I’m a long time fan of Herb Kane’s work. I can still remember visiting the Bishop Museum, where his artwork would bring life to the Hawaiian folklore that we would learn about in Hawaiiana class. If you grew up in Hawaii, then you can probably relate. Maybe not to seeing Herb Kane’s work at Bishop Museum, but surely you can remember sitting Indian-style in Hawaiiana class as your Kumu (Hawaiian teacher) taught you how to count in Hawaiian, play the ukulele, and told you stories about the ancient Hawaiians. Yes, going to elementary school in Hawaii is way better than going to elementary school anywhere else (if you can look beyond national standardized test score averages). Of course, I’m bias, but I digress. The point is, Herb Kane is not just a talented artist, but a living legend. Herb Kane is an author, historian, and cultural leader. So, I was very pleased when I stumbled upon his work during a recent stay at the Grand Wailea in Maui.
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This is Instagram Hawaii Spotting: Volume 5. I use Instagram a lot. A LOT. This makes sense since I’m pretty much glued to my iPhone and I love to snap photos. These are a few photos that I Instagrammed during a recent trip to Kauai. Enjoy!
Even through I hate the drive up, Haleakala remains one of my favorite places in Hawaii. I have been there three times. However, I have never taken a photo up there with this sort of perspective. Naturally, I had to share. Pretty gnarly, right? For the full effect, I recommend seeking out a large screen!
Throughout the most popular spots in Waikiki exists 23 markers for an urban trail. While it is easy to stumble upon a few of them simply by chance, visiting all takes some effort. Most of the markers are wooden surfboards with both images and text that narrate the history of Waikiki. Building upon the efforts of Troy Solano, I was able to finish the whole trail over 2 days while also practicing long exposure night shots.
Troy became interested in the urban hike a few months ago after finding an essay documenting all the markers. Despite becoming the laughing stock of the hiking community for his ridiculous mission, Troy would finish the trail over 3 days. The final day of his hike also included me and allowed me to see a few of the markers before attempting the whole thing at night. The following will list all the markers’ locations as well as images from nearby locations. Detailed information about what is found on the markers can be found here and here.
The first marker, pictured above and titled “Beaches”, is found where Monsarrat Ave. and Kalakaua Ave. merge. This marker details the four nearby sections of Outrigger Canoe Club, Sans Souci, Kapi’olani Park and Queen’s Surf.
Continue walking West on Kalakaua and soon you’ll find another surfboard. “Waikiki” explains the popularity of surfing in the area as well as the importance of streams leaving the Ko’olaus. While on the walkway taking pictures of that patio thing, a local became interested in what I was doing and let me know about some dark areas on the Windward side as I was here trying to get some star shots near the current New Moon. He would also let me know my pronunciation of Hawaiian names was very good. Just wanted to let everyone know.
This marker has you leave Kalakaua temporarily to visit Ala Wai canal. Walk up Kapahulu Ave. then head left on Ala Wai to reach this marker. “Queen Liliuokalani” shows how Waikiki began as an agricultural community to become what it is today.
Head back down to Kalakaua and head West again. Soon, you will find a statue of Prince Kuhio, along with an urban waterfall just a little more West. The marker here will tell you the story of Prince Kuhio. Continue reading →
Hipstamic is a strangely satisfying analog-inspired app for the iPhone. This series of posts aims to place the focus a bit more on the photos rather than the words. In Volume 4, we feature a collection of Hipstamatic photos taken during a recent hike through Papali Uka Ridge and the Forbidden Castle Trail. For a complete write-up of the hike, please check out this post. To check out the rest of this series, click here.
The ever elusive Happy Face Spider (Theridion grallator). Ah, I finally got you to smile for me on camera! On a recent hiking trip to the Palehua-Palikea trail, I spotted two very happy looking Happy Face Spiders. They are known as Happy Face Spiders because the array of colors on the back of their abdomens make it seem as if they are, well, smiling. Hawaiians gave these spiders the name Nananana Makaki`i, which simply means face-patterned spider. It’s Hawaiian name sort of reminds me of that Steam hit from 1969… sing it with me… “Na na na na, hey hey-ey, goodbye. Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey-ey, goodbye!”
Some believe that the face patterns helps the spiders avoid from being eaten by birds. The spiders themselves are almost translucent and blend it very well with the underside of leaves, where they like to hang out and build their spider webs to catch prey. So if you’re hiking, you probably won’t spot them. You’ll actually have to put some effort into looking for these little guys.
There are a few variations to the Happy Face Spider, with the yellow morph being the most popular on the Palehua-Palikea trail. The Happy Face Spider is endemic to Hawaii and only found on the islands of Oahu, Molokai, Maui, and the Big Island.
- Scientific name: Theridion grallator
- Classification: Phylum: Arthropoda. Class: Arachnida. Order: Araneae
- Origin: Native to Hawaii
- Status: Reduced populations
- Distribution: Oahu, Molokai, Maui, Big Island
Below are two photos that I took of a Happy Face Spider on the Palehua-Palikea trail. These are two different spiders. Both were very, very tiny and roughly 1-2mm in length. We spent about 45 minutes or so looking at these two spiders and also searching for more, but didn’t find any others. I used the very useful Olloclip to take these macro photos.
UPDATE (2/24/2013): Joshua Serrano sent over two more photos of the Happy Face Spider. Thanks Josh!
Night photography is something that I only just recently became interested in. And it took a little nudge by Ahnate, who suggested that we spend a Friday night on the east side of the island, in the cold darkness, and try to take pictures of the Milky Way. I didn’t think that it was possible to take photos of the Milky Way without the use of expensive photography equipment and super fancy lenses. I was wrong. And Friday was awesome.
How do you Photograph the Milky Way?
I’m not 100% sure. The best advice that I can give you is to experiment. This first shoot really was my first night photography session experimenting with the Milky Way. I’m no pro photographer, but here are a few of my notes.
- Choose a dark location on a cloud free night. There are a few locations on the island that will give you a pitch dak experience. On this trip, we chose Lanai Lookout. There were still some obvious light sources and more clouds than expected, but for the most part, it worked.
- Shutter Speed. I chose to experiment the entire night only using a 30 second shutter speed. If you keep the shutter open for too long, though, the stars in yours photos might begin to look oblong. Also, because you’ll be using such a long exposure, it’s important that you have a tripod. You’ll also want to use a self-timer or remote shutter button. This is to prevent the shake from pressing down on the shutter button from affecting your photos. Next time, I’ll play around with much longer shutter speeds.
- Aperture. Ahnate suggested here that I drop my aperture down to the lowest possible f-stop. I was using my Canon EF-S 10-22mm, so the lowest f stop that I could drop down to was f/3.5. The idea here is that you want maximum depth of field. By setting your focus to infinity, you’ll then be able to capture those distant stars.
- ISO. This setting can be played around with a lot. I experimented with ISO’s ranging from 12oo to 2000. Ahnate, I believe, bumped his ISO up to 3200. Remember, though, the higher the ISO setting, the more noise that will be present in the image.
- Use Star Chart for the iPhone. With the app, you simply point your iPhone to the sky and it will show you the location of the Milky Way.
- Equipment. For this session, I used my Canon EOS 7D.
Right now, I don’t have much more to add. I’m more than certain that we’ll be doing this again. And I’m more than certain that I’ll have more notes to add next time. Until then, enjoy the photos!
This is Instagram Hawaii Spotting: Volume 4. I use Instagram a lot. A LOT. This makes sense since I’m pretty much glued to my iPhone and I love to snap photos. These are a few photos that I Instagrammed during the first month of 2013. Enjoy!
Follow me on Instagram. Hashtag your Hawaii adventures with #explorationhawaii hashtag and maybe we’ll add your photo in Volume 5!
Having spent most of the first day of 2013 cleaning house, Michelle and I were itching to get out and do something. We decided to try and catch the sunset from Keawaula Beach (Yokohama Bay). Sunset hunting would be our first adventure ouf 2013.
We started our drive toward Waianae at around 4:30pm. The sun was scheduled to set at 6:01pm. We drove past Nanakuli, Maile, and Waianae. We noticed a crowd of people at Makaha Beach, but continued to drive forward. Past Kea’au, Ohikilolo, and Kaneana Cave. At this point, the rain really began to fall. We decided to turn around and head back toward Maile.
We stopped first at Makaha Beach, but it was way too crowded with surfers and onlookers. All we wanted was the sunset. We decided to jump back into our car and drive toward Maile. Then, we found a random beach that was quiet and empty. We parked next to a big truck. Sitting inside was a son on his mother’s lap, watching dad surf a few feet away. Michelle and I rushed to the rocky beach and proceeded to snap away. The first sunset of 2013 was indeed beautiful. Let’s hope that the rest of the year is just as stunning.
Hipstamic is a strangely satisfying analog-inspired app for the iPhone that I’ve really found a renewed interest in. This series of posts aims to place the focus a bit more on the photos rather than the words. In Volume 3, we feature a collection of Hipstamatic photos taken during a drive through historic Haleiwa town and Waialua.
A strange, but true story: I had set up Hipstamic to shoot with the combination of Buckhosrt H1 Lens + Blanko Freedom 13 Film + Standard Flash, and it had done that for the first seven images. However, when it came to the final image of the old St. Michael’s church ruins, it had switched to a Black & White setting that I had never used or had saved on Hipstamatic. Weird, but true.
For this Hipstamatic shoot, I challenged myself to shoot one shot each for eight different subjects. I gave myself a single try to frame the photo. Here are the eight photos that I ended up with. Here’s your challenge. See if you can identify the eight locations pictured below. Leave your answers in the comments. Good luck!