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  • Kiholo Bay at Night

    Kiave tree in a moonlit night along the Kiholo Bay coastline

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    We were camping next to this awesome Kiave Tree on the beach of Kiholo Bay. During the day there wasn’t a lot to photograph because the clear skies didn’t give much interest to the sky and the bold shadows weren’t very attractive. At night the skies were full of stars and the full moon and camp fire provided a lot of interest. It took a while to come up with a composition that I liked. Since the viewfinder was dark, I had to take an exposure and wait for it to load before I could review it, then adjust to what worked. It ended up being a fun creative exercise.

    © Christopher Johnson

  • Mauna Kea Milky Way Silhouette

    Photograph from Mauna Kea with the silhouette of an old tree in front of a bright milky way.

     

    © Christopher Johnson

  • Milky Way Panorama From Mauna Kea

    Panorama photograph of the milky way from the slopes of Mauna Kea.

    This image is for sale on RedBubble.com

    Three images were stitched together to create this panoramic image of the milky way as it spans across the night sky connecting Mauna Kea to Mauna Loa. The lights along the landscape are from Hilo on the left, the lava glow of Kilauea in the distance, and cars driving down Mauna Kea through the fog. Seeing this night sky on a moonless night was simply breathtaking. I hiked a hill just down from the visitors center in order to get this view point.

    Hiking was an adventure. I couldn’t find the start of the path since it was so dark. I stumbled upon a couple laying under a blanket and out of courtesy I turned off my light and passed by only to trip over a rock and and completely fall down on my side. I continued up the slope embarrassed and aching, but super excited to shoot the night sky. I stopped to shoot a tree on the slope only to be lit up by another photographer which I then felt compelled to look for another location out of their way. I finally found the location that I shot this series from… out of breath. While shooting an exposure I started to notice my knee was throbbing. I reached down to notice a large tear in my pants and a lot of blood. “Bummer” These were my good pants. Then just as I was getting into shooting I got a call from my wife, waiting in the car, that she and the girls were ready to go.

    © Christopher Johnson

  • Milky Way

    Photograph of the milky way above the rugged landscape of Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii

    © Christopher Johnson

  • Mauna Kea Milky Way

    Photograph of the beautiful Milky Way over the Big Island of Hawaii.

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  • Kamokuna At Night

    Photographing the Kamokuna Lava Ocean Entry at Night

     

    On December 31st there was a drastic change to the shoreline at the Kamokuna ocean entry. The lower shelf that the lava once gradually flowed over before entering into the ocean as well as part of an old lookout point fell into the ocean. Somewhere around 17 acres of land suddenly disappeared. I had to go see it and so as a last minute plan we headed over. I couldn’t believe the amount of roadblocks we encountered on the way. Dead car battery, flat bike tires, missing headlamps, and an accident that closed the road for 30min. While sitting in traffic I turned to my wife and said. “I don’t think we’re gonna make it in time.” At that point we considered abandoning the mission, but to our surprise the road opened up and we were on our way. Lucky it did because I don’t know when we would be able to get back over there.

    The trail was light with people, so we were able to ride with ease without having to worry about everyone and made it with plenty of daylight to spare. When we came prior to the collapse, in August of 2016, the road went on further and we were able to get close to the lava. Close enough where we were able to see a lot of action with our naked eyes. Now the new lookout puts us several hundreds of yards away. The action is harder to see without binoculars or zoom lenses. With the amount of smoke billowing off of the entry even seeing the lava is difficult. A gust of wind would swoop in and push the smoke where we would get a glimpse of the large lava river draining into the ocean. It was impressive to see even with the great distance.

    My family walked around and explored all the viewing areas while I found a spot I liked and didn’t move from that spot the entire time we were there. With the small crowds of people I wanted to make sure that I had a front row spot where I didn’t need to worry about someone moving in front of me. Even still I had the occasional tourist think I was their husband and stand next to me while telling me about how they nearly fell down in the dark. I would slowly look up and watch them get flustered with embarrassment and walk away. Strangely enough it happened more than once.

    My lens of choice was the 300mm telephoto for the distance. It was windy, so I needed to weigh the tripod down with my bag and crank down all the setting nobs. I also used a cable release and waited for the wind to die down before taking the shots in order to reduce camera shake. Any slight movement while fully zoomed in will move the composition a couple feet.

    It was at night that the lava glowed and showed life with a lot of small explosions. I decided to capture the night sky with my wide angle before leaving. I took 8 to 10 – 30 second shots while my kids grew impatient. They were definitely ready to start the long bike ride back and get something to eat.

    As I stepped off my bike at the car I was relieved the bike ride was over. Any longer and the extra hard, value engineered, cheap ass seat would have to be surgically removed from me. It has been a couple weeks since then, but I swear I walk differently now. We had fun.

    © Christopher Johnson

     

    View more lava images – http://www.fromhereonin.com/volcanic-activity/

  • Night Sky

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    I revisited the spot of the previous post “Night Lights” to further explore the night stars and milky way as a backdrop of the beautiful under-lit palm tree. This time I shot with a wider lens in order to capture more of the night sky.

    © Christopher Johnson

    Purchase a print by visiting my RedBubble page.

  • Night Lights

    Photograph of the starry night behind tall palm trees in Hawaii

    This night just happened. The moon wasn’t due to rise until 2am and the humidity was low, all while the wind wasn’t really blowing hard. A perfect opportunity to attempt a concept that I was thinking of for a while now… palm trees in front of a starry night. I didn’t have the energy to drive to a preferred location, so instead I walked to a location close by, which happens to be near a hotel. I thought the lights from the hotel might kill the night sky with light pollution, but I decided to give it a shot first. If I am successful my next attempt would be at the location I had in mind, which would by a long bike ride in the dark.

    I was pleasantly surprised with the shot; even with the red of the nearby lights. The under lighted palm trees really helped bring a lot more color into the shot.

    © Christopher Johnson

    Available backlit from Big Naked Wall. Check out the website and see the cool things they are doing for artwork with their interchangeable prints on backlit frames.

  • Mauna Kea

    Venturing up Mauna Kea with the family to watch the Perseid meteor shower. We stayed up at the visitors center where we were told the meteors would be visible around 1 am and really visible just after the moon went down, sometime after 2 am. Unfortunately we didn’t make it to the moon set. The fog came rolling in and out through out the night, but came in to stay around 1 am. Instead I drove home as the family slept.

    © Christopher Johnson

  • Nebula

    [title color=”dark” size=”h3″] Manufactured Nebula [/title]

     

    Since my interest in photographing smoke I have been thinking of different ways to make the same shot interesting. I thought about what would be interesting to interact with the smoke. Something transparent and as organic as smoke. What about using water mist?

    The resulting images were pretty interesting, as if I had created a nebula.

  • 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 – www.fromhereonin.com