Recently I upgraded to Samsung S8+ cellphone, primarily because my old phone was kind of dying out. I would have waited for S9+ if my old phone was slightly more healthier than it was. However though, not to underestimate the features and capability of S8+. The quality of the camera it has is pretty amazing. It has a 12-megapixel “Dual Pixel” rear-facing camera with a f/1.7 lens, and a new image sensor. The default app has HDR capability which captures the light with near perfection. I also use the “Snapseed” app to edit these photographs on my cellphone itself. This is a great app for editing photos with a lot of effective and tools.
Last week i took this phone out for a spin to Don Edwards Wildlife refuge. There is a small picnic hut at the refuge that you can see from the 84 bridge towards the Fremont side. This is a very interesting subject, and probably the only subject to make fine art photographs at this location.
I was very impressed with the picture quality and along with the editing via Snapseed, I made the following images. These images can be printed in 4×6 paper and they would make great postcards as well. Over all very impressed. I intend to use the phone a lot more in the near future to create such images.
The last two images are of a different hut on the left of the main picnic hut. Over all from my perspective its a thumbs up for the camera.
If you guys have not been there yet.. then you should. This was my first trip to Hawaii. I went to two Islands. I landed in Oahu, spent a few days there and then went to Maui. On the first day I landed in Oahu, I checked into a hotel in Waikiki. That evening I went to beach just a block down. It was a very pretty sunset. I did not have a tripod as I was traveling light with my gear, primarily because this was not a photography trip but a family vacation. For the first time I was without my office laptop.. it felt a bit weird. Any way below are the two images I created of the first sunset in Hawaii.
The next day we drove to the North Shore of the island. We first drove to the west side the drove up north. We drove through the Kualao Ranch on the West side. I did not end up taking any photos as it was middle of the day and the light was too bright, and there were way too many people. Eventually by early evening we reach the North shore to catc the sunset. The sun set behind a massive cliff, so that was a bummer. However though I got these two long exposure shots. As you can see there wasn’t any drama in the clouds, so int he second shot I tilted my camera down to avoid as much sky as possible.
The second day we drove south around the Island. The drive was very pretty. We chilled out a Lanai beach in the afternoon. By early evening e started to drive back. We reach the Makapuu lookout point. There was a lighthouse there, but I did not hike up all the way. However the view from there was amazing. Some photos below:
The next day we went to see the Pearl Harbor and that evening we flew to Maui. We did a lot of driving there as well. I do not recommend the “Road to Hana” if you are travelling with little kids or babies. First day we drove to Lahaina to see the Luao in the evening. During the day we walked around the town then went to see Blowhole at Nakalele point. I could not get a good image there as it was raining and also a lot of people. I got some good videos though. You can see the videos on my instagram account. Below are some images from Maui.
Overall it was a great relaxing trip, we were there for 7 nights. We realized that the best way to enjoy Hawaii is to go to one island at a time and spend 8-10 days. So our next trip will be to Big Island. We will plan to stay there the whole while.
Two evenings ago I was at Coyote Hills Regional Park to create landscape images and capture the beauty of this local gem. I knew before hand going there that there was not enough clouds to create a dramatic enough shot. But I was still hopeful and thought may be I’ll get some soft light over the rolling hills. But much to my dismay, below is what I saw :-\
As you can see, light was dull, it was all beige and brown, no colors on the hill or the sky. Sun was setting behind the hills. Over all it was a dull and a bad day for nature photography. The only option I had at that point was to pack and come back home. But I didn’t.
Here’s the thing, photography is about seeing the details, its about seeing what usually people won’t see, its about your self expression, its about creating something out of nothing. And this is what i saw ..
These three images are long exposure shots, showing the motion and the wind. I waited a bit till the sun was just above the rolling hills giving that last bit of light. I used a telephoto lens, zoomed in, cut out any background or sky and just kept it simple.
I’ve been living in the San Francisco Bay area for a few years now. And every time I am driving over the Dumbarton Bridge over to Fremont or Union City, I notice this red hut on right hand side in Don Edward Wildlife Refuge. This hut look really intriguing as its in the middle of the park and Inevitably always see it when I am on that road. I’ve been wanting to go for a hike in the park for a long time so last week finally decided to go. I carried my camera along as well.
I finally came to this little hut to which you can get to via a small boardwalk. I realized that shooting this hut is going to be tricky. Depending on which ever perspective you take, you either get the highway 84 traffic at the back or lines of electric towers on the opposite side. Since I could not do much about that, I tried to walk around the hut and see what different angles would work better. I tried a few compositions, on both the days I went there. Luckily for me both the times the light and the sky was great, so I was able to shoot some unique perspectives.
As you can see above, the images have been made with different angles, perspective, height, to avoid as much external man-made elements as possible. its the same Subject in every image but has a different perspective. So it is always important in landscape photography to reach the location on time and scout around to see how you can bet compose your image. Little bit of patience and planning goes a long way.