Saturday, April 18, 2009

Luau in Wialea

Two nights ago, we finished our dinner in town and came back to the Marriott Resort where we are staying now. We heard the music from the Luau and decided to walk down and check it out. We figured that they would fence off the area, but they don't, and anyone can stand in the back and watch the performance. So I grabbed my Canon 100-400 lens and shot some pictures from the back. I got this one really cool shot of the fire dancer being lit only by his torches. Gotta love shooting at ISO 3200 with the Canon 5D Mark II.

So...the next afternoon, I walked down to the Luau area and showed the picture to the coordinators of the show and they freaked out. They told me that they were in desperate need of images for their web site and asked me if I would shoot some more. Long story short...I shot more for them and they treated us to free drinks (a very good thing) and a free Luau the following evening. Hey, that works for us!

Cable family hangs ten (okay maybe just nine)

Today we thought it would be fun to take surfing lessons. First it was just going to be Connor and Annette, but then we all decided to join in on the fun. The kids did better than us "bigger people" but we all had a great time. What? You want to see pictures of Annette and I surfing? No way...the kids have better form!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Family pictures at Napili is our last night here on the Lahaina side of the island (before we head over to the Wailea area for 3 nights) and I wanted to get a family picture in the same spot that we used 3 years ago. We had a decent sunset as a back drop and then the rain started. Nothing major, just some drops, but enough to mess up the pictures. I had to edit out each rain drop on our clothes since it looked like we all had a bad disease. :)


The day started off with Connor and I driving out to a point where we could photograph big wave surfers here on Maui. But, the swells were really small this morning and there was nothing to shoot. But we did come across some of the Maui chickens and so we spent a little time photographing some of them. Then we drove back to the condo to meet up with the girls so that we could go snorkeling in one of our favorite coves.

As we drove up to the cove in the Northwest of Maui, we noticed a lot of people looking down over the cliffs watching something. We trekked down to the water and saw a large pod of dolphins swimming in the cove. I was totally blown away, and we all tried to get our equipment on as fast as possible to make the swim out to them. Swimming with the dolphins has been a life long dream of mine, and doing this in their true environment was too good to be true! As we swam out to them, they were already making their way out of the cove and I was so bummed. Then, much to my amzement, they turned around and headed our way. For almost an hour we swam with them as they came in and out of the cove. It was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!

These Spinner Dolphins were so close to us that we could almost reach out and touch them (which I was SO tempted to do, but kept my camera pointed at them and my hands off).

Connor was dieing to get a picture of him with the dolphins and we were able to get a couple of these shots.
We did not get an exact count of the dolphins in this pod but we estimated that there were between 30-40 of them.

When we got done swimming with them (and we were exhausted from all the moving around), my daughter asked me if this experience made my day. I answered "no - this made my year!"

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Having more fun in Maui

This morning we got up and headed into Lahaina to take our (what has become a tradition) whale watching trip, and this 2 hour excursion did not disappoint. Even though the whale season is technically over tomorrow (April 15), nobody told the Humpback whales because they are still here. A couple whales got so close to the boat that my 400mm lens was overkill. We love watching these amazing creatures in their own habitat. These whales are the size of a school bus and yet they move so gracefully and can even breach clear out of the water. If you have never seen them up close, put it on your bucket list.
Since my friends at Sigma were kind enough to send me their 70mm macro lens the day before this trip, I had a chance to take it out and experiment a little. I love the fresh perspective that this lens brings to normal flowers and bugs. These shots were taken around the "resort" where we are staying.
This spider was all bundled up for the morning when I came across him and his web. What struck me was the great symmetry of this web.
And...oh yeah...another great sunset off in the distance (just to the left of the island of Lanai).

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Vacation time in Hawaii

It was our first full day on Maui and we made the most out of it, by waking up early (since we were still on California time) and heading to the water. We went snorkeling (with the under water camera) and saw the awesome sea turtles. These turtles are really big. They range from 3 feet long to the size of a small car.
Then the kids wanted to hit the waves at a nearby spot just North of where we are staying. So off we went and everyone had a great time. After we were done with all of our activities, we were driving back to the condo and realized that it was only 2pm. I guess this is what you get accomplished when the whole family wakes up at 4:30am.

And then our first day in paradise is over and we are treated to a nice Hawaiian sunset. It was really cool to watch the whales breaching in the distance as the sun fell below the horizon. In the next couple of days we will make our whale watching trip.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Another CAS school play - Grease

Last year was the first time that I photographed the school play at my son's school and this year (even though he was not in it) we had to go and see the performance. Trust me, this is not your typical 8th grade play. The costumes, sets, acting and singing is really exceptional. This year the play was Grease and the kids really seemed to enjoy the singing and dancing from this era.

We can't wait for next year's play and Connor will have already graduated from the school - we hope! :)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Palm Springs Climbers

This was my first trip to Palm Springs, CA and I had no idea what to expect here. The town itself was OK, not too much to photograph, but myself and Dave Carlson (from Canon) had time to make a quick trip out to Joshua Tree National Park and that was really nice. Lots of cactus, big rocks and blue skies. Towards the end of our day, we saw some climbers coming down from a small peak. I had just enough time to get into position to shoot the climber coming down in between some nearby boulders. I like the way the big rocks frame the climber.