decisive moment

  • 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.

  • Fire Dancers at Magic Sands

    … And now for your entertainment… Fire!
    As we began to leave Magic Sands beach a group of people started hurling balls of fire on chains around and around their bodies. Instantly a crowd of people gathered in to watch and photograph. I captured some long exposures in order to get the flame trail design.
    Here in Hawaii you never know what is going to happen next.

    by Christopher Johnson –

  • Jump!

    At Kiholo Bay, my daughter decided to jump off a large rock into the water. I took this opportunity to capture her silhouetted against the sun.


  • Honu Coming To Rest on Anaehoomalu Beach, Waikoloa

    This was an amazing day for turtle sightings. Upon arrival to the Anaehoomalu Beach, AKA A-Bay, my family and I made our way down the coastline away from the hotels only to discover turtle after turtle after turtle. By the time we made it to a little cove, literally around the corner from the main beach, we had counted 15 turtles.

    The turtle pictured here was number 15. It was making it’s way up the beach to rest as the waves continued to pound all around making it struggle. Eventually it made it and slept pretty hardy 20 feet from where we were.

    To give the waves more character and motion I set my camera to aperture priority, enough to slow the shutter to 1/13th sec. This, with Image Stabilizing turned on kept the turtle in focus while blurring the crashing waves slightly. Then in Photoshop, I converted the image to black and white and overexposed +1 to lighten the darks of the turtle and blow out the highlights of the water just enough to make it less distracting.

    The image was nice in color, however, I was adjusting it to work for the Monochrome contest hosted by Popular Photography. Please vote for my image here —

    by Christopher Johnson –


  • Capturing Black And White

    Last months issue of Outdoor Photographer had an interesting article about shooting for black & white in the field. To look for tonalities and textures that create structure to your image, shooting as if you had put a black and white sensor in your camera. Not just converting any image to black and white on a whim because it doesn’t look that appealing in color, which is what I do. It all made sense. Whenever I setup for a shot I usually ask myself, “what are you looking to capture with this shot?” That usually only pertains to focus, composition, and shutter, I never, until now, ever thought about color or black and white.

    I was fully inspired to go out and try this technique, which ended up being while I was camping at South Point, Hawaii. Here I am relaxing with my camera, ready. I setup for a shot thinking black and white… nothing. Looking at the LCD screen was a color image. Some dark values against highlights, but is this really going to make a good black and white? I don’t know. The last time I shot for black and white was over 10 years ago. Back then, I had all sorts of techniques for anticipating the shot. Like looking through my red filter to see the scene in one color, leaving me to concentrate only on the highlights and shadows. I don’t have these tools now. I felt so silly.

    As I continued to sit and brain storm about how I was going to visualize the scene in black and white and get some sort of instant feedback I remembered that my camera has a setting. The Olympus E-5 came with all sorts of creative filters to chose from and one was a custom feature where I set the capture to monotone with a red filter… TaDa!

    Unfortunately, by shooting with a monotone setting I am limiting myself in post-production by eliminating all the possibilities color gives you, however, this is a good way to train my eye to see the scene in black and white.

    As we were leaving our camp site I captured this truck on the dirt road out of South Point.

    Christopher Johnson


  • The Jump In

    My daughter decided to start jumping into the pool. I waited underwater as she built up the courage to jump in and shot several images of her grand entrance.

    by Christopher Johnson –


  • Washing The Sand Off

    These local boys are washing the sand off each others backs by using this long plumbing pipe found near the water edge. They do this by dipping the pipe into the water, letting it fill completely, then quickly raise it up and let the water flow over one another. Quite clever I thought. It also made for an interesting photo

    This was a split second shot. I looked over, recognized the opportunity, shot, and it was over. After this the boys went on to play somewhere else. During the post processing I was able to dial in the shot more. There were sand toys on the beach these boys were playing with. I felt that with them in the image wasn’t as strong, so I cropped out the sand toys to focus more on the action. I then began to toy with monochrome adjustments with the Nik software, Silver Efex Pro to simplify the shot even more.  By converting to monochrome I was able to darken the foliage to eliminate all distracting detail to help redirect the focus on the boys.

    Waipio Valley – Photography by Christopher Johnson


  • Gecko Shadow

    Such a cliche shot… I know, however, it was a shot I’ve always wanted. Being my first attempt I will be going after this shot again until I get the composition I’m looking for. This shot is tougher than I first imagined it would be, so my goal is set.

  • Unstitched

    As a child I used to play baseball and was pretty good. I was the main pitcher of the Babe Ruth team I played for and was selected for the All Star team. However, once I started high school this part of my life ended. I found different hobbies like guitar and golf.

    Today I was at the park with my two little girls. We decided to go for a walk around the baseball field in search of treasures that people may have left behind. I wasn’t expecting to find a baseball. All tattered from play and waterlogged from last nights rain I picked it up and decided to throw a few pitches from the mound. The first throw was clumsy and painful. I hesitated to throw again, but what the heck. Eight pitches was enough for me, but it was fun to relive the past a little.

    The ball came to a stop in a puddle over home plate. It was then that I ran to get my camera to shoot this scene. I aligned the ball in front of the reflected sun in order to give the scene more interest.