.

Portrait of Mo, by Julian Merrow-Smith.  These three artists have so much to offer if one desires to go beyond mere photocopying in paint.  I hope Rhonda stops by to view this post and all her questions are answered. :)))

Forgot to add this:  By Andrew James, it's a portrait of General Yakubu Gowon.  And how 'bout this:  It's 40 x 30-inches, which just happens to be one of my favorite canvas sizes!  I love everything about this painting, including the simple background. 

September 1st sunset and what a grand one it was.  Smoke from a brush fire added the reddish colors.  I almost expected to hear a heavenly choir thundering out Handel's, Hallelujah Chorus!

A zoomed view.

The sun finally made an appearance to put its exclamation point on the spectacle.

I've changed my running time to 6:00 AM the recent week and must remember to take along the camera.  The sunrise does put on a pretty great show, too.  This morning, cumulus clouds, seemingly on the horizon and high enough to catch the first rays of the sun, were turned beautiful shades of pink and soft orange.  Much less traffic and lots more joggers out at that hour.  Honolulu is an early-rising city!  I hope you had a good day, too. :