Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Doctor said

        This was a great weekend. On monday of last week after returning from Washington D.C. I had a Doctors appointment. For the first time in months it was good news. Infection was gone and I could start using just a cane. Best news of all I am now ok to enter the water. So this translates to me as "go off and do wave photos. Enjoy!!" So off I went with Nick Selway and Josh Lambus to Oahu to spend the weekend photographing waves. Josh spent most of his time skydiving while he was in the air Nick and I were all over the island in search of surf.

        Nick And I both got some great images on the second day after spending the entire first day exploring the island in search of unique surf breaks and backdrops. This search lead us to my home town of Waianae. It was great to be back in my childhood surf breaks.

       On Saturday night our friend Stewart arrived and we went out to celebrate his birthday in Waikiki. Needless to say we didn't make sunrise in the water on Sunday. After getting back to the hotel at 4am we weren't getting up at 5am to make it to the beach for sunrise. Now getting up at 9am to go skydiving thats a different story. Josh, Stewart, Nick, Elvis, and Karen all got up early and did some hungover skydiving. I had to pass on this with my ankle. I'm pretty sure just use a cane doesn't mean go skydiving.

      The next morning Nick and I woke up early and headed to Sandies. We were greeted by this amazing sunrise. The surf was a little inconsistent but fun.

     The shot above was taken on the north shore in one foot surf just laying on the beach. Just goes to show it's not the size of your wave it's how you shoot it that matters. The shot below shows how I was getting around this weekend. It was probably funny to witness me caning down the beach just to jump in and get pounded in the surf with a surf housing. I had to also take all impacts to my back and shoulders 
and not land on my ankle. So many times I went over the falls with my bad ankle out of the water landing backwards.

      All and all a great weekend. I finally feel like I'm recovering. Now maybe I can drop a few of these pounds I put on while being stuck in the house the last few months.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Trip for Smithsonian Awards

      Well here I am at the Smithsonian. You would think that this would be my first stop, first photo, but for those of you that know me, you know better. I would not travel all the way to the east coast without photographing nature first. The image below was my first image taken from outside my lodge room in Watkins Glenn. After 14 hours of air travel Amanda and I arrived in DC at 4pm. Then drove straight to Watkins Glenn in up state New York. We checked in to the lodge at 1am woke up early checked out and started shooting.

I wanted to get shots of the famous falls in the glenn. To my surprise all the trails were closed for repairs after a harsh winter, ice had destroyed the paths. It wasn't all awash, there were beautiful falls off the side of the road which worked for me because I'm still on crutches after my fall.

I headed to Ithaca after a few shots in Watkins Glenn. Unfortunately by this time the light was too harsh and I didn't have time on this trip to wait, so we headed to Niagara falls. While on the way we stopped many times for images off the side of the road. Here are just a few.

Around 4 pm we arrived at Niagara falls. Only one problem I did not realize that there have been changes in border crossing after 2009 and now you need a Passport, EDL, or passport card to cross into Canada and back. The last time I crossed all you needed was as Drivers license. Not having our passports with us we were stuck on the American side. Both sides are beautiful but I like to take everything in when I travel to an area. So I felt a little left out. But everything happens for a reason and I am sure it was to keep me from over doing it on my ankle. I would have hiked Watkins Glenn, Ithaca, and across the rainbow bridge to Canada, but god was keeping me off my foot.

As you can see Niagara falls is still spectacular from the American Side. After this night image we headed to New York City. Nick had bought Amanda and I a night at the W in times square for our anniversary. Our friend Justin is the banquet manager for the W times square so we were upgraded to a deluxe room on the 52nd floor. It was a great way to spend our anniversary. After an amazing meal at a plush french restaurant I went out at night to photograph Times Square. It just so happened that I was able to capture a unique image in times square. Unique one of a kind images that can't be reproduced are kinda my signature on an image. So how do you get this kind of an image in New York City? Well be there at the moment they announce  Osama Binladen's death on the news ticker in times square of course.

I also took the normal NYC shots that are a must for any portfolio, minus the Brooklyn Bridge as it was covered in tarps for painting. I'll save that for next time.

After a night out with our friend Justin we headed for DC and the Smithsonian exhibit. They closed the museum and had a banquet and drinks for us under the elephant in the main hall. After the dinner and  the awards ceremony we headed up to view the exhibit. I got to meet many other great photographers and speak with lots of people who were enjoying the exhibit.

The photos above were not taken during the exhibit  but were taken the next day when we walked the whole museum. After the walk in the Smithsonian we went to see the US Capital. It was erie to think just how close this building came to it's demise, on the orders of Osama Binladen. It was saved by the heros on flight 93 who saved this landmark and the people inside at the cost of their own lives. Just a few days before I took the photo below another group of American Heros finally tracked down and killed the man responsible for their deaths.

During our one full day in DC we also made a point to got to the National Zoo and see the Pandas and the newest edition to the zoo 3 brand new baby lion cubs.

Our final few hours in DC were spent photographing famous Land marks at night. There are quite a few that I didn't get to on this trip but I will see them on my next trip back, hopefully to be on display in the Smithsonian again. Next time hopefully with Nick on display as well. 

After all the time on my healing ankle over the week and the 14 hours traveling back to Hawaii I arrived back in Kona not only with a swollen ankle but my whole leg was twice it's normal size. Nothing that couldn't be cured by a night of steep elevation. All and all it was a great trip, I got a lot of shots that I've wanted for awhile and had a blast meeting other artist at the exhibit.