Hawaii Volcanoes by QT Luong

A few months ago, I stumbled upon Ken Burns’ The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. The six-part documentary takes a close look at how the idea of national parks came to be. The influence of people like John Muir, Theodore Roosevelt, Stephen Mather, and John D. Rockefeller, Jr. is felt so powerfully through the photos and narration. One of the men featured in the documentary is QT Luong. In 1993, Luong learned how to shoot photographs with a large format camera. By 2002, Luong had the distinction of photographing, in large format, each of the 58 National Parks. Below is a video that Luong put together from a recent visit to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

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Haleakala Backpacking Adventure Night 3: The Milky Way, Shooting Stars, and Caves

Our third night at Haleakala would prove to be the most memorable for me. Earlier in the day, we had explored a nearby lava tube. The lava tube is fairly out of the way and there are no markers, just a rough trail leading to it. Basically, if you don’t know where it is then I imagine that it would be quite difficult to locate, despite being less than a mile from Holua Cabin. With these conditions in mind, imagine exploring the lava tube during the dead of night. This was the most memorable night on Haleakala.

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Haleakala Backpacking Adventure Night 2: The Sunset, The Milky Way, and Shooting Stars

Second night in Haleakala and the second night of missing my shower at home. What helped, though, was the cool and crisp air. It’s not very humid at this elevation, unlike a typical day in downtown Honolulu. At Paliku cabin, slight showers would come and go. I figured that this was a more than common occurrence, based on the lush, green vegetation.

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The Photography of Brother Bertram Bellinghausen

Over the summer, while exploring the Chaminade University of Honolulu campus, I stumbled upon a tucked away gallery of photos. The gallery was titled Photographic Images of the Kingdom of Hawaii on the Threshold of Annexation and features the photography of Brother Bertram Bellinghausen. Brother Bertram was born in Bonn, Germany, and first stepped foot on Hawaii soil on September 3, 1883. Brother Bertram was a part of the first group of Marianists who came to Hawaii in 1883 to staff and administer St. Louis College founded by the Sacred Heart Fathers in 1846. In 1957, the college was renamed Chaminade College and then again in 1977 when it became Chaminade University of Honolulu. Brother Bertram would take the seat as the first director of the then new Saint Louis College.

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8 Exposures Vol. 3: Hands On With A Vintage Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera

I recently pulled the trigger on a camera that I’ve been wanting for some time now. No, not the latest Canon or Nikon DSLR, instead, the Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera, originally released in 1972. The SX-7o is considered to be the crowning achievement of Polaroid founder, Edward H. Land. In fact, according to photography and Polaroid enthusiast, Georg Holderied, the SX-70 is one of the “most sophisticated consumer articles ever made. It is the down to earth equivalent of the Hubble space telescope.” Intense words for a gnarly camera. Intrigued by its unique hardware and foldable design, I took the SX-70 our for a spin during a recent camping trip at Bellows Field Beach Park, located on a beautiful stretch of beach in Waimanalo. Impossible PX 100 Silver Shade Cool Film film was used.

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8 Exposures Vol. 2: Kaiwa Ridge and Bunkers

Took the ol’ Polaroid (Cool Cam 600) with me to Kaiwa Ridge, affectionately known as the Lanikai Pillbox trail. Yes, it’s a crowded trail, but you can’t really argue with the views. Unfortunately for me and my Polaroid, we did the trail early in the morning. Why, unfortunate? The film that I used (Impossible Project PX 680 Color Protection) is very sensitive to light and so it didn’t mix very well with the sun, which would be facing us the entire hike up. You’ll notice that the colors are a lot more muted this time around, compared to those from Volume 1. Whatever subject I tried to focus on, became a silhouette because of the sun light. And although I knew this would be the case, I shot anyway. Luckily, of the 8 exposures, I did have a favorite, “Girl with a ballerina dress and a teddy bear.” I love that shot.

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Infrared Photography of Haiku Stairs (Stairway To Heaven)

A few weeks ago I spotted the photography of Scott Sharick on Facebook and was fascinated by his work. Scott had his Nikon D80 converted to infrared to capture these shots. He is not using a lens filter, instead, the hot mirror filter (designed to pass visible light while blocking infrared and ultraviolet light) in front of the camera sensor in his D80 was physically removed, thus allowing for the capture of infrared light. The results are staggering and very different from typical, non-infrared photographs.

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