Posts Tagged ‘photo tips’

Exploring Maui, Hawaii: Sunset Stroll and Happy Hour Picks in Wailea

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The Mana Kai Maui during golden hour

During my amazing girls trip to Maui our base for the first few days was the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort. Our first night on the island we took a walk along the beach towards Kihei to enjoy the sunset views.

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Sunset fishing spot in Kihei

There are a couple of great happy hours in Kihei with stunning views. Sarento’s on the Beach and the 5 Palms at the Mana Kai Maui are both excellent locations to take in the sunset and enjoy an adult beverage.

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White sand beach during golden hour at Kamaole Beach Park

If you just want to stretch your legs, there are quite a few lovely public spots to take in the stunning views of Maui.

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Golden girls during golden hour

The public beaches are all easily accessible via foot including Kamaole Beach Park I, Kamaole Beach Park 2 and Kamaole Beach Park III. Walking through them is enjoyable because you’ll see plenty of locals playing in the surf and walking their dogs in these parks.
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Dog walk at Kamaole Beach Park

After dark, I highly recommend heading to the Andaz Maui where guests can enjoy roasting marshmallows poolside. Even if you’re not staying at the hotel, it’s worth dining at Morimoto Maui for their sushi and Japanese menu (the hamachi tacos and chicken ramen soup are stand out dishes).

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Curves and clouds at Kamaole Beach Park

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Golden hour at Kihei’s Kama’ole Beach Park

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Toasting marshmallows poolside at the Andaz Maui

If you don’t want to do the walk after dark, an Uber X costs about $4 to take you from Kamaole Beach Park back to the Andaz Wailea.

Sarento’s on the Beach

2980 South Kihei Road
Kihei, Maui, HI 96753
Phone (808) 875-7555

5 Palms
2960 S. Kihei Road
Kihei, Maui HI 96753
Phone (808) 879-2607

Morimoto Maui
3550 Wailea Alanui Dr.
Wailea, HI 96753
(808) 243-4766

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Exploring the Big Island of Hawaii: Sunsets at the Fairmont Orchid

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Kohala Coast Sunset on the Big Island of Hawaii

Gorgeous tropical sunsets are the stuff Hawaiian post cards are made of. The Kona and Kohala Coast of the Big Island offer some spectacular spots to watch the sun dip below the horizon and enjoy the last rays of the day. The lagoon at the Fairmont Orchid Hotel  was my favorite sunset spot on my recent trip to the Aloha State.

Big Island Sunset Time-Lapse

I shot the sunset time lapse above using the Time-Lapse function on my iPhone 6s on the lagoon beach at the Fairmont Orchid, which is a popular gathering spot around sunset.

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Last light off the Kohala Coast of the Big Island

After sunset, the Fairmont Orchid hotel offers stargazing opportunities for guests a few nights a week, with giant telescopes set up right on the property and an on-site astronomer.

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Big Island sunset at the Fairmont Orchid

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Sunset at the Coconut Grove 

The Fairmont Orchid’s Coconut Grove is a popular choice for destination weddings on the Big Island. The scenery is pretty spectacular.

Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii

1 North Kaniku Drive
Kohala Coast, Hawaii  96743
TEL + 1 808 885 2000
FAX + 808 885 5778

orchid@fairmont.com

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Exploring the Pacific Northwest: Abandoned Houses of the Palouse Region

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A crumbling, abandoned house in Colfax, Washington

Driving around the Palouse region of Washington state, you’ll come across quite a few abandoned houses and old barns. Photographers visiting the area love these “zombie houses.”

Cloudlapse above an abandoned house in the Palouse

Some can be found right off the Palouse Scenic Byway and others are found by exploring the off-roads in the area. You can check the Palouse Photography Hot Spot Map for an idea of where abandoned houses can be found in the area, although some have fallen down since the map was drawn.

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This abandoned granary was right off the highway

An owl and her owlet had taken up residence inside. Mama owl dive bombed if you got too close.

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Green fields and an abandoned barn in the Palouse

While some of the houses are boarded up or have fallen completely down, some are left in a time capsule-like state of disrepair. Peek inside of a few and you’ll see 1950’s era wallpaper crumbling from the walls and a few leftover pieces of furniture.

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This barn structure collapsed entirely

One abandoned farm house had a few beer cans scattered about, but none of them felt as though they had been trashed by vandals or occupied by squatters for long periods of time.

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Peeling paint on the wall of an abandoned farm house in the Palouse

Photographing the abandoned houses and structures was a nice contrast to the farmland and agricultural structures the region is best known for.

Abandoned house still life in the #Palouse is today's virtualvacay #WA

Abandoned house still life in Colfax, Washington

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Exterior of an abandoned farm house in the Palouse region

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One of the abandoned houses of the Palouse region of Eastern Washington

For more on exploring the Palouse region, you can check out my previous post and photo essay on the area.

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Exploring the Pacific Northwest: Washington’s Palouse Region

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Rolling green and sun flare in Colfax

I recently took a road trip from Seattle to the Palouse region of southeast Washington with a photographer friend. The area is agricultural and gorgeous in June, when the fields are growing winter wheat, rapeseed (used for canola oil), and other crops. It’s no surprise, the area is popular with photographers in the Pacific Northwest.

Hyperlapse of the drive down Steptoe Butte

Red barns, abandoned houses, and glorious rural landscapes are a feast for the eyes (and cameras).

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Crumbling grainery

Photographers should pack their tripods as well as wide angle and telephoto lenses to make the most of the rural scenery.

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Striped fields in the Palouse

Among the don’t miss sights are the view from Steptoe Butte (particularly at sunrise and sunset). To catch the sunrise, we needed to leave our hotel in Pullman at 4 am, but it was worth it.

Lone Tree Palouse

This lone tree is ready for it’s close up

The Pullman Chamber of Commerce’s Photography Hotspots in the Palouse map is a great guide to the area.

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Power lines in the agricultural land in the Palouse

The colors in the Palouse were almost cartoonish in their vivid hues of green, yellow and blue. Red barns dot the landscape as well.

4V1C3358An abandoned barn 

Not all the area is friendly to photographers. While shooting the image above, my friend and I got crop dusted.

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Magic hour with tree and wheat in the Palouse

Driving loops around the Palouse Scenic Byway, you can take in quite a lot. Not to be missed are Palouse Falls, Steptoe Butte, and driving the backroads in search of rural gems like red barns, abandoned houses (more on the zombie houses in a future post), and some magnificent trees.

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 Shaft of sunlight through the wheat

Colfax and Pullman are the best places to stay if you’re interested in exploring the Palouse region. Pullman has more dining options since it’s the home to Washington State University.

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 The view from Steptoe Butte

The Palouse region extends to Moscow, Idaho although you would not know it from the boundaries of the maps.

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Rolling Hills of Palouse and windmills seen from Steptoe Butte

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Sunset view from Steptoe Butte

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Night Photography in Stockholm and Finnish Lapland (and Photo Tips)

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Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) in Finnish Lapland, as photographed on my Canon 5D MK III

One of the reasons I chose to go with Photo Enrichment Adventures to Lapland and Stockholm was for another chance to photograph the Aurora Borealis. After aurora hunting in Iceland in October, I got hooked on the phenomenon and know I’ll be seeking out more opportunities to see the Northern Lights.

Photo Enrichment specializes in small group cultural tours with an emphasis on photography. I enjoy night photography but it’s definitely not my forte, and welcomed the chance up up my night photography game. Shooting after dark involves long shutter speeds and that means a tripod is required.

I brought tripod set-ups for both my DSLR, a Canon 5D MK III as well as a far more compact version for my iPhone 6s.

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Stockholm’s Parliament building illuminated at night 

Situated between the head of Lake Mälaren and the Baltic Sea, Stockholm is hella windy at night and the night I spent shooting after dark in Stockholm was by far the coldest.

The most important gear in addition to a tripod is the right gloves. My hands tend to get extremely cold and I’ve been shooting with mittens over texting gloves, trying to find the correct pair or combo since I visited Iceland last fall.

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iPhone 6s Slow Shutter Shot of Stockholm at night

Since I know I will be doing more night photography in cold conditions, I’ve now purchased a pair of heated gloves. After a lot of research I figured out that the gloves for hunters and snipers have the same features photographers need, including a free trigger finger. The Heat 3 Smart Gloves came highly rated but with a steep price tag, so I opted for the slightly less expensive Swany Arctic Toaster Mittens.

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Stockholm at night, a Canon 5 D MK III shot

The Aurora Borealis only showed up one night during my stay in Finnish Lapland, and earlier than expected, so I only photographed them using my Canon DSLR setup.

The other nights I tried shooting with both my Canon and my iPhone 6s, using the Slow Shutter app, and overall I was impressed with the resulting images from my iPhone. The photos from Stockholm blew out some of the details in the highlights that my Canon was able to capture, but I am still happy with the images.

The Slow Shutter app also has an intervalometer feature built in so you can set exposure times and shutter speeds. Slow Shutter’s intervalometer was more intuitive than the stand alone remote timer I used from Canon.

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Cabins in Kukkolankoski, Finland (iPhone image above)

Slow Shutter produced images that were a bit noisy, but editing them and blending together a few of my favorite edits using the Image Blender app makes the noise less noticeable. They don’t have the same sharpness as the shots from my Canon DSLR but they certainly captured the mood!

I plan on doing more night photography in the coming months so that my comfort level and skill improves.

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Cabins in Kukkolankoski photographed with my Canon 5D MK III

The other piece of gear which is so essential for cold weather shooting is extremely low tech: large Ziploc storage bags. After shooting in extremely cold conditions, you take out your battery and SD and CF cards and place your DSLR and lenses in these to prevent condensation when they warm up to room temperature. Very useful!

For more tips on photographing in extreme conditions, check out Dan Carr’s excellent post on Cold Weather Photography and Extreme Conditions.

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