Travel Journal

A Hike to Manoa Falls, Oahu 2018

Manoa Falls - Oahu, Hawaii

This week, I hiked to Manoa Falls, north of Waikiki, a much-touted tourist destination for waterfall enthusiasts.  Like many of Oahu’s natural sites, the falls is reached by driving deep into a residential area that backs on mountainous hillside.  From there, a .8 mile hike takes you up about 800 feet to the 90-foot waterfall and its small pool. I hiked to Manoa Falls during mid-day when the color of the light was not particularly interesting.  Using black and white removes the distraction of flat color, leaving the focus on the waterfall, itself.   

Oahu, Hawaii 2017

Waikiki Storm

We had a much different trip to Hawaii this year, with an agenda less focused (for me) on photography.  We brought friends with us and enjoyed the opportunity to show them around Oahu.  That, coupled with an unusual amount of rain and my sleeping in more, meant I had to make my photo moments count. Oahu North Shore As with every trip, I try to get better at wave and surfing shots.  Here are a few taken in the rain near the Banzai Pipeline. Rain does not stop surfers!   The Punchbowl Oahu’s Punchbowl crater is the site of the […]

West Michigan Lighthouses and Sand Dunes

Silver Lake Dunes

  I had a busy photographic summer, starting with a June trip to the West Michigan town of Ludington, MI with members of the A2 Shutterbugs Meetup and then ending with a September trip to South Haven, MI with a new friend from that first meetup.  The goal of the first trip was lighthouses and sand dunes; for the second, the South Haven light. I can’t believe it has taken me five months to post some of the images, but maybe these summertime images will warm us up as the late fall chill creeps in. Big Sable Point Lighthouse We started […]

Ore Dock in May – Marquette, Michigan

Last month, I made a business trip to Marquette, Michigan on Lake Superior, which allowed me to revisit the waterfront and its two ore docks.  The ore dock in the lower harbor, the one pictured here, had already been de-commissioned when I first arrived in Marquette in the late 70’s.   This dock has been inactive since 1971, but the ore dock in Marquette’s upper harbor is still used by the Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad, which hauls iron ore from the mines west of Marquette. Cold Morning at the Ore Dock It had been many years since I had been to […]

Koko Crater. It’s Only 1048 steps…

Bridge on Koko Head Trail

It’s only 1048 steps to the top of Koko Crater on Oahu, which gives you terrific view of the island.  That’s Diamond Head in the distance, as seen across Maunalua Bay.  The residential area known as Hawaii Kai is in the foreground.  Great view, even on this hazy day. You may be thinking, as I did, that 1048 steps is not so many – maybe like walking up the stairs of 3 or 4 lighthouses, which I’ve done in the past. Not too bad.  Reading reviews of this hike I gleaned that I should be able to make it to the top […]

Hawaii Sunset Cruise

Oahu Sunset

My daughter and her boyfriend gave my me and my wife a sunset cruise for tonight.  Great experience! When the weather here in Hawaii is beautiful, you don’t see dramatic sunsets, not that watching an intense orange orb sink into the sea isn’t pretty.  But, when a few clouds roll in, drama ensues.  We got a little drama tonight while out on the water. Of course, you can see sunsets from land as well as from the water.  What you can’t get from land, though, is a good view of the seaside mountains. Tonight, we got that view.  The low […]

A Day in London – Fountains and Monuments

Queen Victoria Memorial - Detail

Public art creates wonderful photo opportunities.  When you look at the images, though, you have to ask, “Who is the real artist?”  Credit naturally goes to the sculptor, painter, ceramicist, or other artist.  We photographers can only hope to give a view that reflects positively on their artwork, either by providing a compelling view, highlighting detail, or creating an abstraction.  In these images, I’ve leant toward either details or a compelling view, with the goal of inspiring readers to want to see more of the fountain and monuments that attracted to me. These appear in the order I encountered them […]

A Day in London – Buckingham Palace

When you think about Buckingham Palace, not only is this picture one that wouldn’t come to mind, but it is likely one that you won’t recognize.  Just last night, I showed it to a British friend who didn’t recognize it, and who would blame him?  But, walking the sidewalk along Constitution Hill, I couldn’t help but notice this formidable security barrier atop the brick wall surrounding the palace grounds. Perhaps, you were expecting something more decorative, like that below, which surrounds the courtyard in front of the palace.  This is a grand and impressive fence, especially when the sun hits the […]

A Day in London – The Pelicans

Pelican in St. James Park, London

As I often do on business trips to new or fun places, I extended a late April UK trip to give a free day in London so I could walk the city and take a few photographs – or maybe more than a few.   As it is, I took so many that I’ve been struggling to decide which ones to share, which may explain why I’ve waited four months to post them.  I saw many of the expected haunts – Big Ben, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Hyde Park, which I’ll share in a future blog.  But, let me start with what surprised me the most […]

Hawaii 2014 Postscript – Hawaii Trip Planning – Part 3

To close my thoughts on planning a trip to Hawaii, I’ll give a small amount of insight on Hawaii and Maui.  Small, because my wife and I have spent just over a week on these two islands combined, as compared to six visits to Oahu.  Still, I hope  your find our impressions useful. Hawaii (“The Big Island”) Isn’t it confusing that the state of Hawaii also has an island named “Hawaii”?  The Hawaiians deal with that by referring to the island of Hawaii as “The Big Island”. And it is big, about 4000 square miles, bigger than the seven other main […]

Hawaii 2014 Postscript – Hawaii Trip Planning – Part 2

More Oahu Now for a more tropical view of Hawaii.  My last post featured the more city-oriented experience around Honolulu and Waikiki.  But, after flying thousands of miles to get to a tropical paradise, you are probably looking for pristine beaches, clear blue water, palm trees, mountains, and perfect weather.  Great beaches can be found many places on Hawaii.  Part 1 of this Hawaii postscript mentioned the beaches of Waikiki, made famous by Elvis Presley.  I also included a photo from Makapuu Point looking north along the Windward Shore toward Kailua, where you can find several more great beaches. Let’s move to the […]

Hawaii 2014 Postscript – Hawaii Trip Planning – Part 1

Let me add a final episode about Hawaii in answer to a query from my cousin Robin who lives near Boston.  She asks “how to plan such a beautiful trip.”  For us, it’s not too difficult.  We own a timeshare week on Oahu, plus some extra vacation points.  We can stay anywhere we like, but we gravitate to Oahu, with side trips to other islands.  So, our planning consists of picking a week and a location.  We rent a car, read a bit of literature and travel guides, and go see what we can see.  After going to Oahu for […]

Hawaii 2014 – Day 10 – Lahaina to Kahului

Our last day in the Maui paradise, and another gray day at that.  We had no agenda for the day, but since we had to check out of the resort at 10 a.m. and our flight wasn’t until 10 p.m., we knew it would be a car day.  Not knowing exactly what we wanted to do, we drove north from Lahaina to see something new.  First, through the neighborhoods of Kapalua, where you live when money is no object, with its fenced communities, well-manicured shrubs, and multiple golf courses. Returning to the highway, we ended up taking what became the […]

Hawaii 2014 – Day 9 – Haleakala

Haleakala, Hawaiian for House of the Sun, climbs to 10,023 feet above sea level.  The really cool thing to do is to take a morning tour up the mountain in time to see the sunrise paint wonderful colors on the sandy, eroded slopes inside the crater.  We’re not that cool, and we like our sleep so we didn’t awaken at 2 in the morning to take the 3-hour bus ride to the top.  Instead, we slept until a decent hour and arrived at the crater at noon.  It was the beginning of several days of overcast and some rain, as […]

Hawaii 2014 – Day 8

Lanai as seen from Maui

Today was a pool day.  And, it was a no-big-camera day.  Quite the challenge, but I managed with just my iPhone and a 1.5x lens that mounts over the iPhone’s lens.   Above, are the West Maui Mountains as seen from Lahaina. Below, is the island of Lanai, just west of Maui.  “You know you are in paradise when you can sit on one island and look at another,” says my wife.  The first image is from late morning with the sun on Lanai’s eastern side.  The second image is near sunset, as seen from our waterside table at Kimo’s […]

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