Aloha Part 5

Or Hawaii 5-0, except I’ve posted more than 50 photographs of Hawaii, but who’s counting. Not going to say too much about this last lot. They were all taken out of a helicopter’s side-window. Sometimes there’s a bit of reflection in the shot but I knew that my mum and sister would never stand for a ‘doors-off’ ride. They were worried enough about the regular helicopter ride never mind suggesting to them we book one with no doors on. Oh well, next time maybe.

P.S. I actually re-arranged the back of the pilot’s seat by moving all the important information cards and sick-bags (or comfort bags as they’re now called) from the seat pocket so I wouldn’t get as many reflections. Got to get my priorities right you know. Photograph first, safety second. Joking.

Anyway seatbelts fastened, headphones on, sit back and enjoy the ride.

Above the treetops
Sea Cave
Na Pali coastline
Kauai valley
Kauai river
Kauai Waterfalls
Beautiful Kauai
Kauai landscape
Misty mountains (cue a wee Hobbitey song sung by dwarves)
Somewhere under a rainbow
Mountaintop Greenery
Na Pali Valley
View to the Pacific
Na Pali cliffs
Na Pali coastline
Hikers (zoom in to the bottom LHS quarter to see them)
Beautiful Kauai coastline

Well I say that’s all from Kauai, but I still have all the coastal shots of crashing waves, sea birds, pretty flowers to edit…. maybe I’ll throw another post up at some point in the future but at the moment it’s Aloha from Hawaii and Mahalo for looking at my photographs.


Aloha, part 3

I could actually have ‘Aloha, parts 1-500’ the amount of photographs I have, but I’m going to try and cut them down to 5 posts. I don’t want to get boring…

In the meantime I have 3 posts to go so sit back and enjoy the stunning garden isle of Kauai for the 3rd time! *said in my best David Attenborough voice* British friends, I’m SO jealous you get to watch Planet Earth 2 – I have no idea when US Public Television will pick it up here.

Back to piccies – this first one is of the Waimea Canyon, also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. It is a large canyon, approximately ten miles long and up to 3,000 feet deep, located on the western side of Kauai. The road runs right along the side of the canyon with handy ‘Stop here’ lay-bys (paved areas you can pull your car over Americans. I never actually realised you don’t call them lay-bys until I confused an American friend by talking about them.) Anyway trying to whittle hundreds of photographs down into my favourite one was really hard.

Waimea Canyon

Driving up the road admiring the Canyon on the right hand side we saw a lot of cars stopped and people climbing over the fence on the left. So being the nosey types we parked the car and climbed over. So glad we did. A pretty little waterfall in the red-dirt made for a fun mini-hike and some good photo ops. I tried to find out if the waterfall had a name, but could only find it referred to as ‘the red-dirt waterfall in Waimea Canyon’.

Red Dirt Waterfall, Waimea Canyon

Then when the road ran out at the top of the canyon we were at the Pu’u O Kila lookout (photo from previous post of the rainbow) and a side on view of the Na Pali cliffs. My favourite part of the island.

Na Pali cliffs

The next couple of photographs were taken from the helicopter when he took us over the mountains and down into the volcanic crater. I tried to find out what the volcano was called, but it just seems to be part of the Loihi Seamount chain of volcanos. The Wai’ale’ale crater is believed to have been extinct for 5 million years. All I know is that it was spectacular and sometimes I had to put down the camera and try to soak it all in with my eyes.

Wai’ale’ale crater

The Wai’ale’ale mountains, resting sleepily in the scenic background behind Kukui’ula, located almost exactly in the middle of the island, this towering green mountain range is usually tucked behind a shroud of wispy rain clouds. Waialeale means “rippling water” or “overflowing water” in Hawaiian and is the second wettest spot on Earth, receiving about 450 inches of rain each year. The rainiest year on record is 1982 with 683 inches.

Sorry Scotland. You’re NOT the wettest place on Earth!

Wai’ale’ale Mountain

My sister loves lighthouses so of course a visit to Kilauea Lighthouse on the North side of the island was a must. Unfortunately the day we went there the lighthouse was closed (it’s only open Tuesday to Saturday but we managed to come back the day we flew home and get closer. I have many more photographs of the lighthouse and also of the seabirds that roost in the cliffs but still haven’t edited them yet. The recently completed restoration of the century-old lighthouse has returned it to essentially its original state in 1913.  Twice a week, lighthouse lovers can climb up into the tower that once projected a beam 22 miles to sea. This structure stands at the edge of Kīlauea Point, 180 feet above the ocean. Pretty, isn’t it?

Kilauea Lighthouse

And finally for Aloha, part 3 is a pretty little shot of the Opaekaa Falls. You can totally see why they call Kauai ‘The Garden Isle’. The waterfall is located on the ʻŌpaekaʻa Stream in Wailua River State Park on the eastern side of the Hawaiian island of Kauai. It is a 151–foot waterfall that flows over basalt from volcanic eruptions millions of years ago”Opaekaa” means “rolling shrimp,” which were once abundant in the stream.

Opeakaa Falls

I hope I’m tempting you to go visit Kauai. It’s a long journey to get there but it’s totally worth it. I wasn’t joking when I said it was photography heaven!

Aloha, part 2

Just around the corner from Shipwreck Beach

In my family I’m probably the only one with any sort of good sense of direction, therefore I’m nearly always the map reader and directiononteerer (I just made that word up). The kids nowadays nearly always use their phones for (they say) more accurate directions than mine, which usually consist of “just around the next corner” when I really mean just around the next 5 corners. Anyway, on the photo above of the cliffs at Shipwreck Beach, Kauai (which WAS just around the corner) believe it or not they actually cliff dive off the point at the LHS of the photograph. Madness!

Shaka – Hang Ten or Hang Loose

Yeah, I didn’t have a go at surfing. Maybe if I’d been younger and didn’t have a dodgy hip…. But I did embrace the Hang Loose sign (tried to find an emoji that I could cut and paste into my text, but after countless hours searching Google (2 minutes!) I gave up)

Na Pali Coast

Na Pali. Undoubtedly one of the most amazing places on Earth, and definitely one of the most fabulous places I’ve ever seen. I was totally in awe of the beauty of this place. It’s pretty inaccessible except for hikers or from a boat or helicopter. This fifteen-mile stretch of rugged coastline on the northwest shore of Kauai literally means ‘The Cliffs’. Much of Na Pali Coast is inaccessible due to its characteristic sheer cliffs that drop straight down, thousands of feet into the ocean. I could stay there all day and NEVER get tired of the views. Nature at her finest I’m sure you’ll agree.

Lucy the Duck

Lucy decided to join the guided tour around Allerton Gardens in Kauai. She was very friendly and posed nicely for me when I asked her.

Spouting Horn, Poipu

On Kauai’s south shore you’ll find the spectacular Spouting Horn blowhole, one of the most photographed spots on Kauai. The Poipu surf channels into a natural lava tube here and releases a huge spout of water during large swells. You’ll also hear a hiss and a roar that is the basis of a Hawaiian legend.

Ancient Hawaiians believed this coastline was once guarded by a giant moo (lizard) named Kaikapu. Everyone was afraid of the moo because it would eat anyone who tried to fish or swim in the area. One day, a young boy named Liko entered the ocean to outwit the lizard. Kaikapu attacked him, but Liko thrust a sharp stick into her mouth, swam under the lava shelf, and escaped through a small hole to the surface. The moo followed Liko and got stuck in the lava tube. To this day, you can hear the lizard’s roar and see her breath spraying from the blowhole. *copied from ‘’*

A curious gecko

A lucky shot for me. Sitting eating lunch one day and this little fellow comes up and goes “Whatchadoing?” so I grabbed my compact camera (Fuji 900exr) and got exactly 2 shots before he ran away. This is a huge crop and zoom so I’m very pleased at how good it turned out considering. Anyone want to buy some car insurance now?

Photo 101: Double

Today I drove around the countryside looking for two of something to photograph – 2 grain bins, 2 hay bales, heck even 2 birds and I’d have been happy, but nope. Couldn’t find anything at all except train tracks (which have been done to death!) but in the interests of the rules (my rules that is) of a new photograph every day that’s all I could come up with.

train tracks

Our weather is so stormy just now, 2 minutes after taking this photograph another thunderbolts and lighting, very very frightening storm erupted!

Anyway rather than turn the photograph on it’s edge, which I’ve done before (I’ll attach a shot at the end) I turned the camera for a portrait version of the tracks. Yes, I know… it IS kinda cheating.

train tracks2

And here’s one I did last year where I DID turn the photograph 90 degrees….

Gareth 28 4x6


Photo 101: Landscape

Or alternatively titled ‘The most boring landscape in the world’

A landscape… In Illinois??? Last year while doing this course I used quite a lot of my stock images – The Grand Canyon, The Scottish Highlands etc., but this year I’m doing all the challenges on the actual day and trying to look at my surroundings with a fresh eye. How to make life hard for myself! So today dawned dull and grey but at least it’s not raining (yet!) so off I went to look for something interesting to photograph. Wellllllllll, that didn’t happen. So I’ve decided to claim the Blogging prize for the most boring landscape on the Internet. I think I’m in with a pretty good chance, even though I do say so myself! Fingers crossed peeps X

tree landscape
It’s a tree. And a ploughed field. It’s flat. It’s Illinois!

Photo 101: Water and perspective

Lake landscape

Dull, grey, slightly rainy…. but I managed to get out there and get a new shot for the water theme! Yayy, give that woman a fudge doughnut!!!

I had actually spotted this log (alien?) at the weekend when I was walking the mutt at the lake so knew what I wanted to do for this theme. Maybe tomorrow I’ll do a bit of jiggerypokery on it (HDR for those in the know) and see what I come up with after playing.

This is the landscape version and below is the portrait one. I’m leaning towards portrait in this case. Whattdya all think?

Lake portrait

Photography 101: Home


This might be considered as cheating (yep, first assignment for Photography 101 and she’s cheating already!) as it’s not a new photograph, it’s one I took last summer.

But for me THIS is home. Not this particular cottage btw, but home is and always will be Scotland. I might live in a different country and I might never move back (home) but I’ll always be a Scottish girl at heart.