East Austin, the ArModelo & Longhorn Caverns

I spent last weekend in Austin with a few good friends from grad school. We’re spread across the country at the moment – two in Boston, one in Boulder, and one in San Francisco – and decided to get together somewhere that (1) is fun and (2) had cheap direct flights for all of us. Austin delivered on both fronts, easy decision. Before continuing, I have to thank my amazing wife Laura, who encouraged me to have one last weekend away before our son arrives. So, a quick recap on some highlights. I’ve been going to Austin at least once a year since 2012 to visit Laura’s family, and I’m still excited to find excuses to go back. No other US city has Austin’s mix of

Continue reading

Everglades National Park

I was in Florida visiting family last weekend, and took off one morning to go check out Everglades National Park. It was more interesting than I expected, and I only had a chance to see a small portion in Shark Valley, and some areas between there and the Gulf Coast visitor center. There were gators everywhere. In some of the swamps there were dozens swimming around. I’ll try the airboats next time. Here are some highlights:

We Drain Pipes, Not Wallets

A sign design firm, Dynamic Image LLC, recently contacted me to request to use one of my photos for a vehicle wrap project. It’s a shot I took in 2011 while visiting Rocky Mountain National Park: I sent them the high resolution file, and asked to see the results when it was finished. Yesterday, I received an email with two photos. Turns out it’s a plumbing truck. I’m a bit biased, but I think it looks great:

Hamakua, Waipio, and Pololu

For our final two days in Hawaii Laura and I stayed at a B&B on a ranch in the Hamakua region up north. The drive up to the ranch was six miles off the main road, three of which was through a eucalyptus forest: Here are a couple of horses on the ranch: We drove out to Waipio Valley one afternoon, and did the mile hike down and back up: Afterwards, we drove out to Pololu Valley. Unfortunately the weather turned overcast when we got there, but we had some good rainbow sightings on the way: Many more pictures on my photography site.

Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden

Laura and I visited the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden outside Hilo on our drive from Volcano to Hamakua. It far exceeded our expectations and I’d highly recommend an hour or so stop if you’re on the Big Island. The garden is along a trail that’s roughly a mile loop. It’s located off a scenic road which was among the best drives we did on the island. Just a mile south of it is the Onomea Bay Trail, which we walked as well. The trail actually passes through part of the garden, but you can’t get into the main area without first buying tickets at the main entrance. Here are some highlights from the botanical garden: And here are a few shots taken from the Onomea Bay Trail:

Photographing the Milky Way

I’d never photographed the night sky until last week. Living in the Northeast, it’s rare for me to have a clear opportunity without lots of light pollution. And when I’ve been lucky enough to travel somewhere remote, I’ve generally been without a tripod or the right lens. In Hawaii, light pollution is low and visibility is great, so I decided to give it a try while Laura and I were visiting. Here’s what I used for settings on a Nikon D7200 with a 16-80mm lens: manual mode, ISO 6400, focal length 16mm, f/2.8, shutter speed 25 seconds, and focus just a few millimeters to the right of infinity. I tried a few slight variations of those, but found the results weren’t as good. I shot the first bunch while

Continue reading

Lots of Lava and Steam

Picking up from the previous post on where to see lava in Volcanoes National Park, here are my shots from the Kalapana lava flow site. We arrived around 5:30pm, just before sunset. I had a lot of trouble choosing which pictures to post, but these are the highlights. Lots of steam coming off the ocean as the lava hits the water: Here there’s some lava shooting up into the air – it gets a little too close to the boat: This is my favorite shot of the bunch. I love the steam patterns over the ocean with the silver water and boat driving away: As it gets dark, the glow becomes brighter: Lots of explosions in the steam: This was by far my favorite part of our time in Hawaii. I’d never

Continue reading