Big Surf

While the weather news back home is about snow, the news in Hawaii is about big ocean swells caused by winter storms in the North Atlantic.  Between December 1 and the last day in February, the storms create swells which translates into large waves on Hawaii's North Shore which translates to "Surf's Up" to the local surfers.

If the swells get large enough and the conditions are just right, a surfing competition  is held in Wiamea Bay.  This competition is the Quicksilver Big Wave Invitational known as "The Eddie."  The competition is in memory of Eddie Aikau, the first lifeguard at Wiamea Bay and also a legend at surfing the big waves.  Check out the Wikipedia entry about Eddie Aikau and the Quicksilver completion on links at the end of this post.

Monday 2/22/2016 we traveled to Oahu's North Shore to check out the surf.  At Wiamea Bay the surf was crashing into the shore.  No one was allowed to surf as the conditions were just too dangerous.

 This image was from the area known as Pipeline and the lens does not do justice to the size of the wave.   

This image was from the area known as Pipeline and the lens does not do justice to the size of the wave.

 

    The brown in the wave is the sand being churned up from the beach.  Tonight on the news they showed pictures of the beach as it normally is and it is a wide and beautiful beach, but after the surf of the last few days, much of the sand is gone and the black lava rocks are exposed.

 

The brown in the wave is the sand being churned up from the beach.  Tonight on the news they showed pictures of the beach as it normally is and it is a wide and beautiful beach, but after the surf of the last few days, much of the sand is gone and the black lava rocks are exposed.

    These two images were taken at Wiamea Bay and you can see and feel the power.  While I was taking these images, a surfer climbed over the tape signifying the beach was closed and immediately the lifeguards were there making him leave the beach.  I asked him how big these swells were and he estimated them at about 30 feet.

 

These two images were taken at Wiamea Bay and you can see and feel the power.  While I was taking these images, a surfer climbed over the tape signifying the beach was closed and immediately the lifeguards were there making him leave the beach.  I asked him how big these swells were and he estimated them at about 30 feet.

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    Turning the camera the other direction I was able to catch the waves as they battered into the rocks.  I was able at one point to get so close to the edge that spray and salty mist hit me as the waves crashed into the shore.  I did grab a little video, but even it does not capture the full force of these waves.

 

Turning the camera the other direction I was able to catch the waves as they battered into the rocks.  I was able at one point to get so close to the edge that spray and salty mist hit me as the waves crashed into the shore.  I did grab a little video, but even it does not capture the full force of these waves.

As I write this blog post, The Eddie has the green light pending the official determination at 8 am.  The forecast is for waves of 35-55 feet!  People are already camping out hoping to see some big waves and great competition.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quiksilver_Big_Wave_Invitational

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Aikau

 

Whale Watching Adventure

Today I took a Whale Watching trip out of Moloka'i Hawaii.  This is my second whale watching that I have done over the past several years.  Today's boat was a 44' "fishing" type boat and there were 15 "watchers" and a crew of 2.  The wind was pretty strong so there were 6-8 ft swells which made for tough shooting trying to hand-hold my Nikon with the 80-400mm zoom lens.

    The first sighting was a mother and baby.  The Humpback whales travel from Alaska to the Hawaiian waters to give birth to their calves.  The do not eat once they leave the Alaskan waters.  The calves nurse while they are here and hopefully gain enough weight and strength for the long journey back to Alaska in the spring.

 

The first sighting was a mother and baby.  The Humpback whales travel from Alaska to the Hawaiian waters to give birth to their calves.  The do not eat once they leave the Alaskan waters.  The calves nurse while they are here and hopefully gain enough weight and strength for the long journey back to Alaska in the spring.

    One of the shots you see in all the shops and on the postcards is the "tail shot."  The top image is of the whale going away from the boat while the bottom image is of a whale come towards the boat.  The underside of the body and tail have white marking on them.  Each whale's marking are different, so the researchers can track specific whales by studying these markings.  Our captain said he hates to see tails because it means that the whale is diving and probably will be down for some time...not good for the whale watching business.  I was glad I got to see tails today as in my last whale watching trip I did not see any so no "tail shot" in my library.

 

One of the shots you see in all the shops and on the postcards is the "tail shot."  The top image is of the whale going away from the boat while the bottom image is of a whale come towards the boat.  The underside of the body and tail have white marking on them.  Each whale's marking are different, so the researchers can track specific whales by studying these markings.

Our captain said he hates to see tails because it means that the whale is diving and probably will be down for some time...not good for the whale watching business.  I was glad I got to see tails today as in my last whale watching trip I did not see any so no "tail shot" in my library.

    the other shot you see all the time is the "breech."  this is where the whale propels itself out of the water and then comes crashing down with a huge splash.

 

the other shot you see all the time is the "breech."  this is where the whale propels itself out of the water and then comes crashing down with a huge splash.

    I always hope for a whale to breech and then come back for a few more, but this seldom happens.  So you hope that you are ready when it does happen.

 

I always hope for a whale to breech and then come back for a few more, but this seldom happens.  So you hope that you are ready when it does happen.

    This breech happened about 20 yards for the boat.  I was holding the camera in my arm looking for signs of whales when out of the corner of my eye I caught some action.  I just pressed the shutter and even with the motor drive set to continuous high, I only got the last of the breech...oh and believe me, it was a great breech!

 

This breech happened about 20 yards for the boat.  I was holding the camera in my arm looking for signs of whales when out of the corner of my eye I caught some action.  I just pressed the shutter and even with the motor drive set to continuous high, I only got the last of the breech...oh and believe me, it was a great breech!

    What another tail shot?  Yes it is a tail, but this whale is doing a "tail slap."  The whale has lifted it's tail out of the water and is whinging it down to slap the water (Note the water flinging off the top of the tail.)  The resultant thump can be heard for miles and it is believed they do it as a warning to others in the area.

 

What another tail shot?  Yes it is a tail, but this whale is doing a "tail slap."  The whale has lifted it's tail out of the water and is whinging it down to slap the water (Note the water flinging off the top of the tail.)  The resultant thump can be heard for miles and it is believed they do it as a warning to others in the area.

    This particular whale put on quite a show for us for several minutes.  He first was on his back (top image) as the black was visible.  The bottom image he is on his stomach just lifting the tail and slapping it down.  I took a video in hopes of capturing the loud thumping when the tail crashed down, but it was too windy so ally hear is the wind howling.  But the video still portrays the force they create.

 

This particular whale put on quite a show for us for several minutes.  He first was on his back (top image) as the black was visible.  The bottom image he is on his stomach just lifting the tail and slapping it down.

I took a video in hopes of capturing the loud thumping when the tail crashed down, but it was too windy so ally hear is the wind howling.  But the video still portrays the force they create.

Warehouse 109

This past Saturday I photographed an event at Warehouse 109 in Plainfield, IL.  It was my first time at this venue.  It is an old warehouse that has been converted for having parties and other events.  The owner has several old cars and motorcycles that add to the decor of the building.

I'm So Bad at This.

After each event this summer, I had good intentions of writing a blog post.  Now here it is October and my last post was Spring.  So here are a couple of highlight from the summer's events.

 Stephanie and John were married in June.  The wedding was outdoors at Arrowhead Gold Club in Wheaton.  They had a great day for an outdoor wedding and it was fun being a part of their day.

Stephanie and John were married in June.  The wedding was outdoors at Arrowhead Gold Club in Wheaton.  They had a great day for an outdoor wedding and it was fun being a part of their day.

 Steve and Melissa's wedding was in July.  Another nice day so we could go outdoors for some images.

Steve and Melissa's wedding was in July.  Another nice day so we could go outdoors for some images.

 Their reception was at the Haley Mansion in Joliet.  In addition to the outdoor grounds, the mansion itself was a great place for portraits.

Their reception was at the Haley Mansion in Joliet.  In addition to the outdoor grounds, the mansion itself was a great place for portraits.

Hopefully I can be better with the posts as the year progresses.

Winter Time

It's time for Winter to be over!  No more snow that needs to be shoveled!   No more sub zero wind chills!  No more ice that I slip and slide on.   I'm OK with Winter-ish, but NO MORE WINTER!

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NCHS Father/Daughter Dance and Mother/Son Brunch

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This weekend was the annual Naperville Central High School Father/Daughter Dance and Mother/Son Brunch.  This was the 20th F/D and I have been the photographer for 19 of them.

When I was working in the school district, it was always fun to see the former students as they progressed through the High School.  The past few years, those former students have been the parents of the students at these event.  There were even several parents who's weddings I had photographed.

 

Hearts For Valentine's Day.

Today is Valentine's Day.  Are you getting engaged?  Book your wedding today and save $400.  Book within the next week and save $200.

 One day while taking a walk, I noticed a leaf shaped like a heart.  Having my camera, I took a picture of it and I called it Nature's Heart.  Now whenever I find a a heart in nature I add it to my collection.

One day while taking a walk, I noticed a leaf shaped like a heart.  Having my camera, I took a picture of it and I called it Nature's Heart.  Now whenever I find a a heart in nature I add it to my collection.

Be An Olympic Photographer

I've often wondered what it would be like to photograph a huge sporting event like the Olympics or Superbowl.  Well now I'm getting the feeling vicariously through Jeff Cable who is an official photographer for the Winter Olympics.

Here is his blog if you want to check it out.

 

New Website

Today I activate the new website.  Of course if you are reading this blog, you are already at the new website!  I'm excited about the new look and feel and hope everyone likes it.  Hopefully I can keep up with the blog to share some of my images and thoughts.

Getting away from the midwest weather

After a few days in Phoenix for Imaging USA, we flew to Hawaii to visit with Sue's brother and his wife.  This is such a relaxing place.  I'm sure I will find lots to photograph.

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Day 1 of Imaging USA 2014

Today I have been at Imaging USA in Phoenix.  I attended some sessions and reinforced some ideas and skills that I have had for years.  I also looked at all the new gear on the trade show floor.  Tomorrow will be another full day of learning sessions.

Packing and repacking.

I've been working all day getting ready for the PPA Imaging USA in Phoenix  AZ.  It will be nice to see all the new stuff, see some old friends, and hear some speakers.  Plus getting out of the ice and cold to a warmer destination doesn't hurt either.  I've pared the camera bag down to one camera body and one lens.  I'm going very minimalist on this trip.

Getting Started

This is me getting started with the blogging experience.  It may be a complete flop, or it may be something that continues to evolve.