Sunday, December 27, 2009

Back in Japan

I am back in Japan now! The 4 weeks in Egypt (with side trips to Petra, Jordan and Jerusalem/Bethlehem) was fantastic. As soon as I get a chance I will put a few of the photos on my website:

Friday, December 25, 2009

Coptic Cairo

Merry Christmas!

Since it is Christmas Day I thought I would tell you about where I went today here in Cairo. I went to Coptic Cairo. Actually, it was my third time to go since it is easy with a subway station right there. Don't need to walk for 2+ hours through the maze of Cairo or haggle with a taxi driver. Just hop on the subway for 1 Egyptian pound (US$0.18) and in less than 10 minutes I am there.

When Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus fled to Egypt to escape persecution one of the places they stayed was in a cave here. Now it is under the Church of St. Sergius, built in the 4th century. From inside the church you can look down into the cavern.

Also, in Coptic Cairo there is the Ben Ezra Synagogue which occupies the shell of a 4th century Christian church. It is said that this is the spot where the prophet Jeremiah gathered the Jews in the 6th century BC after Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed the Jerusalem temple. The adjacent spring is believed to be where the pharaoh's daughter found Moses in the reeds, and where Mary drew water to wash Jesus.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wandering in Cairo

Today I was walking around Cairo and several guys wanted me to take their photo. This happens sometimes in Egypt. In other countries it is not unusual for children to want their photo taken, but here it is even adults, sometimes. On the other hand, there are even more who react angrily if they even see a camera. Afterwards they wanted a photo with me. The friendliest guy used my digicam to take this photo. Unfortunately, he is not in it since he took the photo, but I have a photo of him and the others from my DSLR. No one could speak English, but they were fun and since I was lost and looking for the Al-Azhar Mosque they pointed me in the general direction.

I love just wandering around and getting lost in big cities. I have done it many times in Tokyo, in Bangkok, Paris, London, Rome, Saigon, Vienna, Munich, Budapest, Athens, Quito, Marrakech, Tangier, etc. and now Cairo too!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Pyramids, Sphinx, and a Camel

This morning I went to Coptic Cairo again (was there a few weeks ago) and then in the afternoon I took a taxi (after going through the traditional bargaining about the price) to Giza to see the Pyramids and the Sphinx again (for late afternoon light instead of morning light a few weeks ago). This time I rode a camel around for over an hour and waited for the sunset with the Bedouin camel driver from the Sinai way out in the back of the Pyramids in the desert sand and drank Bedouin tea. Can you guess his name? :-)

Monday, December 21, 2009

"Your name is Mohammed? You don't say?"

Soon after arriving in Egypt I had already met a surprising number of men named Mohammed. I commented on this to one. He laughed and said it is like John in America. Well, I assure you it is not. :-) I would say that well more than half of the men I have met were named Mohammed. If you don't know someone's name or have forgotten it you are pretty darn safe in using Mohammed. You will probably be right. :-)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Musing about what is next in Egypt

I left Dahab yesterday by bus and 9 hours later in the evening got to Cairo. I still have until 12/26 in Egypt and although after my first 5 days in Cairo I was ready to leave the city I have been looking forward to getting back here for the last couple of days. I don't know if I will stay here the whole time until my flight back to Japan on 12/26, but I might. There is still a lot here that I want to see that I didn't when I first was here a few weeks ago.

I may also try to get up to Alexandria for one night or even just do it on a long day trip. The train is something like 2 hours so being able to just leave my backpack here at the Cairo hotel and not need to find a place to stay in Alexandria looks attractive to me at this point. Especially since my Lonely Planet book's description of Alexandria make it sound just mildly interesting. Although the city has an amazing history the book says most of the evidence of that history is long gone except for what you can find in the museum. Still, I would like to visit even if just for a day.

Dahab was a good place to recharge my batteries, which get quickly depleted in other parts of Egypt. :) Although I was there a week I also went on a 2 day trip to Petra from there and a 1.5 day trip to Jerusulem/Bethlehem from there so much of the week I was not actually in Dahab.

Aya, back in Japan, is quite ready to leave there since it is cold and she hates cold weather. I really want to spend at least another week in Tokyo though to see some good friends that I have not seen since the last time I spent an extended time there (3 months) in 2007. I hope she can hold on a bit more. :) I told her that if she can then we may consider flying down to Thailand from Japan so she can warm up. I am not really ready to head back to the States yet. If we did that then it might give me a chance to go back to Laos for awhile -- I was last there in 1998 using film.

Back in Cairo

This morning I left Dahab in the Sinai and after about 9 hours on the bus I arrived in Cairo. The hotel I called yesterday and made a reservation for tonight turned out to *not* have a room available when I arrived (about 8:00 PM). Fortunately, they had a guy walk with me to their affiliated hotel 5 minutes away and they had a room. Room looked fine and got checked in, went out and got some dinner, and now back using the free wifi. :-)

Today on the bus sat next to a young woman from England and we had a long and interesting talk. She got off at Taba so later I got to talking to another young woman from Honduras.

Here is a photo at the hotel in Dahab just before I took the bus to go to Cairo this morning. The 2 guys worked at the hotel and they were great. The 2 little boys are from Nigeria. They were there with their parents and the father used my camera to take this photo.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Petra, Jordan

I just got back from a fantastic 2 day trip to Petra, Jordan. Met a young Irish woman named Ann who had just finished 2 years of working in Tanzania and was slowly making her way home to Ireland. Spent much of the first day exploring Petra with her before she left that evening. Also, met a very nice English couple living in Scotland named Steve and Ruth. We spent much of the second day together. Petra was awesome!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I got back from the quick 27 hour trip to Jerusalem and Bethlehem about midnight last night. Although quick I still had the chance to spend some time walking around in old Jerusalem (Wailing Wall, Church of the Holy Sepulcher -- Golgatha, Tomb of Jesus, etc.) and also walked around some in Bethlehem (Church of the Nativity -- Birthplace of Jesus, manger, etc.). I may go on a 2 day trip to Petra, Jordan tomorrow. Since Dahab is so close I think it's a good opportunity to do both.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Going to Jerusalem

Leaving Dahab tonight about 10:00 PM for a quick trip to Jerusalem and will be back in Dahab about 25-26 hours later -- driving all night tonight. The opportunity came up and I don't know if I will ever be this close again so I am going! Got up at 6:00 AM today so it looks like 40+ hours with no sleep. About 6:10 PM now.

Small incident on the way to Dahab

A couple of days ago when I met the guy with the van outside the Sharm El-Sheikh airport who I rode with to Dahab there was one more small incident that I didn't mention. A bit of background first. As some of you probably know there were 3 suicide bombers here in Dahab in 2006 who killed 23 and injured dozens. In Sharm El-Sheikh in 2005 3 bombs exploded and killed 88 and injured over 200. In 1997 there was also the terrorist attack in Luxor which killed 62 and injured 12.

Anyway, back to the ride to Dahab. After we had left Sharm El-Sheikh and were out on the desert highway we passed a couple of men in their 20s standing beside the road. The driver stopped and asked me if it was okay to pick these guys up so they could ride with us. He said they were police. Hmm, no uniforms. Why do they need a ride to Dahab? Of course, although it seemed a bit strange he did ask me and most likely there was nothing more to it than what he said, but I decided to say no. After all, I don't want to turn into another Daniel Pearl. I also made a joke that if they were willing to each pay 1/3 the cost then I might say okay. :-) The two guys were talking in Arabic to my driver through the open window and I guess he told them I didn't want them to share the ride. They gave me a dirty look and we drove off. Right after we started driving again my driver said that they just wanted a ride to the police checkpoint that was ahead. I could see it maybe 600-700 meters down the road. Maybe they were police, but everyone else there, I noticed, had uniforms on. I am not sure why they wanted a ride to get somewhere they could walk in 5-8 minutes. It was about 8:30 AM and not hot at all. I guess they just continued waiting there until they got a ride. :-)

Incidentally, not far from my hotel here in Dahab there is a foot bridge on the concrete walkway right next to the ocean that goes the full length of the central part of Dahab. There are many open air restaurants, dive shops, small hotels, etc. The foot bridge is in the most central location. I noticed that on both ends of the bridge the concrete appears to have been sort of blasted in an area about a meter circumference and then many pockmarks radiating away from it. I haven't asked but I am pretty sure this is where the suicide bombers did their dirty work. It looks exactly what one would expect if a bomb loaded with bolts, ball bearings, etc. was to explode there and the place that has the most people hanging around.

Anyway, it was probably nothing more than what the driver said and I am not a scaredy-cat, but at the same time it is good to use some common sense. Of course, between the two extremes of them just being police who wanted a 30-40 second car ride and being terrorists looking to kidnap a foreigner there are other possibilities such as two friends of the driver who would try to put the hard sell on me to go to some shop, hotel, etc. :-)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

In Dahab now!

I got up very early this morning and with my backpack I walked in the dark to the Luxor train station about 8 minutes away to find a taxi. It was so early that I thought it was the one place I would probably find one. No problem! Got to the Luxor airport and the flight to Sharm El-Sheikh with departure and arrival exactly on time!

Outside the Sharm El-Sheikh airport I found a man with a van who lives in Dahab and he offered me a ride there for about the same as a taxi to the bus station + bus ticket to Dahab. It was 1000% better because I didn't have to wait a couple of hours at the bus station and he took me right to the door of the hotel in Dahab instead of ending up at the Dahab bus station and needing another taxi. It was illegal so when we arrived he asked me to slip him the money very discreetly so no policemen would see it. :-)

No room available but they asked me to wait a couple of hours because someone would probably check out by noon -- and someone did. Got a large room with an enormous patio/balcony about 30 meters from the ocean. The ocean and brown desert mountains of Saudi Arabia in plain view across the Gulf of Aqaba (part of Red Sea). Now that I have been here all day I realize I am paying a bit too much for this room but I just told them I would stay 2 nights and then I can move if I want. Can't believe they are screwing me with the US$23 price per night. :-) Probably US$17-18 is more realistic here for this room. Lots of places to eat here and many backpackers. Very comfortable place to hang out for a few days.

Having a beer next to the ocean right now. :-)

Friday, December 11, 2009


This morning I bought a plane ticket from Luxor to Sharm El-Sheikh for early tomorrow morning. Then I hope to catch a bus to Dahab in the Sinai. In the afternoon I took the ferry to the west bank of the Nile and then hired a driver to take me to a few places. Went to the Ramesseum Temple and Medinet Habu Temple -- both something like 3300 years old. Fantastic! Darn, got to leave the hotel by 5:30 AM tomorrow to catch the flight.

The famous sonnet Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley was inspired by the Ramesseum Temple of Ramses II:


I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I left Aswan 3 days ago and have been in Luxor. Went over to the west side of the Nile yesterday and visited the Valley of the Kings, Deir al-Bahri (Temple of Hatshepsut), Valley of the Queens, and Colossi of Memnon. This morning I walked and walked through the streets of Luxor to the Temple of Karnak. Of course, everything was amazing! I didn't like the hotel I was staying at so this morning I moved to a much cooler place.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Elephantine Island

Yesterday morning Davis moved on so Kazuko-san and I took the ferry from Aswan over to Elephantine Island to take a look at the two Nubian villages there. While walking around a very nice Nubian man named Mustaffa came up to us. He was proud of the villages and walked with us for a long time telling us about them and introducing us to some of the people. After 2 hours we took the ferry back and had a fantastic lunch overlooking the Nile which was full of feluccas! Then Kazuko-san took the train later in the afternoon to continue her travels. I plan to move on to Luxor today.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Great Temple of Ramses II

Got up at 2:50 AM this morning to start the long slog to Abu Simbel to see the Great Temple of Ramses II and Temple of Hathor. The Ramses II temple was the most awe inspiring place I have ever been to! The entrance with the 4 colossal statues and then the interior with more huge statues and the bas reliefs on the walls, the heiroglyphics, and the atmosphere were spectacular!

Later in the day also took a boat to Agilkia Island to see Philea, the Temple of Isis -- wonderful. Then Kazuko-san, Davis, and I (they are the two solitary travellers I met yesterday) had a combination breakfast, lunch, and early dinner about 4:00 (our first meal since eating yesterday about 3:30 PM). We had some very good fiteer and the place had aircon so we could relax. 24 hours without food had given all of us headaches. Feel fine now!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Felucca on the Nile

13 hours after leaving Cairo on the all-night sleeper train last night I arrived in Aswan this morning. Got out of the station and promptly met a young Japanese woman looking for a taxi in the bedlam. Coincidentally we were going to the same hotel so we shared the taxi. Got there and met a young Australian guy and the 3 of us spent the day together.

The day ended with a 2 hour ride on a felucca (traditional Egyptian sailboat) on the Nile River ending just after an absolutely gorgeous sunset!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

King Tut

Here is Steve Martin in 1979 singing his humorous song King Tut (on Saturday Night Live -- I saw it live at the time). In 1979 the “The Treasures of Tutankhamun” (King Tut) exhibition from the Egyptian Museum was touring the U.S. at several big cities. I was a college student in Texas at the time and wanted to go, but the nearest place was far away in Chicago. King Tut was a bit of a mania at the time with magazine covers, TV shows, etc. Steve Martin decided to poke a little fun. Finally exactly 30 years later I saw the King Tut exhibit today at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. :-)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Going to Aswan

This morning I moved to another hotel in a different part of Cairo. As expected, when I arrived the taxi driver demanded more money than what we had agreed to before I got in. No problem, I just said no and got out, short and sweet, no arguing. :-) I booked a sleeper car for the 12+ hour ride to Aswan for tomorrow night and then spent the afternoon in the awesome Egyptian Museum.

Pyramids and the Sphinx

Went to Giza this morning to see the amazing pyramids and the Sphinx. Fantastic, but the aggressive touts who swarm all over you everywhere are just a royal pain in the butt and almost make you wish you had never come to Egypt. :-) Also, went to Saqqara to see the step pyramid -- the first pyramid and the oldest stone monument in the world.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I am in Egypt now!

I left Japan on 11/29 and flew to Cairo for 4 weeks of travel on my own in Egypt. As usual, no plans or itinerary. At the moment I am staying around the old Islamic Cairo so it is cool to walk around there with my camera. I will be travelling to other parts of Egypt too. Of course, after I get back to Japan I will prepare some photos and put them on my website. I don't get back to Japan until after Christmas though.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Japan photos online!

I have been travelling in Japan for the last 6.5 weeks and in that time I have gone to Tokyo, Takayama, Shirakawa-go, Magome, Tsumago, Nagoya, Ise-shima, Futami, Meoto Iwa, Himeji, Kagoshima, Kurashiki, Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, Miyajima, Matsuyama, Omogo, Oboke, Iya Valley, Kochi, Katsura-hama, Onomichi, Seto Inland Sea! I have some new photos in the Japan/Japan 5 and Japan/Japan 6 galleries on my website. If you have a chance then please take a look!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Traveling in Japan

I have been traveling in Japan for the last month and will probably be here for another couple of months. I just arrived in Matsuyama on Shikoku yesterday and plan to take a rest for awhile. So far, I have been to Tokyo, Takayama, Magome, Tsumago (all in the mountains), Nagoya, Ise-shima, Futami, Meoto Iwa, Himeji, Kagoshima, Kurashiki, Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Takayama again, Shirakawa-go, Kyoto again, Hiroshima, Miyajima, and Matsuyama. Of course, I have taken a lot of photos and I will add some new ones to my website as I get a chance. I will put a few here on my blog too. For now, you can also see many of my previous Japan photos from many other trips and when I lived here by checking out the Japan gallery on my website:

Here is just one from a matsuri (festival) in Ise-shima. They are carrying an o-mikoshi.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Manoa Falls Trail

This morning I went up to the Manoa Valley and hiked on the Manoa Falls Trail to the 150 foot tall Manoa Falls. Actually, I have been there 3 times since 2007 and the trail is always awesome. It goes through some very lush, green, wet rainforest and everytime I have been up there it rained off and on. The first time there I met some young ladies and when they got to the pool at the bottom of the waterfall they stripped down to their bikinis that they had under their hiking clothes and got under the waterfall. I have some photos here:

Here are just 3 samples:

Friday, September 18, 2009

Paris photo

I just noticed that the owner of a famous photography website has posted a photo remarkably like my 2001 B&W photo. I used a 20mm lens though to give it a more dramatic perspective and he used a 28mm lens. Also, I waited until a boat came along to fill in some of the empty space of the river. Here is the link to his new photo and below is my 2001 photo.

Personally, I like mine a lot more. :-) I have posted my photo (in B&W and color) on several photo forums over the years and it also was published in Popular Photography magazine years ago. By the way, he calls it a "cliche", but until I saw his today I had never seen another photo like mine before. :-)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Rocky Mountain National Park

Just for grins here are a couple photos from a 2 week camping trip to Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado:

Thursday, August 13, 2009

More Waikiki in B&W

I thought I would just post a few more of my recent photos -- all B&W this time.

By the way, I haven't done anything with regards to Linux yet. I am still investigating. There is no hurry since my current Vista computer and software is working fine, but I am still curious about someday making the move to Linux.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Thinking about switching to Linux for Photography

I have been using Windows for my personal use for the last 12 years or so and have had Windows 95, Me, XP, and Vista on various desktops and notebooks. My main use is the internet/email and photography. I have been working on digital photos (scanned film or digital cameras) since 1997 so I know very well which features of my current software I use and consider important and which I don't. I am trying to find out if the existing software on Linux has what I want. So far, it looks pretty good, but not perfect of course. :-) If you have any experience using Linux for photography then I would be happy to hear your thoughts.

There are several reasons I am looking at Linux (not necessarily in order of importance):

1. Windows is a huge target for various kinds of malware so there is a constant struggle to keep Windows updated with security fixes. Same for anti-virus software, firewall, etc. I realize that Linux is not immune to malware, but it is much less a target and, at least, in 2009 Linux just doesn't have much of a problem.

2. Although I am fairly happy with Photoshop CS2 the version of ACR it has won't accept my current camera's raw files and will not accept future camera raw files. Of course, I can give Adobe a few hundred dollars and get a new version of Photoshop. Then in a year or two do it again and then again and then again -- each time just because I need a new version of ACR. The story is often similar for other software. Sometimes it is because the version of software that worked on Win95 or WinXP doesn't work right with Vista or there are just new features and/or bug fixes I want. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with companies wanting to make money. Far from it. I am just saying that I like the idea of Linux and OSF so that *I* can get off that merry-go-round. :-)

3. Every Windows computer I have ever owned has needed to have a clean Windows install at least once while I had it, sometimes more. After enough time the computer has started acting funky or some problem has required me to do the clean install. Installing Windows is usually not all that difficult *but* then I have to download and install many megabytes (usually hundreds of megabytes) of Windows updates. Also, when that is all done I have to reconfigure everything. Then the worst part starts. I have to get all my CDs and one by one install all of my applications. Besides the Windows authentication most of the apps also have various authentication procedures. Even some Photoshop plugins have it. This is a real pain in the butt. Then I have to download and install updates for all of them. Then I have to configure all of them. Over the years I have had to do this quite a few times. Assuming I have all the CDs and a fast internet connection and there are no problems (I'll get back to this) then it takes many hours of work. After all of this is done then I have to get all my data files off backup and put them back on the computer.

4. One time while installing Photoshop it just hung part of the way through. After a very long wait I finally rebooted and Windows was hosed. I tried various things and finally did a clean install of Windows. I have had other less serious problems from time to time when installing software. Not often, but a few times.

5. I travel a lot and often spend extended periods in one place or another. Except when I am doing backpack travel I also have my 17" notebook with me (like right now). I also have to carry the Windows CD and app CDs in case I have to go through the nightmare of step 3. This has happened to me. If I didn't have all this stuff then I would really be up the creek.

6. After I went from WinXP to Vista a couple of years ago I discovered that a few Photoshop plugins that worked fine with Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro on XP don't work with Photoshop on Vista -- Photoshop crashes. Strangely, those Photoshop plugins still work fine with PSP on Vista.

7. I also like that Linux has a great software development environment with multiple compilers, assembler, linker, debuggers, etc.. Also, MySQL and lots of other stuff. Who knows, I might try to write a plugin for Gimp or Showfoto or Krita.

In 2002/2003 I did software development on Linux for 15 months. I installed Mandrake Linux on a couple of machines and it was surprisingly easy. Most software I wanted was automatically installed. No authentication, no stacks of app CDs, etc. I never had to reinstall Linux and I don't recall Linux ever crashing. I don't know if it is the same now, but it seems from what I have heard that Linux is still pretty robust and solid. At any time, if I need to, I can download a new Linux. Probably wouldn't need to do that though. Software updates are easy to get. Raw processing software gets updated regularly to handle new cameras. New features and bug fixes in apps are free.

By the way, besides Wine which will allow some Windows programs to be run on Linux -- I think my Picture Window Pro 3.5 is one of them -- I have also found that some Windows Photoshop plugins can be run with Linux Gimp.

I realize that I may find a few things that I would still need Windows for. If so I would have a dual-boot system with probably most of the disk space allocated to Linux.

The Gimp is only partially 16-bits at the moment, but it is supposed to be fully 16-bit in the next major release. There are also two other interesting image editors that I am looking at and they are both 16-bit: Krita and Showfoto. The image management program called digiKam (which also has an integrated version of Showfoto) looks very interesting too. There are several raw photo converters such as ufraw, which can be integrated into Gimp. Also, the free Rawtherapee is available for Linux as is Picasa. Anyway, I am still investigating, but Linux is looking pretty good.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Inside Koko Head Crater

From time to time I go to Koko Head Crater and then go inside to take photos. A couple of days ago I wasn't really in the mood to shoot so I only took a hand full of shots. Here are three:

Monday, July 27, 2009

Waikiki on Saturday

Over the weekend the annual Longboard Classic surfing competition was held at Waikiki so I was wandering around taking photos. Of course, there are always lots of people down at the beach, but this weekend more than usual, especially lots more local people than usual. Here are just a few photos.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The No-Crop Religion

To my mind it is strange, but there are some people who have some sort of weird obsession with the aspect ratio that the camera they are using produces. They think there are certain "rules" that everyone must follow. One of them is you should never crop. Bizarre, right?

Is the 35mm (3:2) aspect ratio a crop of the 6x6 frame? Or, is the 6x6 a crop of the 35mm frame? Or, are they both crops of the 8x10 and 4x5 frames? How about 6x7? Which one is it a crop of or are the others crops of the 6x7? It is all so confusing!!! How about 4/3? Oh, it is such a can of worms worrying about photography "rules"! Makes my head hurt. Which one of these is the "true" aspect ratio that all photos should conform to???? For those inclined, maybe Jesus, Buddha, Allah, et al will enlighten us. For others, maybe astrophysics will someday provide the cosmic answer.

Until the "truth" is revealed I am not going to worry about it. There is nothing sacred about the particular aspect ratio that the hardware imposes. If you want a square image but your camera doesn't produce it then crop. Vice versa. Let your imagination be your guide as to how, when, or if to crop. That is my opinion.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Emperor and Empress of Japan visited Kapiolani Park

This afternoon Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan visited Kapiolani Park to see the tree he planted there in 1960. There were quite a few people and the police kept us fairly far away, but I got a few photos. It was a bit tough because I had to shoot between the heads of the people in front of me and on tip-toes to get over their heads. :-) I have some photos here:




Sunday, July 12, 2009

Korean Festival at Kapiolani Park

Yesterday I went with some friends to the annual Korean Festival at Kapiolani Park. It is only a 5 minute walk so easy to go. Don't need to deal with cars, traffic, parking, etc. I have some photos here:

And here are a couple of photos.

Korean Dancer:

I think he sees a cute girl. :-)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Independence Day Outrigger Canoe Races at Waikiki

On Independence Day (Saturday) I was down at the beach and shooting the annual outrigger canoe races -- I did the same last year. I was barefoot and walking on the beach or mostly in the water and was wet almost up to my waist from all the waves. Fortunately, I was able to keep my camera completely dry. It was fun!

Late in the afternoon until sunset we had a picnic at Kapiolani Beach Park on the grass under the palm trees right next to the beach. While we were there 4 fireman came rushing right by us to the beach. The lifeguard had rescued a man who was drowning. I have a few shots of them working on him.

It was a good day. You can see the day's photos here:

Here are a few photos of the canoe races at Waikiki Beach:

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Waikiki in B&W and Color

Here are a few new photos of people in Waikiki. Just a normal day, nothing special, feeling good, no worries.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Waikiki panorama from the 41st floor

I made this panorama photo from the lanai of the condo I used to live in:

Here is a larger version:

Monday, June 8, 2009

Pan Pacific Parade

Well, I am back in Hawaii now! Yesterday afternoon I met three of my friends and we took some photos of the Pan Pacific Parade along Kalakaua Ave. next to the beach. Here are a few:

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Road trip: Finished!

Yesterday I finished the 12 weeks road trip traveling through Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, and California. Drove lots and lots of miles, took lots and lots of photos, and had a blast!

I visited Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Petrified Forest National Park, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Petroglyphs National Monument, New Orleans, Las Vegas, the beautiful California coast, Sierra Nevada Mountains, and many more places! Saw alligators, sea otters, elephant seals, sea lions, bison, moose, elk, prairie dogs, and birds! Lots of gorgeous scenery! Got together with some friends in California. Photos are in the Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, California, and Miscellaneous galleries on my website:

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sea Lions

I am in Santa Cruz now and the weather is perfect! Spent the afternoon down at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk and that was fun. Many photos in the California gallery:

Here are some photos of Sea Lions lounging around:

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sierra Nevada Mountains, California

I spent some time in Las Vegas and then yesterday headed to California. I stayed at Lee Vining, California next to Mono Lake last night. Then at sunset I went down and took some photos of the tufas -- photos are in the California gallery on my website.

This morning I drove over the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California going west. It was a little, steep, winding mountain road and it took about 4-5 hours to get over the mountains. Here is a photo just after I went past the sign that said I was at 9,638 feet elevation. Before that though I passed the USMC Mountain Warfare training Center -- Pickel Meadow. I have heard about this place ever since I was in the Marine Corps, but didn't know where it was. About 15 minutes after I passed his sign I saw what looked like a platoon size unit of Marines sitting under the trees beside the road. They looked tired so I guess they were taking a break from some sort of training.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Yellowstone National Park

The road trip continues and after leaving Utah I drove into Wyoming. I spent awhile in Wyoming, primarily going to Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. I have been to both a few times before, but they are always awesome!

Please check out the Wyoming gallery on my website. I just uploaded a bunch of photos from Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. Besides the gorgeous scenery, snow, geysers, hot springs, etc. we saw lots of bison, elk, some moose, prairie dogs, etc.

Grand Teton National Park

After Utah I headed north to Wyoming on this ongoing road trip. I spent a few days at Jackson Hole and visited Grand Teton National Park right next door several times. Although I have been there before it is always awesome! See photos in the Wyoming gallery on my website:

Monday, May 4, 2009

Bryce Canyon National Park

Today I left Zion National Park and drove to Bryce Canyon National Park. Only a 2 hour drive. I was here in 1999 and 2004 also. Had a good hike on the Navajo Loop trail too today! Here are two photos from today: