March 2015 - Bens Viewfinder

March 31st, 2015 - Calla Lily

We have a simply shot today but sometimes simple is beautiful. This is a Calla Lily flower and it happens to be my wife's favorite. She actually pointed it out and asked me to take this shot when we were up in Waimea Canyon last week. I really enjoy the bright contrast of the bright white flower to the dark leaves in the background. The leaves add a great texture also and the pop of color in the stem and middle of the flower all add up to a pretty cool poto if you ask me. Things start quieting down around my house today with some family flying home, so I am hoping to get some editing done this week. We have other family flying in next week to visit though so hopefully I will get out and do some more shooting. Enjoy the shot and your Tuesday friends.

March 30th, 2015 - Clear Lake

We visit California today and a beautiful little place called Clear Lake. I stayed in this little lakeside town on my way north from Napa to Redding. This was one of those random places I kind of just saw on the atlas and went with it. There wasn't a lot to see in the town but as you can tell they have a beautiful little lake. I just liked the soft gradient in the sky and the little duck family floating around. I am super exhausted after a crazy week and still have another day to go before getting a few days off before we have another visitor coming in for a week. The good news is I am pretty sure I took one of the best panoramic shots I have ever done today. I am just in preliminary edit on it and will work on it this week as my craziness winds down. Until then enjoy this hopefully. Thanks guys!

March 29th, 2015 - Waipoo Falls

So I have to keep todays daily photo post short and sweet because I gotta go hop on a boat and take some photos and hang with some family. I give you a shot today though of Waipoo Falls. This huge waterfall is about 800 feet tall as highlights an amazing view of beautiful Waimea Canyon. The wind was blowing really good which made for a kind of cool shot for how the water was falling. I hope you have all had a great weekend and enjoy the shot. Hopefully I will get some more today!

March 28th, 2015 - Spiky Flower

So we went on a small hike yesterday and although I didn't take many photos I did get a few macro shots. One of which was this strange spiky plant which was on the side of the trail. I haven't done much macro work lately and nearly forgot how tough it can be to set up and do with a little wind going on. If you happen to know what this very interesting little flower is, please leave a comment and let me know. I am bad about knowing what I am photographing a lot. I tend to go with the "If it's pretty photograph it" method. We are driving out to show the family who is visiting Waimea Canyon today so I will hopefully grab a shot or two on that excursion. They had a fun filled day yesterday with hiking and snorkeling with sea turtles. We also had a great dinner on the bay. Life is good my friends, thanks for your support. I appreciate it every day!

March 27th, 2015 - Wailua Falls

While driving around with some family who is in town yesterday we went by Wailua Falls. Now there is a reason you have never seen me post a shot of them before. This is literally the only angle you have to photograph it unless you are willing to kayak up a very large river and do some hiding on top of it. I don't actually know how to kayak, let alone how to insure I wouldn't dump all my gear in the river on accident, so this is the angle we have for now. This waterfall, for the TV inclined of you, was featured in the opening credits of the show Fantasy Island. Today we are going on a hike on a trail I have photographed before, but I am hoping to chase down a panoramic shot I have been wanting. It depends on if the clouds want to work me or not if I will get the shot. I hope you guys enjoy your Fridays and the start of your weekend, thanks for following along!

March 26th, 2015 - Nawiliwili Lighthouse

I thought I would take you along with us today and show you what we are doing this afternoon. Yesterday turned out to be super rainy so we kind of just drove around and ate some food. We are heading to the south shore today to visit a couple places and then going to head back to Nawiliwili Lighthouse to maybe catch a sunset or see some whales. Now if you saw a few weeks back I posted a shot of this same lighthouse with the airplane going over it and while I love that photo and the moment I captured, I love the lighting on the lighthouse in this one. Had nice warm direct sunshine hitting the right hand side of it. I know you haven't gotten any video blogs lately and I promise I will work on some next week. If anyone has any requests don't be afraid to let me know. Thanks everyone!

March 25th, 2015 - Entering St Peters

We visit Italy again today and St. Peters Basilica. This view you see here is basically as soon as you walk through the front doors. As you can tell it is a bit overwhelming, but amazingly beautiful. This is one of the few photos that I took more at a normal angle and included the people in it. I just wanted to capture a bit of the feel of what it was like to walk in and what you get to see. Further out in the photo you can see the stand where the pope gives his sermons. I am keeping it short today because we are taking some family around the island to see some of the sites. Of course it has been raining all day on their first day here, but we will make the best of it. Enjoy your Wednesday my friends.

March 24th, 2015 - Michigan Tree

So I went to Michigan last week to visit my family and my sister who was having a baby and I hauled most of my camera gear with full intentions of doing some shooting. I actually saw one of the most amazing sunsets I have ever seen, but it was while I was in line to get my rental car and I couldn't exactly set up and shoot it. In the end this is pretty much the only shot I came home with. I do however like it very much. As I was driving back to Detroit to catch my airplane yesterday I realized I had some extra time and decided to hop off the highway and do some wandering in the country and see if I could trip over something worth shooting. I did have to do a little trespassing on someones farm land to get this, but they didn't seem to be using the field at the moment. It was a very dull dreary kind of snowy day so I really thought I would showcase the cool lighting in the situation instead of any color. We have some family flying in this evening and we have plans this week to go see some cool stuff and I will definitely have my camera with me. It feels great to be home and I hope you are all having a great Tuesday. Enjoy the shot.

March 23rd, 2015 - Subtle Waterholes Canyon

It has been quite a while since we have ventured back to Arizona for a photo. I thought we would today with a calm subtle shot. It doesn't have the drama that some of the other shots from this area have but I really like the subtle graduation of darks to lights in this shot. Like all my shots of the canyons in this area I love the textures and lines and the feel of movement in the walls. I also love how in the sort of middle of the photo you have that warmer glow going on as the sun peaks over the ridge out to the left. I am just getting ready to leave my hotel and head to breakfast with my family and then I am off to catch an airplane home! Going to be a long day but it will be worth it. I hope you all have a great start to your week!

March 22nd, 2015 - Napali Cathedral

So todays daily photo is absolutely awesome if you ask me. This panoramic was shot on the Napali coast on the west side of Kauai. I visited this place twice in a four day period a couple weeks ago and I can tell you the first time I went up there it didn't look anything like this. You weren't even able to see the shoreline or most of the stuff down in the valley here. This is the part of the island where the weather comes in off the ocean and rolls over this mountain ridge and into Waimea Canyon. It is also shockingly cold here. The temperature is about 25 degrees colder than down by the coast. On the far right hand side of the pano is actually the trail you use to hike along the ridge. It is not a trail to take your grandma on though. If you get a chance check this one out on a nice large screen because the details are pretty fun. I am heading home tomorrow and can't wait to see my beautiful wife and enjoy some beautiful weather. I will be out and about a lot this week shooting because we have company coming to visit. Enjoy the remaining bit of your weekend and we will see you guys tomorrow!

March 21st, 2015 - Skies Over St. Marks

How about something a little different today? We haven't visited St Marks square in a while and I still had this shot sitting around and I really loved the movement in the sky. What happens sometimes though is when I go through and edit my work if I can't quite get a photo to edit the way I felt the scene felt when I was there I tend to kind of shelf it and return to it later and give it another go. I spent a lot of time photographing this little square while I was in Venice. I just thought it was infinitely interesting. Sad that the super gorgeous cathedral to the right was under such heavy restoration because it would have made for some more interesting shots. That big tower you see there you can actually climb stairs up to the top and look down, I didn't do it because it is a very small space and way too many people. I love the twilight lighting when I took this and I was able to draw my shutter out long enough to give some cool ghosting effects on the people wandering about which gives some more movement to the shot. I dig it and hope you do too. Enjoy the photo and your Saturdays my friends.

March 20th, 2015 - Queens Sunset

We head to the north shore of Kauai today and to a pretty awesome place called Queens Bath. I actually took this shot months ago and have shared a couple other shots from the location, but when going back through some old shots I decided I thought this one was worth sharing. I really liked the way the rocks in the foreground look and the movement in the water rolling into the gap in the rocks. Even though I usually love a slightly more cloudy sky, I feel like the simplicity works here because of the nice gradient as you work away from the sun. Once the north shore weaves settle for the season I am definitely going to head back here and get some more shots. For now enjoy this one and your Fridays, I hope you all have great weekends. I will be spending mine with my family in Michigan and then I get to go back home to paradise!

March 19th, 2015 - Brooklyn Bridge

We haven't done a black and white photo lately so figured we would give that a spin today. If you are reading this on the website sorry about how late in the day this is going up. Had a family thing I had to attend to. If you don't recognize this iconic bridge it is the Brooklyn Bridge in New York. I am not quite sure what it is about this photo but I kind of dig it. I processed it a little differently than I normally do for black and whites and I kind of dig the result. I love the shift in dark to light in the sky as you move closer to where the sun was and weirdly enough I really dig the hand rails and the light reflecting off them that run along the river. I also like the few bright clouds that break up the sky as you go along. Hopefully you guys dig this shot as much as I do. I am hoping to go do some photo hunting here in Michigan tomorrow but it isn't exactly the most beautiful time of year, we will see, sometimes you find hidden gems!

March 18th, 2015 - Fast Sailing

I am realizing as I am writing this post today that I came away with quite a few decent shots from the evening I photographed Nawiliwili Lighthouse a few weeks back. I had shared a black and white of some sail boats last week and those were as the boats were going back into the harbor. This shot was taken about ten minutes earlier when they were racing out of the harbor to the harbor point where they were rounding a marker and racing back in. It was just an awesome timing moment that the sun happened to be filtering through the clouds in the mountains in the background casting some awesome light shafts. I just love the way the light rolling through the mountains gives such a beautiful contrast in the land. It really is hard to take a bad photo on Kauai, which makes my job very easy! Enjoy.

March 17th, 2015 - New Day New Life

So we are going to keep it short and sweet today my friends because it is a big day in my family. My sister is welcoming her second child into this world! So I don't keep a stockade of cute kid portrait work because I do so little of it but I thought the accent of the kids playing on a playground in Central Park in New York is kind of vaguely with the theme, wouldn't you say? I  know I'm stretching it a bit, I did love how the sun is peaking through the trees here and the different types of trees. Well send some positive thoughts and congrats to my beautiful sister Lynneea on her new baby girl and have a great Tuesday guys n gals. 

March 16th, 2015 - Higher Learning

We revisit the University of Washington today and one of the coolest libraries I have ever seen. I kind of felt bad taking this shot but at the same time I couldn't resist with how beautiful it is. I was very sneaky and tried not to bother anyone as I took this and left as soon as I did. I saw this while getting toured around the campus by my oldest brother who went here. I am posting this oddly enough from the Seattle airport while on layover before I get on my plane in about forty five minutes to Michigan. Pretty uneventful trip so far but looking forward to not being crammed in planes! Hopefully all of your weeks are off to a good start and we will see you guys tomorrow.

March 15th, 2015 - Red Dirt Falls

So todays photo kind of wins. I am kind of in love with this photo. I figured I am leaving Hawaii for a week today so I would leave you with a pretty awesome photo from this gorgeous island. I took this shot while on my way up to Waimea Canyon last week. Luckily we have gotten some rain as of late and this little river was running pretty good through some of the red dirt areas on your way to the canyon. This photo has a lot of what I love and he best part is that I can show it off almost exactly how it looked. Beautiful contrasts and movement and bright colors with a good sense of depth. I have no complaints about this shot. I did use a ND filter to draw out the water moment to give it that nice silky look. This red dirt is super famous here, they actually use it to dye shirts that they sell as souvenirs. One of the best parts of Kauai is that this isn't the attraction to see, this is what you see on the way to the big attraction. So much beauty here. Enjoy the shot and I will see you guys from Michigan tomorrow.

March 14th, 2015 - Unperfect Sunset

Not everyday on Kauai is perfect sunshine and and gorgeous weather. Although for being an off day this sunset didn't exactly end up too bad did it? This was the gorgeous light show that the clouds over Lihue put on as the sun set a couple weeks ago when I was at Nawiliwili Harbor photographing the lighthouse. The nice part with living on an island is that the clouds tend to set in over the land and the sun usually has an area it drops below them as it sets and gives this gorgeous glow to everything as it goes. Today is my last full day on Kauai for a week and I am spending it packing and getting prepped for a trip to Michigan. It is a mostly for my awesome sister who is having a baby but I am hoping to do some work while I am there if crazy midwest weather cooperates. Enjoy and we will see you tomorrow friends.

March 13th, 2015 - Lamps of Rialto

How about we change things up today and head all the way to Venice, Italy for the day? I haven't shared anything in a while from here and believe it or not I still have a few shots from Italy I haven't published. As gorgeous as Hawaii is I know you guys want a little variety in my work so I try and stagger it a bit. This is a little bit artsy of me but I just really enjoyed these hanging lamps in the fading light of the day. These are actually hanging above tables that people are eating at on the canal and with the Rialto Bridge as the backdrop I just thought it made for a great shot. I am looking forward to doing another big international trip again hopefully sometime soon. It really depends on what happens with my plans to open a gallery here on Kauai. If all goes super well I will hopefully be planning a trip to New Zealand to do some shooting. So you guys keep supporting my work and I'll keep sharing it and hopefully we can travel a lot of this world together! Happy Friday and I hope all of your weekends are amazing.

March 12th, 2015 - Scaling Redwoods

You will notice today that this is the third photo of Redwoods I have shared that has been nearly straight up. The thing is if you look at each photo I feel like they are very different shots. That is the lovely part about trees I suppose, they are very unique. I really love the bark on these and the transition of dark shade at the base to light canopy at the top. The reality is that some subjects require you to photograph them in a certain way. Huge trees require you to photograph them at extremely upward angles to really capture them. Makes me wonder what I am going to do when I have to photograph Sequoias due to them being both tall and extremely wide. I look forward to the challenge though. Just a reminder guys that if you are not seeing the daily photo every day to go to the top of my page and click on the "get notifications" button and it will let you know when I upload the photo every day. Or you can always bookmark and check the actual website, it always goes there first. Have a great Thursday everyone!

March 11th, 2015 - Harbor Sailing

We visit Nawiliwili Harbor today and one of a couple photographs I took of the sailboats a couple weeks ago. I was there photographing the lighthouse when we noticed a group of sailboats come out and do a lap around the harbor marker and then sail back in. My best guess is that they were part of a sailing group or school because they were obviously sailing together. It was fun watching them scream along. I took two shots I liked of them and one I did in color and this one I did in black and white. I liked this in black and white because of the different layers of dark and lights between the water the shoreline and the mountain in the background against the bright sky and the darker cloud bank. I don't know the first thing about sailing but I would love to someday own a boat. Enjoy the shot friends.

March 10th, 2015 - Mokihana River

Yesterday my wife and I decided to head over to the west side of the island and see some of the beautiful Waimea Canyon. On the drive up the mountain to the park there are a few great lookouts over some of this amazing island I am so lucky to live on. What you are looking at here is called the Mokihana Valley and in turn that is the Mokihana River winding through it. It was a gorgeous day yesterday after a few kind of dreary cloudy days, so it was nice to get out and enjoy it. It wasn't the greatest photography expedition but it was fun taking in the views. I just love the way the clouds cast random shadows over the valley creating awesome contrast in the landscape. It also helps that it has rained a bit this week, which we needed for sure, which ended to a nice lush looking forest and a strong running river. I always love a photo that will guide you through it and I feel like your eyes can really follow along with this. Enjoy the shot and let me know what you think and if you come to Kauai anytime soon make sure to drive up to Waimea Canyon and stop at the gorgeous overlooks.

March 9th, 2015 - Rocky Shoreline

We visit a beautiful beach in northern California today, but I would recommend swimming here. Saw some insane currents going in and out of the rock formations in the break. I took this while while on my drive up the coast al highway and for reasons I'm not quite sure of I really thought it would work as a black and white photo. Something about the way the clouds rippled in the sky and the bright highlights were on the rocks just seemed like a good contrast for the black and white treatment. I am going to keep it short today and hopefully I am going to get out and do some shooting here on the island this week before I head off to Michigan for a week. Have a great week everyone.

March 8th, 2015 - Napa Valley

We have been in Kauai the last few days, so how about we switch it up today and head back to California? This photograph of Napa is what my mind always imagined wine country was like. Well with a little more grapes on the vine. It was winter however so they were not growing anything. Actually, I think that the the lack of grapes vines actually help this photo along. The gemoetric artificial lines imbedded into a gorgeous natural landscape kind of make for a nice harmony of a photograph. The one problem I have with this shot is that very little of Napa actually looked like this. Now to its credit there is a good chance that I had no idea where to go and there is a ton of beautiful country somewhere, but I drove through downtown Napa and the immediate surround area and it wasn't actually that beautiful. I was actually leaving Napa to head north when I tripped over this vineyard along my way. I bet they are some site to see in full bloom during the summer though. I am not a wine drinker but I love this shot, I hope you do too.

March 7th, 2015 - Opaekaa Falls

Todays daily photo goes hand in hand with yesterdays. I told you that I took yesterdays shot across the street from Opaekaa Falls, well here is said falls. Many many moons ago I shared a photo of this falls but way further out, I had never gotten a very good shot of these falls even though I had tried a few times. Now I didn't take this shot on the same day as yesterdays shot, but I did take it on an evening with a pretty good sunset, which gave the nice highlight in the cloud you see above the mountains in the background. Now if you are ever on Kauai this is one of the easiest sites to see, you make a right out of the airport and a left on Kuamoo and drive to the pull off which is your first right as you come up the mountain. I have never seen waterfalls like I have seen on Kauai and I am thankful this one is only about two miles down the road from me. I hope you enjoy the shot and your weekend my friends.

March 6th, 2015 - Rainy River Sunrise

We take a small drive down the road from where I live today to look at a great happenstance.  A few months back my wife got me to go out and shoot a sunrise in Lihue and on our way home we saw some pretty awesome rainbows over the Opaekaa Falls area and so we stopped to take photos. You may have seen the rainbow photo I took that day. We then walked across the street to overlook the Wailua river valley that runs down to the ocean in Kapaa. While standing there a rain shower swept over the valley at just the moment the sun happened to be shining bright between the clouds which gave me these gorgeous sun shafts filtered through the rain shower. I love having my camera with me when a moment like this happens, unfortunately more time than not I don't. Moments like these are pretty awesome, to me it is just another day on beautiful Kauai!

March 5th, 2015 - Hiking Surprises

We talk today about the importance of keeping a camera with you on down time. The unfortunate truth is that gorgeous photos rarely happen when you wan them to. I can't tell you how many times I haul all my gear out to take photos and the world just doesn't cooperate with my plans. So I went on a hike a couple months back with some friends and while I didn't take all my gear with me, I did take a camera. I didn't take barely any photos on the trip but this moment did present itself and I couldn't resist. I just loved how the sun filtered through the trees and cast the drastic shadows on the trail. In the age of the cell phone it is easy to always have a camera on you, unfortunately a cell phone doesn't quite fill my photography needs. Either way I have now been on this trail twice and both times have produced beautiful moments. Enjoy the shot and your Thursday my friends.

March 4th, 2015 - Wind Powered Hills

We visit the middle of nowhere California today with something that was a nice surprise for me. I in no way tried to find this farm nor was I looking for wind turbines to photograph. I was simply driving between Yosemite and Napa and saw this and just thought it looked awesome. If you remember some weeks back I posted another black and white photo from this same farm but of a much different feeling. California has been in a terrible drought and almost the entire time I was in the state I never saw a cloud. In this case the lack of clouds I think kind of added to the shot. Shooting directly into the sun can be a tricky proposition though. It did create a nice silhouetting effect on the wind turbines and made for some good contrasts in the mostly dead grass of the rolling hills. Its a mostly simple image but one I enjoy and I hope you do too.

March 3rd, 2015 - Arlington Tree

We travel back to Arlington, VA today and the Arlington National Cemetery to a shot of a gorgeous tree sprawling over the awe inspiring site of where some of our fallen heroes lay at rest. I love trees. I love their shapes and their uniqueness. I really enjoy baron trees like this too because you really get a sense for their shape. I do however imagine how this exact shot would look with a tree full of leaves creating a nice canopy over these heroes in kind of a protective blanket. It is tough sometimes photographing things that do not put a smile on your face. I do however find it very important to photograph things of recognizing and remembering. I think everyone in our country should visit this place once, just to get a sense of how much sacrifice has been made for the lives we live. I won't ever forget my short time in this place, its power is only matched by the beauty of the shrine they have built for them.

March 2nd, 2015 - Smoke on the Water

Today we take the highway to the danger zone! Well before I got to where I took this photo I had come to the conclusion that this mountain highway was probably the most dangerous road I have driven on. Extremely tight and winding roads with almost no room for error. Parts of the highway are so narrow that there are random stoplights in the middle of no where that you have to wait at while oncoming traffic finishes that part of the road before you continue. About an hour into this mountain drive I was winding along with the river when I spotted a small amount of smoke. I pulled over, set up and took this shot of the smoke really starting to fill the river valley. It had started pouring up and over onto the road which was my cue to get out of there before I got myself into trouble. I'm not sure what caused the fire, but I do know it made for a beautiful valley photograph. Hopefully you all got a great start to your week. Cheers!

March 1st, 2015 - Nawiliwili Harbor

How about a gorgeous sunset to cap off your weekend? If you saw my photo of the lighthouse the other day, this was taken from the same location looking back towards Lihue. This is Nawiliwili Harbor, which is located on the southeast side of the island. I loved getting to use my wide angle filter kit which means I got to photograph a nice wide angle shot with proper exposure! This sounds nerdy I know but it is really hard to get a good exposure during a sunset. Usually if your sky is properly exposed your ground is really dark. I am spending my Sunday grilling out with the wife and some good friends. It is our first time hosting company in our new home. I have two weeks until I fly to Michigan, I have lots of work to do between now and then. Until tomorrow friends.

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