An 808 way of life

Canon 7D


Big sunsets come from the Big Island – Aloha!



Hidden Lahaina isn’t so difficult to find. Just look for it.

LahainaJust off Front Street, Lahaina comes to life. Not the kind of life found on the street … I’m talking about spots that are void of the congestion and foot traffic. I found the other side of Lahaina seeking refuge from the grunge, overdone retail, stench, street hecklers, etc. etc. Not that some of those things can’t be interesting. To me, Lahaina needs some pressure washing and Frebreze. Hidden Lahaina is closer to the water behind the buildings lining Front Street. Luckily I cam equipped with a camera.

Awa`awapuhi hiking: tough hike – great views. Worth the adventure.

KauaiFound in Koke`e State Park this trail winds through a highland forest with occasional ridge top views. It’s all downhill. Let me reiterate … all down hill means all uphill on the return trip. The day I hiked this trail, I carried a 100oz of water, a Canon 7D, tripod, Sony PCM50, etc. a point and shoot Canon with a few other goodies. At 25lbs, the trip became a real workout.

Take the trail outward (toward the end) to the grassy point overlooking the sheer cliffs of Awa`awapuhi and Nualolo valleys resting 2,000 feet below. The option to connect to the Nualolo trail should be taken only by those prepared for a hike over 9 miles long (one-way). Remember there is no water available nor facilities – be prepared.


The road to and from Hana is flooded with falls.


The official color ‘blue’ stems from the Pacific. Really – it’s a Crayola color.

Random beach access. It was lovely.

Can you say, “awesome?” Aloha.

Early morning sunrise – Kaua’i.

Hawai’i Kai.

Pathway to the beach – early morning. Big Island style.

Surf’s poppin’.

What an amazing sunset … I’m so surprised that my camera ‘gets it.’ Click it and you’ll see 2000 pixels.

My smokin’ hot wife. Just gettin’ younger every day!

Ok. The lunch spot is clear across the canyon – on the other side. Nice spot though, right?

Near the beach – some little white flowers. How nice.

If you see yellow, you see flowers. Aloha.

Random image: using the new softbox to develop some mad skills.

Ni’ihau in the distance. And yes, we will land there one day.

The beach side ridge goes unnoticed – – sometimes.

Oh yeah … there is water in the midst of dryness … and huge dropoff to the valley floor.

North point on the North Shore.

Powerful sunset – with all the drama of waves, surf and ahhh.

The flowers near the beach are rich in color.

Just a nap time image from the beaches of Kaua’i.

Random photo – the firework pixies. 1500 pixels width – suitable for framing.

Random Porsche photography with Alzo softbox.

Puffy clouds, blue sky, rolling surf, etc. etc. You know the drill.

Shining sand at sunset – and another beautiful day in aloha.

Some kind of lunch spot, huh?

Texture near the shoreline. Big Island.

The Summer of WOW!

From the sea cliffs or the Pacific, the Na Pali coastline is postcard perfect.

Beachy aloha to you and yours.

It’s times like this that I miss the palm shade action.

Love it. Aloha.

“Cue the boat … we’re ready for sunset. Aloha.”

Jojo and friend …. aloha honu!

Aloha plumeria and the moment of focus.

Kona ‘city’ lights make for a lovely evening.

Aloha sunsets with lots of sun & shine. Moku Nui-style.

Keauhou, Moku Nui: why you catch the sunsets earlier … it gets voggy. (click for pano)

Hawai’i and the meaning of aloha. Hello. Goodbye. Softly stated – I care about you. BTA – book ’em Dano.

Hawai’i has mountains of lava – everywhere. Click for cinemascope.

Islands in the distance – although challenging to see – are clear reminders of what’s on the horizon.

Hawai’i and the palms just sway with the wind. Aloha. click for cinemascope.

Hawai’i and natural flora. It seems to be everywhere.

In the rough, Diamond Head seems just around the corner from home.

Hawai’i and early morning sunshine. I’m ready. I’m ready. I’m ready!

Hawai’i and the notion that photography is easier there.

Today I should have thought more about the beauty of Aloha. Sadly, I didn’t.

The evening sky is wide open and usually colorful. Click for cinemascope.

Even the palms reach for the Pacific.

Looks like spring. At least in my mind’s eye.

Wide view of the Pacific.

Moloka’i, our home away from home.

The Pacific peeking out in the distance.

Kalaupapa allows the soul to rest and appreciate life itself.

Pacific views that are worthy of a hike.

Another late day Hawaiian sunset. Aloha.

What Sweetie was looking at … on the other side of the canyon.

Sweetie looking out over the valley below. What a view.

Another sunset near Sunset Beach

Bangin’ surf just at sunset – on Pipeline

The rugged landscape and deep blue Pacific make Hawai’i nei.

Hawai’i Nei – and dark-thirty. Otherwise known as post-sunset.

Hawai’i Nei – it’s a sunny day full of aloha.

Hawai’i Nei – my sweetie and me. Funny how this seems like yesterday!

Hawai’i Nei – with ‘a’ boat ready for the ocean.

Hawai’i Nei: what your eyes see.

Faces of Christmas: Santa stand-in.

Faces of Christmas: Frozen Frosty is going to melt over the 50+ degree Christmas!

Faces of Christmas: Santa’s helper.

Faces of Christmas: Rudolph is perched – ready for action.

Faces of Christmas: Snowman awaits snow.

Faces of Christmas: cousin Juju (on sale now at stores near you).

Hawaiian Flag – flying in the proper position atop the pole.

Pearl Harbor: We will NEVER forget.

Hawai’i the citadel.

Pearl Harbor and William S. Cope.

Pearl Harbor: Japanese dive bomber replica.

Hawai’i, Pearl Harbor – the mandatory blackout affected more than the military base. It affected all of Hawai’i.

Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, Hawai’i. Inside the Memorial it’s noticeably quiet. Beneath the water, voices of the past reach out and affirm the tragedy of December 7, 1941.

Pearl Harbor will be remembered. Forever.

Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, Hawai’i: external view while upon the Arizona Memorial. FREEDOM isn’t FREE.

WWII and fleet strength of the US vs. Japan

Pearl Harbor: Bomb and torpedo examples at the new Pearl Harbor museum.

Pearl Harbor – Hawai’i: Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto – the Kim Jong-il of WWII

Hawai’i – sometimes down the beach means even less people. Aloha!

Palms from the beach below Diamond Head.

Honolulu from Diamond Head. The other view.

O’ahu and the view looking toward Diamond Head. What a view.

Life is viewable from many dimensions. When people do or don’t do what we expect, it can be challenging to understand their motivations.What’s your perspective?

Hawaiian land markers. I look for them and they find me!

O’ahu – proof that the color of the Pacific originated in Hawai’i.

The Pacific Ocean is a unique Hawaiian blue.

Ua Mau ke Ea o ka Āina i ka Pono: The Life of the Land is Preserved in Righteousness.

Sunny sunsets bring hope of a brighter tomorrow.

Selection of images from FullAccess, New Jersey

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The Zen of green tea – with a prime 50 1.4. I brought back a few packages for consumption.

Canon 1.4 prime 50. No flash – in low light. Nice.

From the beach – near the greenway – on the North Shore.

Hawaiian surf: this is how we roll.

Hawaiian weather: Partly couldy is still good. It’s warm.

Hawaiian sunrise – or sunset? You be the judge.

Jeep introduced a new color this year: Red Dirt.

Hawaiian sunsets are easy on the eyes.

On the Arizona, the flag is changed every day. Below the surface, little has changed since December 7, 1941.

Queen of the National Cemetery of the Pacific: O’ahu’s most (yes, most) visited attraction.

Sunset on October 1st. Our Hawaiian music played while locals jammed to something else. Go figure.

Oops, friendly fire aimed at those who are not so friendly.

Once and a while, a gallery tells the story better than a single image.

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I hated Paris until today.

A little movie played aloud while I slept. Or, I should say – as I attempted to sleep. The ambient noise drowned by the occasional baby crying in the background had me twisting endlessly in my seat. Some thousand miles back, my wife was sitting at the airport. Waiting. Meanwhile, I was afloat along the airwaves bound for our ‘third’ home.

Confusing, I agree. You see, we stepped into the same time machine but the ticket wasn’t punched correctly and she side stepped onto another platform. I realized something important today – this is the very last time I’ll leave my wife behind. Notice I avoided the word never. The last time I used the never word (and I used it emphatically), I moved to Akron, Ohio. In the winter. A prison term or boarding school would have been better options.

Back in the cabin, the movie, “Midnight in Paris” played on. At first I resisted. It felt like a girl movie (a date movie) and I’ve not witnessed a girl movie  – well – since last week when MG was at the house and the two girls in my life brought me along for the ride. The movie – oh – the movie. It’s the first movie that Woody Allen has EVER directed that I would watch again. Better yet, add to my personal list of movies that will be offered up in my dead-guy-sale sometime later this century.

The interesting element in the movie revolves around the concept that we’re never satisfied with what we have, the life we lead, the cards we’re dealt, etc. The grass seemingly smells fresher and is a brighter shade in another yard, another era or even another country. Yes, the grass is greener in Hawai’i – trust me – I know.

Willingly I gathered my last bit of forced eye closure and engaged the concept offered by the movie. I found myself cast inside its mix of characters – most of whom are now famous due to literary works, artistic endeavors or philosophical contexts. I continued thinking of my wife – not yet on her plane – not with me. I flogged myself for going – without her.

Watching the movie, I thought about my wife concurrently with what I was seeing and hearing on screen (actually it was a TV). When things were going wrong for the main character, I felt even better about my marriage. Because it’s wonderful. When the fiance was acting up, I thought about how my wife doesn’t do drama. Ever. When the finance was talking about “cheap,” I thought about how my wife doesn’t care what something costs – she cares about what it means.

She appreciates simple.

She loves fun.

Heck, she is fun.

Her charm is only outmatched by her brains and lovely eyes. Yes, I’m waxing some mush, but you see – this movie proved to me something I already know. I found the right person! I caught the right taxi at the right moment – the very taxi that the universe served up. Laugh. Yes, I did too. Cry. Yes, I did too. Without my wife, I’d be a different person and certainly a person who isn’t nearly as happy, sane nor complete.

I affirmed something important today, I don’t hate Paris anymore. It doesn’t mean I’ll visit any time soon. But it did echo what my heart’s been saying for a long while –  I love my wife.

The Pacific Ocean feels like home. Let’s call it our 3rd home.

The rear view. Sometimes it looks better than a forward-facing view.

Some see dead trees. I see a prime lunch spot.

Lovely valley of Kaua’i. This still makes me smile.

Wide open Hawaiian spaces. The Islands of Hawai’i are bigger than you can ever imagine.

The rugged coastline encourages hiking and exploration. (click image for larger view)

Go there in the mind. Go there in the body.

Someone asked me this week, “when are you moving to Hawai’i.” My response, “I moved there two years ago.” The quizzical look in response made me laugh with happiness.

Long before you do something, like moving, you go there in the mind. Go there in the mind, you go there in the body. Factually stated, if you can live the experience before you actualize it, then the richness of the experience is heightened. This might sound like a heady day trip, but it is in fact a truthful reality for those that understand the power of visualization. Visualization is about experiencing in the mind the experience.

Last week after stepping out of the shower, I looked around the bathroom with a different lens. The lens was reflecting back what I was thinking, “when did I move to Hawai’i?” I noticed the photos on the wall from various islands, a framed painting of “old” Hawai’i, the watercolor images by the bathtub and the music — all of which were distinctly Hawaiian. My laughter was loud enough that I expected my wife to come in and ask me about it. She obviously didn’t hear me, and that’s ok, I just know that for the remainder of the day I thought about where I live. And it ain’t in Maryville, Tennessee.

Getting there is easy: I listen for the ocean, for doves, and of the sound of the Acaia trees rubbing against one another as the wind moves their branches near the shoreline. I can hear my wife laugh as the bak-bak walk by. I smell the plumeria, the spray from the Pacific, and ahi tuna after it’s been grilled. The texture of green sand is soft and coarse against my feet, and the lava rock sharp and hot against my hands. The colors are vibrant – from the red dirt that coats the Jeep to the redness of the hibiscus. All of this is powerful. All of the imagery, sounds, smells, texture – evoke a sense of being in the space.

Go there in the mind. You go there in the body.

Look around and you’ll find what you seek.

Recently I was asked, “where are the people? I thought Hawai’i was crowded with tourists.”

I typically respond with, “you find what you seek. If you travel to Hawai’i to find people, you will find them.” My thought pattern continues with … if you travel to find natural surroundings, raw shoreline, beautiful blue water, lava rock, flowers of every kind, sweet sounding birds, and tasty fish … that’s what you’ll find.

My travels to Hawai’i aren’t about the beach. Sure, I go to the beach (more so at sunset), but I’m much more interested in hiking, walking and exploring. Certainly there are times where I need to move around and actively crop people out of my frame.  But that’s an exception. Cropping people from the frame (or their noise from the HD-mic) is much harder orchestrate at sunset than at any other time of the day.

Early morning is the easiest because most visitors aren’t interested in getting out of bed at 5Am. Shooting midday is fraught with lighting issues – unless you’re under heavy brush or indoors. Either way, finding yourself far away from the masses is a choice.

If you land in Honolulu (Hono-rue-rue), you find six lanes of traffic on BOTH sides of the highway. If you drive downtown you will find a sea of white flesh (yes, mostly Caucasian) and a roar of happiness stemming from a collective notion — “we’re on Waikiki Beach!” Look around and you smell the fatty flesh of tourists. Or, you can choose another route and find a dried red dirt path strewn with Acacia trees … leading far away from masses. Ninety-eight percent of my travels include the later variety.

According to management, we will continue seeking the quiet red dirt path until further notice.


Photography in challenging sunlight isn’t so terrible on Kaua’i.

Choppy chop-chop. Best have an A-game when you’re ready to surf.

Raw coastline along Kaua’i’s south shore.

Ocean insert: a small slice of water as seen through the lava.

Sideline views along the path.

I have no idea what this is. A flower. An eye?

July 4th celebrated the right way. Looking at markers that are “old.”

Hi from lala-land. Ok, it’s Kaua’i. That’s what she said.

“Yes, that’s really pretty,” she said.

This is crowded for a Hawaiian beach. Well, a non-Waikiki beach anyway.

Just off the ‘bumpy’ road. Click to see the super-size.

Another sunrise. Yeah, right.

Another sunny day. Yeah, right.

The road leads to the path that leads to the Pacific. It’s befitting to life as we know it, so enjoy the journey.

The road leads somewhere. Just walk along and find the ocean.

Hiking along the coast of Kaua’i you find yourself wanting to know what’s around the next cove, the next bay, the next lava field.

The camera has very little to do with what you see. Hawai’i is one continuous photographic image.

Yeah, it’s just another beach. Right.

Kaua’i’s rugged countryside confirms why we love Hawai’i. Just look for yourself.

“The Pacific is bluer than blue. It’s the original blue of blue. Except sometimes it’s turquoise.” David Avery

Colors are richer when viewed without industrial pollutants.

Private beaches are everywhere. Unless you’re on Waikiki Beach.

East shore Kaua’i is lovely. Beaches are sandy, populated with lava bombs and very few bodies.

Life in a lava field seems to thrive and flourish.

So blue you have to remove your sunglasses to validate the truth.

Another aloha sunset. So vibrant. So few. Get busy living.

Ahh with aloha in the Pacific. Photoshop is forbidden here.

Polihale on the west coast of Kaua’i. “No ka heke.” Make sure to click for full size.

Aqua blue and at the perfect temp. Aloha.

Near the beach, just along side the Pacific, layered among the trees – are small flowers. It gives the whole area a “fresh” look.