Sunday, December 30, 2012

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

12/25/12 More From My Back Yard

My brother Ken came home for Christmas yesterday.  His gift to me was his old 20D, I've been fooling around with it and the EF 25-105mm f/3.5 - 4.5 lens he gave me with the EOS 1N film camera.  I have to say I'm really impressed with the results.

The camera came from a trip to the Canon service center where it went through the annual cleaning that my brother did to keep it in good shape.  I am noticing quite a bit of dust spots on the sensor but I think it's not going to come off at this point.

I love the sharpness of this lens.

These images have had very little done other than my messing with the most basic of controls.

Monday, December 24, 2012

12-12-24 My Back Yard

It has not been a particularly good couple of weeks for photography.  So I've been puttering around the house taking pictures of the plants in my yard.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Forgiveness: Letting go of grudges and bitterness When someone you care about hurts you, you can hold on to anger, resentment and thoughts of revenge — or embrace forgiveness and move forward.

From an article by the Mayo Clinic's Staff:

Forgiveness: Letting go of grudges and bitterness

When someone you care about hurts you, you can hold on to anger, resentment and thoughts of revenge — or embrace forgiveness and move forward.

 Nearly everyone has been hurt by the actions or words of another. Perhaps your mother criticized your parenting skills, your colleague sabotaged a project or your partner had an affair. These wounds can leave you with lasting feelings of anger, bitterness or even vengeance — but if you don't practice forgiveness, you might be the one who pays most dearly. By embracing forgiveness, you can also embrace peace, hope, gratitude and joy. Consider how forgiveness can lead you down the path of physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

What is forgiveness?

Generally, forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. The act that hurt or offended you might always remain a part of your life, but forgiveness can lessen its grip on you and help you focus on other, positive parts of your life. Forgiveness can even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy and compassion for the one who hurt you.
Forgiveness doesn't mean that you deny the other person's responsibility for hurting you, and it doesn't minimize or justify the wrong. You can forgive the person without excusing the act. Forgiveness brings a kind of peace that helps you go on with life.

What are the benefits of forgiving someone?

Letting go of grudges and bitterness can make way for compassion, kindness and peace. Forgiveness can lead to:
  • Healthier relationships
  • Greater spiritual and psychological well-being
  • Less anxiety, stress and hostility
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Fewer symptoms of depression
  • Lower risk of alcohol and substance abuse

Why is it so easy to hold a grudge?

When you're hurt by someone you love and trust, you might become angry, sad or confused. If you dwell on hurtful events or situations, grudges filled with resentment, vengeance and hostility can take root. If you allow negative feelings to crowd out positive feelings, you might find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of injustice.

What are the effects of holding a grudge?

If you're unforgiving, you might pay the price repeatedly by bringing anger and bitterness into every relationship and new experience. Your life might become so wrapped up in the wrong that you can't enjoy the present. You might become depressed or anxious. You might feel that your life lacks meaning or purpose, or that you're at odds with your spiritual beliefs. You might lose valuable and enriching connectedness with others.

How do I reach a state of forgiveness?

Forgiveness is a commitment to a process of change. To begin, you might:
  • Consider the value of forgiveness and its importance in your life at a given time
  • Reflect on the facts of the situation, how you've reacted, and how this combination has affected your life, health and well-being
  • When you're ready, actively choose to forgive the person who's offended you
  • Move away from your role as victim and release the control and power the offending person and situation have had in your life

What happens if I can't forgive someone?

Forgiveness can be challenging, especially if the person who's hurt you doesn't admit wrong or doesn't speak of his or her sorrow. If you find yourself stuck, consider the situation from the other person's point of view. Ask yourself why he or she would behave in such a way. Perhaps you would have reacted similarly if you faced the same situation. In addition, consider broadening your view of the world. Expect occasional imperfections from the people in your life. You might want to reflect on times you've hurt others and on those who've forgiven you. It can also be helpful to write in a journal, pray or use guided meditation — or talk with a person you've found to be wise and compassionate, such as a spiritual leader, a mental health provider, or an impartial loved one or friend.

Does forgiveness guarantee reconciliation?

If the hurtful event involved someone whose relationship you otherwise value, forgiveness can lead to reconciliation. This isn't always the case, however. Reconciliation might be impossible if the offender has died or is unwilling to communicate with you. In other cases, reconciliation might not be appropriate. Still, forgiveness is possible — even if reconciliation isn't.

What if I have to interact with the person who hurt me but I don't want to?

If you haven't reached a state of forgiveness, being near the person who hurt you might be tense and stressful. To handle these situations, remember that you can choose to attend or avoid specific functions and gatherings. Respect yourself and do what seems best. If you choose to attend, don't be surprised by a certain amount of awkwardness and perhaps even more intense feelings. Do your best to keep an open heart and mind. You might find that the experience helps you to move forward with forgiveness.

What if the person I'm forgiving doesn't change?

Getting another person to change his or her actions, behavior or words isn't the point of forgiveness. Think of forgiveness more about how it can change your life — by bringing you peace, happiness, and emotional and spiritual healing. Forgiveness can take away the power the other person continues to wield in your life.

What if I'm the one who needs forgiveness?

The first step is to honestly assess and acknowledge the wrongs you've done and how those wrongs have affected others. At the same time, avoid judging yourself too harshly. You're human, and you'll make mistakes. If you're truly sorry for something you've said or done, consider admitting it to those you've harmed. Speak of your sincere sorrow or regret, and specifically ask for forgiveness — without making excuses. Remember, however, you can't force someone to forgive you. Others need to move to forgiveness in their own time. Whatever the outcome, commit to treating others with compassion, empathy and respect.

As you let go of grudges, you'll no longer define your life by how you've been hurt. You might even find compassion and understanding.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

12-12-16 Aiea Bay State Recreational Area

Brandon and I took a run out to the Aiea Bay State Recreational Area this evening to take some pictures of the sunset.  I was late and didn't arrive till the sun had already set...and it had begun to rain as well.  So we ended up talking for a while till we began to notice the color in the sky, reflections off the water and the rain eased up.

We are looking across the bay to Pearl Harbor, and the bridge connecting Ford Island.  You can just make out the superstructure of the battleship USS Missouri.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

12-12-15 OPMUG Makakilo Sunrise

Quite some time ago I did an evening shoot from the sloping hills of Makakilo.  It wasn't very successful but I returned this morning with a group from OPMUG to see if the sunrise would be any better.  The whole thing was a crap shoot, it had rained most of last evening and wasn't looking real promising as Don and I drove up to the shooting location. 

Imaging my surprise to find three people waiting when we got there. 

It was still dark but the sky was beginning to show just a bit of color.

Way in the background, right side you can just make out the shape of Diamond Head.  The sky was just beginning to light up.

I turned around to shoot the road and Booker showed up just as the long exposure was beginning.

These bushes are actually on the next ridge over.  The sky was beginning to show more promise.

Looking down on the H1 Freeway.  

It began to rain so I got my umbrella out turned around and took another shot up the road.  My lens has some raindrops on it... 

Imagine my surprise to learn that I had captured Don's feet as he walked back from his car.

Looking at the H1 Freeway again but now there's more light.  Just to the right, off center are two twin towers.  I live just about 1/2 a mile up from them.

Looking towards Downtown Honolulu, Waikiki and Diamond Head.  The sun has already risen and is hiding behind the clouds.

Zoomed in on the sun and Diamond Head.  

Got some sunbeams here. That's Honolulu in the background.

One more time looking down the H1 Freeway.  Thte sun has risen the sky is blue and the Koolaus are covered with rain clouds.

Stepped back a bit to take this shot of our intrepid crew.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

12-12-13 Barbers Point Lighthouse Sunset Hanapaa Street Heineken Christmas Tree Hopoe Street

Brandon contacted me this afternoon and asked if I'd like to shoot sunset from Barbers Point Lighthouse (thanks!).  I jumped at the chance even though the sky was overcast and it looked like it was going to rain.

The rain held off and the sky cleared up giving us a great sunset.

We got some great color.

More subtle but nice color.

The blue hour.

On my way home I decided to stop by Hanapaa Street in Kapolei to see if they were decorating this year.

The Heineken Tree is up.

Then I went to Hopoe Street to see if they were decorating.

I had some fun with zooming out and in during a long exposure.  Unfortunately I felt the rain finally begin so I ran to my car, loaded everything and headed on home.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Jackson Browne - "Song For Adam"

One of the most hauntingly beautiful songs I've ever heard.  Jackson Browne - "Song For Adam"

"Song for Adam"

Though Adam was a friend of mine, I did not know him well
He was alone into his distance
He was deep into his well
I could guess what he was laughing at, but I couldn't really tell
Now the story's told that Adam jumped, but I've been thinking that he fell

Together we went traveling, as we received the call
His destination India, and I had none at all
Well, I still remember laughing with our backs against the wall
So free of fear, we never thought that one of us might fall

I sit before my only candle, but it's so little light to find my way
Now this story unfolds before my candle
Which is shorter every hour as it reaches for the day
But I feel just like a candle in the way
I guess I'll get there, but I wouldn't say for sure

When we parted we were laughing still, as our goodbyes were said
And I never heard from him again as each our lives we led
Except for once in someone else's letter that I read
Until I heard the sudden word that a friend of mine was dead

I sit before my only candle, like a pilgrim sits beside the way
Now this journey appears before my candle
As a song that's growing fainter the harder that I play
But I fear before I end I'll fade away
But I guess I'll get there, though I wouldn't say for sure

Though Adam was a friend of mine, I did not know him long
And when I stood myself beside him, I never thought I was as strong
Still it seems he stopped his singing in the middle of his song
Well I'm not the one to say I know, but I'm hoping he was wrong

I'm holding out my only candle, though it's so little light to find my way
Now this story's been laid beneath my candle
And it's shorter every hour as it reaches for the day
Yes, I feel just like a candle in the way
I hope I'll get there, but I never pray

Monday, December 10, 2012

12-12-09 OPMUG Nimitz Beach Sunset

Returned to Nimitz Beach for the sunset but this time with the OPMUG.  It wasn't as spectacular as the previous sunset but it was still very good.

Went to the Honolulu side reef first for running water, or "milk" as Brandon calls them, shots.

This was actually pretty badly overexposed but because I was shooting in RAW I was able to salvage something.

Tide was actually too low and the waves had some difficulty making it over the reef.

I stacked two ND3 filters and a circular polarizing filter atop one another to get this long exposure.

That's Jason, to my left, shooting a time lapse.

Honolulu City Lights

Campbell Industrial Park Lights...

Long exposure from a gap between the houses on Candy Cane Lane.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

12-12-07 IWSSB Nimitz Beach Sunset

Brandon, Don, Henry and I went to Nimitz Beach in the hopes of catching a good sunset.  Although town to Pearl City was overcast with the clouds blocking out the sun entirely, we found a patch of blue at the beach.  While not spectacular we did get a reasonably nice sunset.

This hole in the reef is fascinating.  The water pumps in and out of it with the waves.

At a lower tide with the reef exposed the waves lose most of their energy before rolling over this last section before the beach.

 The reef offers so many interesting things to take pictures of.  

The water just rushes at you.

As the sun set we started getting some color in the sky and clouds.

I like the color that gets reflected off the water.

Focal Length

As the water recedes from the beach it leaves a glistening reflection of the setting sun's colors. 

The blue hour.