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April 6, 2018

Sunset tour of South Maui – February/March 2018

Aloha! I recently completed spending two wonderful weeks on Maui at the end of February through the beginning of March with my wife. It was our second trip to Maui and we stayed in Kihei that is known locally as South Maui. We stayed in a studio apartment that was only a short walk to Kamaole Beach Park and within walking distance of numerous shops and restaurants. Much of the time was spent relaxing on the fabulous local beaches, but I did get some time to take photos.

Sunset glow over Moloka'i

The weather included sun, clouds, and rain on most days and not in that specific order, which provided varied opportunities for photography each day. Fortunately, most of the rain was light and fell after dark.  Being on the southwest end of the island most of my photos were reserved for sunset although I did try to get out twice for sunrise; however, with Haleakala looming in the background at elevation 10,000 feet my images were not equal to those that I took later in the day. One of the many things I enjoyed was the number of beaches and their accessibility, it seemed like there was a beach every half mile where we stayed, beaches we visited included Kamaole, Kalama, Ulua, Baldwin, Makena, and Kanaha. Access was not limited to just that from the streets as most of the resorts that dotted the shoreline in between the beaches provided public access along the shoreline as well.

Each beach offered a unique quality or experience that we enjoyed, such as Makena State Park Beach, the first beach we visited named after our niece.  Here on our first day, we spotted 45 sightings of humpback whales as it was peak season of their annual migratory visit to the Hawaiian Islands. We participated in two (2) whale watch tours with Ultimate Whale Watch in Lahaina, a suggestion from a couple we meet as they ending a 5-week long stay.  The whale watch tours were excellent with the second being more memorable as it provided more favorable weather and had plenty of whales, including one group with over 10 whales.

Humpback Whale


Taking a break

Another highlight of our visit was finding green sea turtles at Baldwin State Beach located near Paia. A friendly passenger on our flight to Maui mentioned that sea turtles can be frequently seen at the beach. We were not disappointed as we made three (3) separate visits and spotted beached turtles each time.

Other activities that we enjoyed included visiting downtown Lahaina with all the different shops and vendors.  Three we made our second visit to the Lahaina Inn one of our favorite restaurants on Maui. We also made stops to Lappert’s Ice Cream shop and fell in love with Lava Java for our morning shot of caffeine. Lastly, we frequented several local fish restaurants in search of the best fish taco and found that Paia Fish Market served the best fish taco and was conveniently located a mile from where we stayed.

To check out my other sunset photos from the trip as well as previous trips to Hawaii, please check out my photo gallery.

April 1, 2018

What's in my camera bag?

I currently shoot with a Nikon D750 DSLR, which I recently purchased last fall.  This serves as my primary body.  It's normally fitted with an MB-D16 battery grip to take photos in portrait view, as well as, provide an extra battery for extended photo taking.  To mount my camera on a tripod I use an L-bracket from Really Right Stuff (RRS) and I would highly recommend using an L-bracket for mounting your camera on a tripod in either landscape or portrait view.  My tripod is a Manfrotto 055CXPRO4 carbon tripod equipped with an RRS B-40 ball head.  I also use a Sirui carbon monopole with an RRS MH-01 LR head that I use on long hikes, sports photography, or birding as it is light and portable.  

As for lenses, I have Nikon and Tamron lenses, including the Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8,  Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8, and Tamron  15-30mm f2.8 VC lenses that are my primary lenses in my camera bag.  In the bag is a Sigma 105MM f2.8 macro lens as well.  My primary camera bag is the medium Tenba shootout bag that provides sufficient room for my battery charger, SB-900, filters, and other assorted items.  This bag is comfortable and convenient to travel with and fits in the overhead storage bins on airlines.  I also have a Tenba roller camera bag that is useful in urban settings.  

While not in my bag, as it's a bit big, but I take on local outings is my Tamron SP 150-600mm ATX DI G2 f5/6.3 telephoto lens for extended reach in wildlife and sports photography.  Other lenses that I use include two (2) prime Nikon lens, the 35mm f2.0 and 50mm f1.4.  I usually carry an assortment of filters, including circular polarizing, neutral density, split neutral density and a 77 mm variable neutral density filters.  Lastly, for flash photography, I have both the SB-600 and SB-900 Nikon speedlites.

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