• Pollock in Nature

    I was amazed when I saw this shot. 

    For the last couple months I have been completely engrossed with photographing water and its many qualities. Whether it be moving, still, reflecting, or refracting, I have taken notice and have been compiling a collection of these shots. So, here I am standing at the edge of a estuary in Hilo, surrounded by grass and trees. I begin to notice, as I watch my family playing on a paddle board, that the large pool is reflecting brilliant colors from the surroundings. In an instant I ran to grab my camera and I focused on one of these large lines from the trunk  of the tall palm and shot away as the light danced around on the water. Well I didn’t think much of it until I got back to develop the shot and instantly was excited. This shot didn’t look like a photograph at all, but like a Jackson Pollock painting.


    © Christopher Johnson –

  • Lahaina at Dusk

    The Island of Lanai sits at a distance in this shot from Lahaina’s shoreline at dusk.

    I had noticed this location on my many drives to and from the hotel we were staying. Just off the highway was this small stretch of beach with so much character. Scattered rocks were planted along the shoreline where the waves would wash over and to give them a little more color, seaweed clung on the their tight crevices. The best part was the absence of people.

    At the tail end of the sunset, often called the blue hour, I set up in front of a set of rocks and carefully framed Lanai in the background. Then I waited for a large wave to crash over the beach. When capturing waves I like to press the shutter as the wave begins to withdraw. It is usually within a couple of seconds, the camera will capture nice strings of foam leading back to the ocean and to the build up of the next wave. For this shot I made sure to get a 2-3 second exposure. Any longer the scene begins to get muddled. If another wave crashed during the exposure the nice crisp wisps of water are lost.

    To purchase this print or others, visit my SmugMug account:


    © Christopher Johnson –

  • Night Lights

    At twilight on the nearby golf course, my daughter and I started running around the edge of a pond with flashlights during a long 60 second exposure. The outcome was rather surprising and exciting.


    © Christopher Johnson –

  • Pine Trees Sunset – 2012

    It’s been a while since I have been able to photograph a sunset. You might say that life has been hectic, crazy, and out of control. What ever the case, I found myself at the edge of the ocean photographing the ocean during it’s magic hour.  What a joy.

    Pine Trees is where I found myself. Enjoying the sun at the end of the work day. A time to unwind, at least until the sun sets. This is when the light becomes the most beautiful. Purple sky, blue water, low light. I am in my element.

    This shot is the sunset of February 3, 2012. Soft ocean caressing the out cropping of lava rock that makes up the shoreline surrounding Pine Trees beach, just north of the popular surf spot.

    © Christopher Johnson –

  • 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.


  • Sandy Bottom At Mahaiula Beach

    Snorkeling just under 8 inches of water is entertaining, especially at Mahaiula beach. The incoming waves push and pull around with ease. Sometimes leaving you high and dry on the beach as you flop around like a turtle to try to get back into the water. Here I shot an image of the backside of a wave that kicked up the sand as it was breaking. A cool design.

    Photography by Christopher Johnson –


  • Behind The Wave

    Part of my Shallow Water series, I shot the backside of this small shoreline wave as it curled to break. Inspired by Clark Little, however not intending to duplicate but more to capture waver behavior, I anchored myself where the waves began to curl and was excited to see this shot.

    Photography by Christopher Johnson –

  • Underwater Bubble Design

    Using my AquaMarine underwater housing at One Palm beach, I decided to play in the shallow water as small waves crashed overhead. I have become fascinated by the views and events at the shallow end of the beach. This photograph is the tail end of a passing wave as bubble are dispersed everywhere. I love the design with the blue hue.

    Photography by Christopher Johnson –

  • Waves Crashing During A High Surf Advisory

    I love high surf advisories, and my favorite place to go is OTEC. There is one place in particular that I go on the lava rock that juts out further than the rest of the shoreline. Here I can view the coastline as the wave crashes 20 feet into the air and gradually works it’s way towards me. Then when the wave hits before me, the entire lava shelf rumbles under me. Simply magnificent. Another benefit of the spot I have chosen is that the sea spray doesn’t spray me, keeping me from having to cover and clean my lenses constantly.

    Photography by Christopher Johnson –

  • 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 –


  • Old A’s Beach at Sunset

    Old A’s, AKA Old Airport, has a long stretch of beach beside what was once the runway of an airport, which is now a popular spot for locals to picnic, relax, and exercise. We arrived during this sunset to take a walk around the walking path before dinner as a way to get out of the house and enjoy the end of the day. As the sunset progressed, I again diverted my attention from the walking path to the beach to capture this beautiful sunset.

    Old A’s Beach at Sunset – by 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


  • Waipio Valley River

    Waipio Valley River

    Photograph by Christopher Johnson