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  • Boulder Creek Falls

    Boulder Creek falls along the Alakahi stream that winds its way through the lush tropical landscape of the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden near Hilo.

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    Way in the back up stream is the waterfall that the Botanical Garden named as Boulder Creek Falls. In order to get to it I would have to make my way through the dense tropical forest which would most likely be frowned upon by the garden staff. With the amount of people around I decided not to attempt it. Instead I setup on a small bridge that crosses the stream and waited for the right moment.

    Like the Onomea Falls image that I posted earlier, I had to wait a while for the sunlight to be hidden behind some clouds in order to have a nice evenly lit scene. However, the sunlight wasn’t my only obstacle. The small bridge that I set my tripod on was not sturdy. Any amount of movement would create a huge vibration, which doesn’t go very well when taking slow shutter exposures. The large crowds of people that found their way to the falls had the same idea to stop and take pictures before winding their way up to the end of the path. Funny thing is that the end of the path is about 50 yards away up to the left which is somewhat in the shot. I really had short windows where I could photograph the scene once the sun was blocked. The best part was that I setup really low to the ground in a crouched position, but because the bridge was not wide enough to allow me to be behind the camera and have people walk behind me that I had to crouch off to the side and crane my head around to see through the view finder. Super awkward position, but very enjoyable to be sitting in front of this beautiful scene.

    © Christopher Johnson

  • Onomea Waterfall

    The beautiful cascading Onomea waterfall in the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden.

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    Two years ago I visited this waterfall and failed to focus properly on all parts of the scene and regretted not spending the time to make sure I had the shot before I left. The unfortunate thing is I though I had the shot when I left only to find slightly out of focus images when I went to process them. If the out of focus elements were in the background I may have dismissed the error, but they were foreground elements. It’s one thing on macro or artsy style images to have blurred parts, as long as it’s not the main focus of the image, but this wasn’t the case. Needless to say it bothered me for a while and when my daughter wanted to return last weekend I didn’t hesitate to go.

    We arrived around noon which isn’t ideal for photographing waterfalls or complex landscapes because the light from the sun spots the scene with unpleasant highlights. I was hoping for a cloud to hide the sun momentarily, but after waiting 20 minutes there was no relief from the sun.  I gave up to walk the gardens and to hopefully have better luck later, which when I returned my wish was granted.

    After a cautious and abundant photoshoot I knew I had the shots I needed to create the image I had been wanting for 2 years. I focus blended the foreground tree with the waterfall and distant trees in Photoshop to create a fully sharp image as well as adjusting the exposure with luminosity masks to create depth and interest.

    Hope you enjoy this image and the lesson for me was to take my time and make sure I have all elements of the scene captured before leaving. Returning may not be an option.

    © Christopher Johnson

  • Mud Lane

    Fog rolls through the beautiful tunnel of trees lining Mud Lane

     

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    I find it unusual that a road winds its way through a beautiful grove of trees and at every turn has a magical scene is named Mud Lane. I had actually never known that this road existed until this day. My daughters wanted to go long board skateboarding down this road that they had gone before with their aunt. I didn’t really want to drive all the way to Waimea, but I wanted to do what they wanted to do and so we set off. Halfway there, around Waikoloa, it began to sprinkle rain, fog began to roll in and I thought for sure it was going to be a bust, but we continued anyway. Maybe the storm is localized I thought. We hit Waimea and we were still socked in. I didn’t really know where this mysterious road was I had heard so much about and I was really relying on my 12 year old for directions, but I did know it was on the rainy side of Waimea… and it was.

    A few miles outside of town we made the turn down Mud Lane and parked just off the road. As the girls took off on the skateboards I was in awe with the beautiful scene of trees lining this narrow road that went on for miles. Fog rolled in and out of the canopy creating a dreamy look. I didn’t care it was raining.

    Photographing the trees came with challenges. I used a telephoto lens to zoom down the tunnel. I was dealing with more camera shake than usual while rain drops steadily fell on the camera. I was soaked and so was the equipment, but I didn’t care. I was thoroughly enjoying every part of this location.

    © Christopher Johnson

     

    Art Prints

  • 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

  • Akaka Falls

    Akaka Falls framed with the ferns in the foreground.

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    This magnificent waterfall has been photographed a million times and mostly the same way. I wanted to photograph it with a different approach. Framing the waterfall with all of its surroundings in order to accent the subtleties of the area was my goal. The ferns in the foreground, small waterfalls along the left side of the falls, the moss along the walls, and the way the water catches smooth rocks along the cliff walls as it falls were all the details I set out to capture that are normally lost in a wide angle view.

    © 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.

  • Pine Trees

    Tall pine trees in front of Fallen Leaf Lake on the south shore of Lake Tahoe.

  • Leaf Detail

    Photograph of a backlit leaf that shows all the amazing interconnected lines that makes up the amazing detail of a leaf.

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    © Christopher Johnson

  • Onomea Falls

    Photograph of the beautiful picturesque Onomea waterfall

     

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    A beautiful waterfall within the Tropical Botanical Garden walk north of Hilo on the Scenic road. I definitely recommend taking the time to visit this botanical garden. It’s breathtaking!

    © Christopher Johnson

  • Monstera Leaf

    Monstera Leaf

    Macro of a Monstera Leaf with rain drops.
    © Christopher Johnson

  • Single White Flower

    These white flowers can be found all over on Hawaii on bushes and hedges. I took a picture of a group of three around 11 years ago, which I did an oil painting of and haven’t noticed them since until this shot. I was running late and was only able to fire off this one shot.

    Photography by Christopher Johnson – www.fromhereonin.com