My recent trip to Hawaii provided me with the perfect shot for this weeks Daily Post Challenge of Elemental. Earth, air, fire, and water are all there, but you can’t tell that the air is not exactly the best for you from this shot. I probably could have gotten a little closer if this hadn’t been the downwind side. I was fortunate to grab a couple shots before retreating to cooler non-toxic air. In full size images enlarged on my screen, I can see the distortion from the heat.
On the big island in Hawaii, volcanic eruptions have changed the look of the land, but there is one spot that was changed in a unique fashion. In 1790, lava flows swept through this area near Pahoa. Unlike slow flows that burn everything in site, this flow was swift, and wrapped the trees without destroying them instantly. The trees eventually did die, leaving these lava forms (and many others) standing instead.
From Lava Tree State Monument, Hawaii for this week’s Daily Post Challenge of Transmogrify.
As I developed as a photographer, it was evident that I was becoming more of a morning person. Part of this was due to the fact that I was living in the desert, and hiking and just being outdoors were limited to mornings on many summer days. When I say morning, I really mean from an hour before sunrise to about an hour after sunrise. That’s when the light can be truly amazing.
As I started travelling to the National Parks and other highly popular areas, I really appreciated the diminished (and sometimes lack of) crowds first thing in the morning. I can understand being on vacation and wanting to sleep in, just not if you’re a photographer.
That brings me to my photos for this week’s challenge. I was on vacation in Hawaii with quite a few family members. We had been to this spot the day before, and I just looked at everything and knew I had to come back for a sunrise. Upon returning to our rooms, I said, “I’m going back there first thing in the morning, who wants to join me?” As I expected the answer was pretty much silence.
I arrived at the parking area just before sunrise and took a couple shots before hitting the trail. It was a fairly short trail which descended a couple hundred feet to the beach. It was a very relaxing, almost meditative, morning on a beautiful black sand beach. About an hour later another person came down the trail, and by that time I was ready to head back.
I generally don’t like to wake to an alarm clock, but for occasions like this, I am glad to make exceptions.
For this week’s challenge of Dance, I almost took the easy route with photos of people dancing, but then remembered the operative word is challenge. You’ll probably enjoy these a bit more, anyway. I know I do.
For anyone who has ever witnessed a slow lava flow, you know there is a pulse that surges, as the cool air solidifies the flow, while the warm undercurrent wants to keep moving. The final cooled result (above) reflects that pulse, and was taken in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Flowing, tumbling water can also have a rhythmic feel to it. The sunlight was being filtered through the forest, and accentuated most of the current in this shot of Oak Creek, near Sedona, Arizona.
Clouds can portray a feeling of choreography, even in a still capture. My favorite example is this thunderstorm at sunset near Cloudcroft, New Mexico.
Finally, rock art symbols almost always have a sense of dance and celebration, indicating how important this was in ancient culture. This panel of rock art is in the Grand Canyon.
On the big island of Hawaii, there are several black sand beaches. This one, at the end of the road on the north side, has some pretty spectacular cliffs. For this moment, however, it was the beach beneath my feet that had captured my interest. The tide was just high enough to touch the rocks in the foreground. As the water receded, the depressions in the sand were revealed, and the reflections of the distant clouds lit up the beach a little further away. This is my contribution to Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness this week, other bloggers black & white work can be seen there.
As we approach Valentine’s Day, just a reminder to show those you love your appreciation. We should be doing that everyday, anyway.
The heart shaped falls are from Hawaii, near Hilo.
The kissing rocks are from Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada.
For this week’s challenge, bridges seemed like an obvious choice to visualize connections. Burro Creek bridge, above, spans a pretty deep canyon, but you’d never know it by this shot. Winter morning fog was the remnant of a significant storm from the previous days, and made for a great morning photoshoot.
A place renowned for its fog, San Francisco, is where you’ll find the Bay Bridge connecting that city to Oakland and points beyond. I had clear skies on my last visit there, allowing me to capture this panorama of the Bay Bridge.
Another piece of architecture, the downtown Seattle library, looks as though it is three separate structures connected together.
In nature, I came across these hanging flowers in a botanical garden in Hawaii. They appear to be connected by a long red rope.
Also in nature, I visited Chiricahua National Monument in southern Arizona, home of the Pinnacle Balanced Rock. It’s a pretty amazing sight to see something of that size and weight connected to its base on that tiny spot.
Lastly, the strongest connections you will ever encounter are the human kind. Emotional bonds are the source of many decisions we make in life, and not always for the best.
For an example of a physical connection, I have chosen this pair of ballroom dancers. In any type of partner dancing, nothing works if there is not a connection.
In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Connected.”
I thought I’d try something a little different for Cee’s Black & White Challenge.
This is one of my favorite shots from Hawaii, but it didn’t come from some spectacular wilderness setting. In the property next to a gas station, there was an interesting group of trees. This was taken looking up from underneath two of them, but closer to the one on the left. I love the patterns of the branches reaching skyward, and in color the contrast of the branches against the lush green with red flowers makes this work. When I converted it to grayscale, it just fell flat. And then I thought, what’ll happen if I click on Inverse? The network of branches came back to life!
Initially. I have this lizard which I came across in the Chiricahua Mountains of southeastern Arizona. Probably not that creepy until you look at the gash on the top of its head. He was a fairly sizeable creature, but it makes me wonder what thinks of him as dinner.
Dark forests can be creepy, and one of the darkest I ever came across was in Hawaii, of all places. I didn’t take any photos there, but this one, with the moss hanging from the branches, is from last year in Oregon.
At Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park in Hawaii, there are many carvings. Most of these are genderless with ugly faces with large teeth, which would imply they were there to scare off intruders. The creator of this one decided it was scarier to have a relatively featureless face and a large penis. That’s creepy!
Other symbols, created by a different civilization are equally bizarre. In the Grand Canyon, this panel of pictographs has some creepy characters on it. In addition to the large symbols, there are 5 faces which are nothing more than 3 dots and a line on top (4 lines for number 1). Two eyes and a mouth is my guess, but it’s more like a nose on 4 and 5. There’s also the ghostly white symbol on the far left. I’m not sure how the two deer ended up on this one. This panel is, fortunately, out of reach of anybody today, so this is how it was created over 700 years ago.
By far, the creepiest site I have ever encountered was this pair of grottos in the canyons near Moab, Utah. The dark features around the two grottos suggest a rather alien-like face, and I couldn’t help but have the feeling I was being watched.