Posts Tagged ‘Hawaii’

October 30, 2011

And Home Again

I mentioned last time that Domingo had a business trip coming up. Two weeks to Ko Olina, Oahu, Hawaii. I can’t complain, I tagged along for 9 days. It was a working trip for both of us. While Domingo was out, I spent my days working on research in the hotel. In the evenings we enjoyed the awesome scenery, and playing in the waves. I also got to test out my macro lens.

Doesn’t it look like a drawing and not a photograph?

It’s funny, because we just vacationed in Oahu in March (in time for the Tsunami). When we came home I was sure that would be the last we’d be seeing of the Hawaiian waters for quite some time. In fact, we weren’t sure we were going to have any vacation at all for quite some time.

I’m still hoping to graduate in 2012, which means buckling down to finish. Once I start a new job, it will take a while to accrue vacation time. It will be much harder for me to tag along with Domingo on these trips.

This year has been the year of fun business trips – China, Vegas, Hawaii. I have no illusions, next year will probably be much less exciting. Domingo has a couple trips lined up for next year already, but they’re to much less exotic locations, and I don’t think I will be able to tag along. Lily will be happy about that – less kennel time!

March 13, 2011

Hawaiian Adventure

We’re back from our vacation to Hawaii. It was great! Warm weather, warm water beaches. Seriously why can’t California’s beaches ever get that warm? We returned to the same location as last time, even the same hotel since it was just a stone’s throw from the beach.

(Photos in our family album)

We were there for a week, flying back on Saturday. We got to the hotel early Thursday night (around 8ish). We wanted to get up early the next day to drive to the valley of the temples. Domingo had his Droid and was checking the news when I was putting together our final plans for our final day. Earthquake! A 9.0 had rocked Japan. We immediately turned on the news, which was already talking about a possible Tsunami for Hawaii. The watch turned into a warning, and we were instructed to stay put in the high rise hotel.

We had five hours to prepare. We knew we were safe in the hotel, the tsunami that hit Hawaii would be no where near the size of the one in Japan. The news had emphasized that the hotels in the popular tourist areas were we were were well equipped and preformed drills to prepare for Tsunami. Still, I think it would be foolish to stay Domingo and I weren’t at least a little nervous about the Tsunami. The video from Japan was heartbreaking, and the same geological event that caused their tsunami was sending another one towards on. The civilian defense sirens were going off every hour, and the police bull hard telling people to seek shelter were not exactly settling.

The Tsunami ended up bouncing between the islands, so even though the main wave was gone we weren’t aloud out of our hotel until about 7:40am, and not in the water until 11:56. Once the adrenaline had passed, we enjoyed a peaceful final day, even if it meant we didn’t get to visit the valley of the temples.

March 10, 2011

Underwater Snaps

It’s a general rule in photography that the more light you have, the less of a difference you’ll notice between a sophisticated camera and a simple one. Since there’s generally a good amount of light when snorkeling, a simple underwater disposable camera would be all that we need. Right? At least that’s what we were told.

The benefit for a disposable camera is the cost. I thought I would be saving money when we purchased the two disposable cameras for our Hawaii trip two years ago. The cameras were only $15.99 a camera, much better than a digital camera. (They were even cheaper in Hawaii, at only $12.99 a camera, hello Californian High Cost of Living!) Turns out I forgot about the cost to have the film developed for the two cameras, an extra $20 dollars. In total I ended up paying about $52 plus tax. That’s about half the cost of a cheap underwater digital camera. Below is the best photo I took using one.

Snorkeling in Hawaii ’09
Disposable Underwater Camera

Size: 7 X 3 at 220 DPIs
Number of Photos Taken: 34
Percentage of “Good” Photos: 38%

The underwater photos have a bit of a grainy texture, but that could have been the way they were developed. It also might be possible to have the photo developed at a higher resolution. I didn’t include the above water shots in my total counts, (although I didn’t factor them out of the costs). I didn’t want to bring my normal camera and leave it on the beach, so I took a few pictures of the bay top side using the disposable camera.

We enjoyed snorkeling so much, I figured we would do it often. I purchased a FugiFilm Underwater XP10 (for $110), since it was only twice the cost – just two trips and it’s paid for itself. Another option would be an underwater carrying case for my old point and shoot, but the camera wasn’t a particularly popular model, so the cases were rare and nearly twice as expensive as the new camera. Below is a comparable picture from 2011 using the FugiFilm to the “best” 2009 disposable picture.

Snorkeling in Hawaii ’11
Digital Underwater Camera

Size: 18 X 13 at 220 DPIs
Number of Photos Taken: 175
Percentage of “Good” Photos: 54%

It took a little while to get into the groove with the digital underwater camera, the first dozen were almost all bad. I had to point the camera lower than where it looked like the fish were. But once I hit a groove, they were turning out much better, and I got so many more of them. I could also stop to look at the photos, determine if I got “the shot” and move on to other areas of the reef. For this trip I was limited by the battery life, rather than the number of exposures. As you can see, I got nearly 9 times the photos!

On drawback to the underwater digital camera, the waterproofing supposedly doesn’t last forever. The instructions say to send it back in to the factory about once a year to be re-coated. I’ve owned it a little under a year, so I have no notion of how necessary this step is.

Which is better? It depends on what you want. If you’re only going to go snorkeling once, and want a few pictures to remember it by, the disposable camera works great. Otherwise, my advice would be to go with a digital underwater camera above the disposables, despite the general rule of light. You can also use it any time you go swimming, really and if you go snorkeling twice, it’s the same cost.