Reliving 30 Years Ago
Reliving and reprocessing scans from small prints made with a small sensor P&S film camera around 30 years ago in Hawaii.
Weird things I remember, like when Marcia and I were walking on a trail that had been closed to the public and we came across two young Russian girls walking with flip-flops that were not suitable for the terrain. They spoke enough English to at least talk a little with us.
I wonder. If I could go back with my E-M5 III camera, would I still process the images this way?
RePrinting old Prints
I was wondering about how those 27 year old Maui images might look if printed as toned monochrome prints. I scanned the old 4×6 drugstore color prints and then processed some of them as toned monochrome images. I then resized and sharpened them for printing as 5×7 prints.
I had been looking for three suitable images to put in a frame to hang on my wall in front of my computer. I have lots of color travel images on my walls, but no monochrome ones … until now.
While working on these images I remembered the last time I saw someone on one of our trips taking pictures with a 35mm Nikon interchangeable lens film camera. It was in Hawaii on another trip.
Maui, HI in 1993
We went to Maui in 1993 and stayed at the Paki Maui, our first and only time to that island. We both used small Olympus 35mm film cameras from which the pictures were developed and printed at a drugstore and all we have are the 4×6 prints which aren’t very sharp. While Marcia was cleaning out the last of our older prints I decided to scan a few of the prints to see what I could recover as digital images. We had a large number of prints but I only scanned some to get a flavor of the trip.
Maui was mainly a crowded tourist destination and we don’t like crowds so we avoided most of the crowded tourist spots. To do that, we rented a small 4WD vehicle and drove where we weren’t supposed to go by circling the island. As you can see in the pictures we succeeded to avoid the crowded areas.
We also took a helicopter ride over and around parts of Moloka’i Island. That is where we made the pictures of the waterfalls, etc. We also drove up to the Haleakala Crater where at an elevation of over 10,000 feet it was windy and cold. If you haven’t experienced it, open a can of coke and drink it at that elevation. I know, the things I remember. We also walked out of the tourist area into the Iao Valley where we crossed paths with a few girls from Russia hiking.
We did venture into Lahaina to dine and walk around once. It was there that we first experienced eating in a building with windows with no glass or screens and competing with the birds flying around.
Maui has changed a lot since then … at least from what I can find about visiting there on the web. I’m glad we went when we did.
Pentax in Hawaii
Due to the lack of new pictures, I have been revisiting older ones. I took these in 2011 with a Pentax K-5 II and the 18-55mm lens. I wanted to see how they looked after reprocessing the raw files using the latest version of LR. One reason I am redoing the files and looking at them closer is to help me decide what, if any, additional lenses I might wish to have for my current Pentax KP camera.
So far, I’m sticking to my preference to not get a longer, heavier zoom lens. One reason is the image quality of those light enough and cheap enough aren’t very good. If I continue to think only in terms of the limited lenses, the only one left of interest to me would be the 21mm, and it would come in handy if I ever get back to the streets or traveling. I am still not sure about getting another 18-55mm WR zoom lens, but there are times it would be handy as a cheap walkabout lens in bad weather or times like when our next flood occurs. Looking at the above pictures tells me it would be good enough, at least when the lighting is bright. I might order an inexpensive used one and compare the IQ to the Limited 20-40mm WR lens.
Note that all of these pictures were taken on the big island. I noticed the “reference” to Hanover in a small general store. We were visiting the island right before they had an Iron Man event and there were a lot of cyclists getting use to the climate, roads, etc. The big island is a lot drier and newer, thus the lava flows, than our favorite island which is Kauai.
Hawaii in Different Light
I haven’t been going out anywhere to make pictures lately, and doubt that I will around other people until after the flu and virus seasons are over. In order to keep thinking about photography, I had been thinking about whether or not I want to get an additional lens for the Pentax KP, when I remembered the last time I traveled with a Pentax DSLR. It was when we were in Hawaii right before we moved here to Homewood in 2011.
I decided to reload the pictures into LR and reprocess them as I checked out what focal lengths I used on that trip to Hawaii. I only had the Pentax 18-55mm kit lens with me and I doubted that the images would be very good, but I found them to be better than I remembered. While reprocessing them I also decided to see how they would work with my latest B&W style. You can see the results above. I like them, especially since they show Hawaii in a totally different light than most people think of when thinking about Hawaii.
Bubble, Bubble, Boil, and Trouble
A take-off on Shakespeare’s Macbeth “Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble.”
I think of this as I think about global climate changes as our temperatures swing wider and wilder due to the wider and wilder shifting of the jet stream.
In case you haven’t realized it, I am getting more comfortable with my B&W images. I’m finally learning how to process then into styles I like.
Something to Contemplate
Contemplating the future is sort of like wondering what is happening across the ocean or over the horizon, but we have information and history that we can use to develop reasonable expectations.
Take a look at the following chart of the DOW averages plotted on a linear axis.
The blue columns are the monthly average values for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (y axis) plotted from 1990 until August of this year (x axis). The upper and lower red lines represent the extremes of the most recent major fluctuations. Have you considered that our financial system might be a dynamic unstable system and that if it follows recent history that we might be looking at a 50% drop in the value of the Dow in the not too distant future as indicated by the wide blue line?
Also note that the axis starts at zero and that the current values since the late 1990s are not in line with expectations based on the older, previous history which was relatively flat. Most sellers of stock like to show you a plot with an exponential axis since that makes you think that things are better than they really are and it tends to smooth out the recent fluctuations. Plotting it on a linear axis also shows you how vulnerable you are to totally losing all your investments within a 10 year period … depending upon when you buy and need to sell.
Are you prepared for it? You should be. I was reading a report from a market analyst the other day and he came to the same conclusion based on underlying fundamentals of today’s market. He predicted a 50% drop coming.
I could also come to a similar possibility based on different nonfinancial factors like climate change, global social unrest, depletion of resources, global population growth, cost of energy, etc. The only thing nobody can predict is when. It could be this year or many years away yet; but the longer the time until it happens will only increase the magnitude of the impact … something to contemplate.
Poipu, Kauai, Hawaii
Since I have the time and it is 32 degrees F. with occasional mist or drizzle outside my window at the moment, I have been thinking about the most critical factors for making a good picture. I think that being at the right place at the right time is the most critical element. The most important variable is the composition. Another important variable is having the vision to recognize it and record it. The third is having the right camera and lens with you at the time, and finally, recording the image with the best settings of the camera’s controls. Most people seem to stop with those, but I think they are missing what is becoming one of the most important factors … having and using the correct software to develop the image. If they didn’t record their image in the raw format and then use programs on their computer to develop it, they have missed what is becoming one of the most critical factors for making a good image.
While reminiscing and longing for the warm days with bright sunshine during my last trip to Hawaii, I ran across the above image. My first reaction was that it wasn’t much … just a lot of blue water and blue sky, an empty chair, and two kayakers too far away for the lens I had with me (close to the horizon in the middle). I’m not sure why I took the picture but probably just so that I could crop-zoom in to get a better view of the kayakers.
Since I have tried to use my time to improve my use of my software for developing my images, I decided to take this not so good picture and see what I could do with it as a B&W image. Yes, I know what you are thinking … B&W has no place in bright sunny Hawaii, but after playing with this image I’m not so sure. By switching to B&W I was able to take all the monotonous blue out of the image and force myself to look at the details. As it ended up above, I like it better in B&W than the original color. The more I stare at it, the more I remember how hot and bright it was.
In case you are wondering, I used Adobe Light Room (LR4) for the basic development of the color image and then used Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 to convert it to B&W as you see it above. The most important thing for you to remember is that with software you can go back and change the picture at any time. You can’t change the composition, lens, etc. other than to crop-zoom, but you can change the way the original digital image is interpreted. By saving your images as raw images you will find that you can go back years later with improved software and do a lot more with your old images. If you are still shooting just jpegs, your chair is empty and you are missing the view the second time around.