Creative

  • Pololu Valley Stones

    Slow shutter of water flowing around the embedded colorful stones on the black sand beach of Pololu Valley.

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    Beautiful stones line the black sand beach of Pololu Valley giving the ocean waves something to play with as it rushes on and off the sand. 

    © Christopher Johnson

  • Golden Leaf Trees

    Golden leaves look like autumn trees on a grassy hill.

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    I wanted to try something new. Being stuck creatively because of the VOG filled sky left me to play with macro compositions.

    I had been walking by golden leaves that had fallen on the stained concrete for a few months now. I always thought leaves look like small trees and wanted to play with this idea. With the moss ground covering along the edges of the concrete pathway I lined some leaves along it to play with a tree on a hill concept. I took two different focal shots and stacked them in Photoshop for sharpness and then began working on darkening the background for depth.

    It was a lot of fun trying to create a concept photograph. This exercise opened up my mind to a new way of photographing nature.

    © Christopher Johnson

  • Floating Sand

    Image of sand floating underwater after a passing wave.

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    Messing around in the waves of Kua Bay while trying to capture the backside of a wave, I wasn’t having much luck. The water was flat and there were tons of people around. Every once in a while a large set would come in and energize everyone in the water as they all setup to body surf the wave. With all the commotion a lot of sand kicked up and then as the wave passed more sand would kick up, but I tried to photograph the wave anyway. What I found was a lot of out of focus images. I left the beach thinking it was a loss, however, it is always nice to get in the water.

    When I loaded the images into Photoshop Bridge I found a lot of beautiful images of sand with amazing streaks of sunlight beaming through the water. I edited this image with an abstract/design quality in mind and accented the colors and light values. In the end I think this would be a very cool accent image on a wall blown up really big.

    © Christopher Johnson

  • Oil Colors

    Close up of the colorful wet oil on the pavement of a Waimea parking lot.

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    I have been wanting to photograph the colorful oil streaks on wet pavement for a while, but never wanted to take the time to capture it properly. Instead I would take a few shots only to notice edges are out of focus, or there was a small amount of blur from shaking the camera. I would always get back to the computer just to kick myself for not spending the time to get the shot properly. In this situation, in public, I always have trouble taking pictures. I would rather be in the comfort of my home or out in the wild away from people to work on perfecting images. When I saw this colorful oil slick in the middle of a busy parking lot I thought of all the times I had failed, so this time I made sure I got the shot right.

    I didn’t pull out the tripod and reflector shield, although maybe I should have. Instead I boosted the ISO to eliminate shake and crouched down on the parking block and bobbed around until I was able to get all 4 corners in focus. It must look pretty funny for some people that don’t know much about macro photography to witness.

    “What is that man doing?” a young child might say.

    “He’s taking pictures of the ground honey. Now hurry up and don’t look.” the parent replies as they glare with a concerned look… Like I’m on drugs or something.

    Who is crazy enough to photograph really close to the dirty parking lot in the rain? They must be on drugs. Well I’m not. I’m just trying to capture the beauty of the world. Even if it’s pollution.

    © Christopher Johnson

    www.fromhereonin.com

  • Single Stone on a Black Sand Beach

    Photograph of a stone nestled in the black sand beach of Pololu Valley on the Big Island of Hawaii.

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    After the waves wash over the stones along the black sand they recess into the sand and leave a beautiful golden silky trail that contrasts with the black sand. I don’t know what the golden sand is or where it comes from, but it seems to only occur when a wave violently crashes across the stones and recedes back with the same ferocity. However, the golden color doesn’t develop immediately. The sand needs to dry a little for the golden color to present itself. With this said, I had to wait for quite a while before I was able to capture an image that would accent this occurrence. Needless to say this is one of the reasons I love photography.

    If I were to hike into Pololu Valley without a camera I wouldn’t catch the subtleties of the valley. I am not knocking anyone that just wants to enjoy the beauty of the Hawaiian Islands without a camera because I would be fascinated with the enormous cliffs, the amazing trees, the beautiful reflection on the river, and the enjoyment of the awesome hike. Photography makes me concentrate on the subtleties in order to capture a piece of art that I would be proud to hang on my wall.

    With that said… I took a photograph a while ago in Pololu Valley of the same nature; stones with the golden sand streaking off them, but the only thing was most of the image was out of focus. When I took the photo I didn’t bring a tripod and was just taking snap shots. Mainly because I was learning the new Sony camera I had just purchased. It wasn’t from that moment, but a year later when I was reviewing images taken from then, that I wanted to return to capture this image properly. This time I had my tripod and a few extra lenses to choose from to get the image. It was then that I realized how difficult it was to capture the golden streaking sand which made me slow down to realized when it occurs. Without my camera I would never even care to know about it.

    Then we come to processing the image.

    Originally I overlooked this image because there wasn’t much going on with it. A single stone with a washed out golden streak… great… I had more interesting images that I shot that day. So I thought. I started to process images with multiple stones that had a lot going on. They looked nice, but it wasn’t what I wanted. I few days later I selected this image to work on and was immediately satisfied. This is the shot I came back for. It took a while to process. I darkened the edges to give more focus to the stone and trail and to create a lot more drama while maintaining the stones character. After I completed the image it seemed almost celestial with the small highlighted specks in the dark shining through while the stone felt like a meteorite flying through space.  It took a while, but I finally have the image I set out for.

    © Christopher Johnson

    If you would like to buy a print I have this available on my FineArtAmerica page.

  • Pololu Black Sand Beach Rocks

    Dramatic photograph of a cluster of stones found along the black sand beach of Pololu Valley.

    I needed to drop off some metal prints at the Ackerman Galleries in Hawi and decided to make a day out of the long drive. Hiking into Pololu Valley is one of my favorite things to do on the island… not to mention I needed the exercise. Without the push to get out of the house I may have just stayed home all day to later form into a slug.

    During the past several weeks I have been reviewing a lot of older images that I wanted to re-work with new techniques I have learned over the last few years. One of the images I stumbled upon was a composition of 2 stones on the black sand beach of Pololu with the green sand trail left behind it from the surf. The only issue was the upper portion of the image was out of focus. At that moment I wanted to get back down to the valley to study the stones and sand as it mingled with the surf in-order to correct the oversight in the older image.

    Down in the valley the stones were dispersed across the beach in hundreds of different patterns and I was studying them for the perfect composition. It took me a while before I settled on this cluster of stones, but then I suddenly realized that they dramatically shift after every wave that passes by when one stones I was looking at suddenly dissapeared. I placed my tripod over the stones and aimed the camera nearly straight down and exposed for a few seconds at 22 aperture. Then a wave came in and my tripod sunk into the sand, stones moved around, and the sand texture shifted making me reset focus and composition. It was a quick complicated dance I learned after a few steps that lasted nearly an hour.

    The trip was relaxing, fun, and memorable.

    © Christopher Johnson

  • Water Reflection

    Water Ripples

    A walk around the natural pools of the Mauna Lani resort is always so calming. A fun series of pathways navigate around the many different pools of water that spot the landscape. A seawall creates a boundary between the larger pool and the ocean where eels and barracuda swim freely, needless to say that this isn’t a place where people are swimming. An old brick structure rests on a small island that is only accessible by a small concrete narrow wall and is surrounded by palm trees growing out of small pot looking islands. I haven’t looked into what this structure was, but it is definitely a cool and odd thing to see.

    I found myself drawn to the reflective surface of one of the pools further away from the ocean. Clusters of palm trees draped over and around the water while being reflected in its gentle rippling surface. Through my viewfinder I was mesmerized by the dancing bending light as the image continually shifted its abstract form.

    © Christopher Johnson

  • Acrylic In Water

    A macro photograph examining the way acrylic paint disperses as it is poured into water. I love the way it swoops and swirls into a soft dreamy design.

    This photograph can be purchased as a fine art print or licensed for your needs. For more information please contact me.

    © Christopher Johnson

  • Bending Light

    Photograph of sun rays shining through the murky turbulent ocean water.

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    An underwater photograph shot toward the surface of the water as the sun shines through the ocean water makes for dramatic image. Photographed at Mahaiula beach just north of Kailua Kona, Hawaii.

  • Surfacing

    A view of the sun from underwater.


    © Christopher Johnson 

  • Footprint

    Photograph of a footprint created from the colorful rocks that make up the Pololu Valley beach on the Big Island of Hawaii.

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    © Christopher Johnson

  • Painted Waves

    A slow handheld exposure captured the water with a painterly feel.

  • Broad Leaf Imprints

    [title color=”dark” size=”h3″] How amazing the intricacies of a simple leaf can be. [/title]

     

    When feeling dried up of all creativity, it is then that I find myself wandering around studying everything around me for something new. This study of the leaf began as I stood at the base of a large tree on the hunt for a chameleon. My eyes fixed on scanning the branches to find the camouflaged lizard was my only goal. As my gaze began to go higher up into the tree, it was then I began seeing the beauty of the large broad leaves as they were backlit by the sun.

    In photographing a single leaf I began wondering what other leaves might look like with the same effect. With that said, I began my search, away from the chameleon, toward the design of broad leaves through a macro lens.

    This is my small growing study of the inner workings of a leaf and amazing differences between species.

  • Colorful Water Drop

    [title color=”dark” size=”h3″] The cliche water drop image! [/title]

    Of course I am going to shoot this image, which is not as easy at it looks. In doing this shot I didn’t want to completely re-setup what everyone else has done, but with a little twist.

    I set up two flashes under a glass bowl of water focused upward through the bowl to where the drop would hit the surface. Placed a blue piece of paper in the background to help with reflecting a nice blue color into the water, contrasting with the red drops. Then with a red food coloring dropper, squeezed one droplet at a time. The hard part is timing the droplet just before it hit the water surface, or while it hit the surface.

    © Christopher Johnson

  • Star Water Drops

    A star drawn into the water drops, side lighted using a ring flash.

    by Christopher Johnson