Saturday, May 29, 2010

Aloha from Maui

Here is the rest of my random touristy vacation pics. I stuck with the canon 35mm f1.4 lens for my general walk around shots.

1) As we were packing for our Maui trip, I came across some stowaways in my luggage. Sorry kids. Maybe in a few years.

2) This is my favorite shot from this series.

3) We flew out Thursday morning. We ended up taking different flights because I booked mine later. Due to a connecting flight cancellation in San Fransisco, Sandy and her family did not get to Maui until about 4pm. We went directly from the airport to the Luau. Luckily it was right behind the Marriot which was where we were staying.

4) After the sunset, the Hawaiian fire dancers came out. I shot this entirely without any flash since it was not allowed. Having a f1.4 lens really helped to capture these low light moments.

5) This is Ifi Soo. He is a three time Fire Knife world champion. It was quite exciting to see him light up the stage.


7) Touristy group shot on the front lawn of the Marriot. I used a tripod and timer for this shot.

8) On Friday, Sandy's parents wanted to check out the Lahaina Jodo Mission.

9) Ted really wanted to ring that bell.

10) There is a Buddha statue at the temple. Satoe wanted to get a shot with the Buddha. Say cheese! Darn it, the Buddha statue blinked. Ah well...

11) Here's a pic of Danny taking a pic.

12) There is a plaque commemorating the first Japanese immigrants to come to Maui.

13) Satoe and Ted, my in laws. I tried to get Ted to put his arm around her for the shot, but Satoe pushed his arm away. "Don't get fresh with me mister!"

14) I forgot. Which hotel were we staying at again... oh yes, the Wai Marriott.

15) We strolled down the streets of Lahaina and did some shopping.

16) Ted was quite hungry after our stroll and treated us to an ice cream cone.

17) Danny enjoying a cold beer on a hot day.

18) While Janet read the menu, it reflected a bit of light onto her face which made for a nice shot. When Megan saw this pic she asked, "why is auntie Janet naked at the restaurant?" Sandy laughed and responded, "No she was wearing a strapless dress."

19) Hanging out in front of the snorkel shop.

20) I like to shoot candid photos of people. Sometimes when I point my camera at Ed, he likes to make a scowl. However if I wait for the right moment, then I can get a more natural expression.

21) Danny tries on some snorkel gear. The shop owner told him to put the mask on and breath in with his nose to see if the mask made a tight seal.

22) That must have been a refreshing ice cream cone.

23) We met up with Janet, Ed and their friends Susan and Derek at the Mixed Plate restaurant. Group shot out behind the restaurant. I used a bit of onboard fill flash to brighten up the harsh shadows.

24) On my last day in Maui, I drove all over looking for surfers to photograph. Everywhere I went, the waves were about 1 foot high. I was told that the summer swells have not arrived yet. I was quite disappointed. Luckily at the very end of the day, I came across a beach where they were kite surfing.

25) I would described the sport of kite surfing as a mix of snowboarding combined with para sailing. You don't need any waves to have a good time, just a lot of wind.

26) It was fun to watch them catch a gust of wind and fly 10-15 feet up into the air. Some of these guys were quite acrobatic in their jumps and performed flips in mid air.

27) How bad would you guys like to be sitting here on this beach right now with a cold drink.



30) Sandy sitting in the open air lobby of our hotel. There is such a refreshing breeze that blows through this area.

31) You can't go to Hawaii and not come home with some sunset shots.

32) Here is a view from where we ate breakfast everyday. Not a bad way to start the day. That's West Maui in the distance.

33) A beautiful water lily in the hotel garden. They all close up at night and open up again after the sun comes out.

34) Ted looks at the little fishies in the tide pool.

35) On Sunday, Sandy and her family flew over to Honolulu while I stayed in Maui for the rest of the day to take the red eye flight back home that night. With a whole day to myself, I first visited Iao Valley State Park. I got there at about 9am and it was deserted. With the cloud covered mountain tops and the light drizzle of rain, it was a bit eerie being there by myself. You can actually see the raindrops on the front of my lens in this shot.

36) I busted out the tripod and polarizing filter for these shots.

37) Polarizing filters help to block out the extra glare. It is very useful in landscape photography. It makes a huge difference and gives colors a deeper tone. Now a days, I only buy sunglasses that have a polarizing feature.

38) Here is the Iao Needle. You can take a short hike up the steps to a look out point to view the needle.

39) There is a nice long boardwalk that spans up and down Wailea and connects all of the hotels. It is a great place to go for a walk early in the morning or late in the evening. In the morning you will see joggers running up and down the path. Who goes jogging while on vacation?? Forget that! Show me where the buffet line starts.

40) We were waiting to be seated at a restaurant at the Shops of Wailea. I like the little bokeh balls floating above Sandy's head.

41) On the morning of the wedding day, we went to go check out the beach where the ceremony was going to take place.

42) A lone tree reaching out towards the ocean.

43) This a Myna bird. They are as common as crows and I saw them all over the island. They are quite musical, giving a tropical atmosphere to the ambient sounds around the hotel grounds.

44) Greetings from Maui!

45) Not sure where this touristy paddle surfer was going. He seemed a bit lost.

46) Satoe and Sandy all dressed up for the wedding.

47) Kamikihara family group shot take before the wedding.

48) On a photographer's side note, packing for this trip was challenging in and of itself. I am a big believer in packing light and keeping gear to an absolute minimum when traveling. However, for this trip there were so many different things that I wanted to photograph plus there was the added responsibility of photographing Janet's wedding. I decided to limit myself to whatever I could fit in 1 backpack. Tom suggested this Canon backpack. I bought it from Calumet for $39. It worked out just perfect for my needs.

49) I've heard a lot of horror stories when it comes to checking in camera gear onto a flight. You always hear about airlines losing luggage. Well how about the story about the luggage inspector who would steal camera gear and sell them on ebay. I also read about another photographer who checked in his gear and when he picked it up afterward, all of his camera gear was wet. He speculated that the cargo hold inside the plane was not temperature controlled and it got so cold during the flight that water actually condensed inside of his gear and ruined the electronics. Anyways, I didn't want to check in my camera gear and so I decided to bring it as a carry on backpack. The only piece of camera gear that I checked it was my tripod which I placed in my luggage. It was not an essential piece of gear anyways.

50) This little Canon backpack holds an amazing amount of gear for it's size. It was also comfortable to wear as I made my way through airports. I was able to fit all of the following inside it:
- Canon 7D camera body
- Canon 20D backup camera body
- Canon 400mm f5.6 lens
- Canon 35mm f1.4 lens + 72mm UV filter
- Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 lens + 67mm polarizing filter
- Canon 580EX II Speedlite + Sto-fen Omnibounce flash diffuser
- Rocket sensor dust blower
- Compact flash memory cards: 4 gig, 8 gig, 16 gig
- Black Rapids shoulder strap
- A very light wind breaker
- Camera battery recharger for both the 7D and 20D
- Instruction books for both the 7D and the 580EX II Speedlite.

Not too shabby. It worked out great and I definitely had everything I needed for this trip. However, next time I go on vacation, I will definitely bring way less gear. Hahahahaha.

My life one click at a time...