• Leaf

    Macro photograph of a full leaf skeleton.

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    I’m surprised that this leaf has remained intact for as long as it has. A year ago I found this leaf in a bag with pinecones, branches, and other large heavy items while we were moving and made a note to myself to photograph its amazing structure before it was destroyed. Then I didn’t see the bag again until just recently, 12 months later, and was amazed the leaf remained mostly untouched.

    I am fascinated with the structure of leaves. Especially at this stage when everything is stripped away and all that is left are lines holding everything together. So fragile and beautiful.

    © Christopher Johnson

  • Angry Eyes

    Macro photograph of a small hermit crab giving its angry eyes

    This image is a more comical view of a hermit crab propped up on the end of its shell. When it emerged its eyes were together as if it was angry at what it saw… me. Or perhaps its reflection in the massive filter which it though was another hermit crab. Shortly after it realized the beauty it was looking at and began to relax. I on the other hand photographed the initial response.


    © Christopher Johnson

  • Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle

    Photograph of a Hawaiian green sea turtle as it swims off the shoreline of Mahaiula beach.

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    © Christopher Johnson

  • Yellow Bird

    Yellow Safron Finch feeding off of the dew of a seeding palm tree.

    Every morning these yellow birds dance around the palm trees outside my window. I have attempted to photograph them many, many times, but they are often too far away to get a good shot with my 300mm lens. This time the branches we dangling towards my window. Now I just had to be patient and wait for the birds to be brave enough to come close to me. I think I waited around 20 minutes until this bird arrived.

    I wanted to frame the bird off center so I can show the design of the palm branches as they blew in the wind.

    © Christopher Johnson


  • The Show Off

    Turtle doing a hand stand while eating.

    There were a lot of turtles around Mahaiula bay this past Sunday when arriving early morning to relax on the beach. The water was beautiful. Several shades of blue decorated the bay. And then there were the dark figures of turtles swimming around and feeding. I went to join them.

    Immediately I found a large turtle that didn’t seem to mind that I was around. For over an hour I watched and photographed, looking for different perspectives and a way to capture the character of this amazingly delicate yet rugged animal. We were battling the increasingly building waves that would push us around, more me than the turtle, and at times I would find myself floating away; fighting to return. This forced me into a new approach. Instead of hovering around at a short distance, I needed to swim further away and allow the distance to buffer me into a better position for focus and composition while the current pushed me toward the turtle. That is when I started to notice the struggle the turtle faced as well. With every passing wave I noticed it gripping to the rocks, swaying and twisting around. Nearly flipping over with a couple larger swells… and thats when I took this image. Even though the turtle struggled to stay put to eat, the still photograph contrasted its determination with more of a playful and comical look. As if the turtle was showing off by doing some hand stands.

    It is moments like these that I think about what it would be like if humans had to endure the elements and forces of nature that animals do. If while we sat to eat at the table we needed to grip tight to the table or we would suddenly be pushed aside. Our food was constantly swaying as we picked at it with our faces because our hands were busy holding us still… all while holding our breath. Not to mention the threat of being attacked by a predator.

    © Christopher Johnson


  • Hawaiian Turtle

    Hawaiian green sea turtle swims near the surface of the water.

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    Every time I go to photograph underwater I realize how difficult it is. Everything is moving constantly, the light is always changing and not as bright, and whatever you swim towards swims away. Not to mention how hard it is to see the camera screen because of the reflection of the sun creating a mirror over the screen. Most of the time I find myself aiming in the direction of what I want to photograph and most of the time I either miss or crop the object in half. Then there are the times I get lucky.

    I was swimming around looking for turtles, but couldn’t find one. Instead I though to capture some patterns and sun rays when this turtle swam under me as if to say hello. The spot I was wasn’t very deep. I could stand up and have my head out of the water, so it was that much more exciting to have that close of a visitor. I followed her around for a little bit and then as sudden as she arrived, she was gone.

    The photograph I came away with is one where she came up for air a was slowly beginning to dive back down to feed. I love how the shell is reflected in the underside of the waves as they pass by.

    © Christopher Johnson

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  • Gecko Smile

    A gecko smiles while sitting on a large leaf.


    © Christopher Johnson

  • This Isn’t Working

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    This image of a female Jackson Chameleon was overlooked a couple of years ago, but when I was digging out images for a project I came across it and brought it to life.

    © Christopher Johnson

    Purchase a print by visiting my RedBubble page.

  • Green Sea Turtle

    Overhead view of a Green Sea Turtle swimming over the sandy beach bottom of Mahaiula beach. I followed this turtle for some time as he swam back and forth across the shoreline. At first I thought he was running away from me, but he would then swim back around me. Almost like he was playing with me.  At one point he swam through peoples legs as they shrieked and shouted I think I noticed a smirk and a thumbs up. It was then that I let him go on his way. Swim on Tilly the turtle… Swim On… I will never forget you.

    © Christopher Johnson

  • Deep Sleep

    A sleeping Honu, turtle, on the dark lava rock of Anaehoomalu Bay. The absence of light reduced the shutter speed enough to give the waves more character.

  • Female Jackson Chameleon

    Amazing day!

    I have been looking for a Jackson Chameleon for so, so long. I was beginning to get frustrated because the rest of the family sees them all the time, but the moment I go to look for them I see nothing. Last weekend I spent a good portion of the day in a tree, waiting and waiting with no success. Well, today I just randomly walked outside, looked up in the tree I spent my weekend in and there starring at me was a female Jackson Chameleon. I couldn’t believe it. I am over joyed.

  • Hermit Crab

    [title color=”dark” size=”h3″] A ring flash opens up a whole world of expressive opportunities.[/title]


  • Three Honu

    [title color=”dark” size=”h3″] Kiholo Bay is an amazing place to visit [/title]


    Walking around the beautiful turquoise water of Kiholo bay is an amazing experience. Fingers of pillowing lava jut out into the bay creating exciting alcoves with amazing vistas. Resting honu, schools of fish, and A’ama crabs. I just happened upon these three honu as I wrapped around a corner of lava rock. Just amazing.

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  • Heart Shaped Butterfly Wings

    [title color=”dark” size=”h3″] Photography looking straight up at the blue sky [/title]


    Lying on my back on the cold hard tile, I gazed upward at some thing quite opposite. Swaying in the gentle breeze were the delicate flowers on top of the purple orchid tree as butterflies gracefully fluttered on and off each flower.  Nothing could be more serene and peaceful and so needed at this moment.

    At least a dozen butterflies were dancing around this tree and with the gentle breeze it was impossible to predict where they were going next. At the moment I would even think the butterfly was going to land or cross the sky where I thought, another butterfly would come and they would begin dancing around and then separate into different directions. That was the relaxing part of this morning, the waiting and watching.

  • Koi in Waikoloa

    For some reason, lately, I have had an obsession with photographing Koi in ponds. I think it all started at the Waikoloa Queen shops when I was photographing lilly pads and in slipped a large white Koi, unfortunately it’s head didn’t make it in the shot. Ever since then I have been subconsciously aware of koi ponds. Everytime I am about to pass by one I have to stop and examine the water, the fish, the surroundings, and if I have my camera, I begin shooting.

    Well this time I had my camera.

    The long stretch from the lobby to our room, 1 mile at the Hilton in Waikoloa, is a must to walk. There are trains and boats for all the other times you don’t want to walk, however, there are a lot of gems to see and photograph along the way. One is the large koi pond that surrounds the Chinese restaurant, which is where I was headed.

    It was around 10 am, so the sun was getting high in the sky. I stood on a small bridge and watched the koi swim to me and was fascinated by the design on the water the colorful building was reflecting on the water. Then magically, the koi began to appear under the vibrant blanket of ripples.


    This one shot stood out to me because the Koi’s scales mimicked the colors and designs of the water, along with the water ripple it created with its fins.

    © Christopher Johnson –

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