Travel Theme: Illuminated

Without illumination, there would be no photography.  Even the worst pictures illustrate illumination.  That being said, shooting into the sun illuminates.  When the sun is blocked, an interesting outline appears.  I scooted under a huge anchor to take this picture.

Luau Kalamaku in KauaiIf an object is translucent, it acts like a filter shadowing what is behind it.  To me this looks like a little alien carrying a pappoose pointing its finger at something.  We had gone to a Luau in Kauai.  The grounds attracted us back the next day for closer inspection.

SFW Luau Grounds030c

The night before at the luau, illumination came from man-made lights.  Since it required longer exposures, the photographer has to be careful not to move.  When a tripod isn’t available, that is difficult, but the results can still be interesting.

Luau Kalamaku in Kauai

Slow motion shows up when illuminated.

Luau Kalamaku in Kauai

Some surfaces reflect back the sun or lights when the photographer shoots toward them.  Nothing behind or underneath the reflective object is visible.

SFW Santa Monica165

I visited Santa Monica to get this sparkly picture.  My bird friend is well illuminated.

Clouds change colors when illuminated.  Cameras capture the sun as it truly is, a gaseous object.  People everywhere take sunset shots and it seems that we never tire of them.

SFW Santa Monica175

Santa Monica at sunset combined both artificial and fading natural light to illuminate the ferris wheel.

I hope you enjoyed my beachy tour of lights.  To be further illuminated, click here.

Travel Theme: Costumes

Am I too late to post a quick post about costumes?  Alisa’s travel theme for last week fits a good many pictures I have.  In my collection I have pictures of costumes with and without people.  To see the ones without costumes I have two posts, one on WP and one on Hubpages.com written about my wonderful tour of Evengeline’s Costume Mansion in Sacramento. Real people (or animals) wear costumes, so this post will focus on living models wearing costumes.

The new Marsha ???
The new Marsha ???  I photoshopped her arm joint seams, but she still looks rather … dead.

I’ll start with the last ones that I’ve seen, in Hawaii, since Lisa said she wasn’t bored with Hawaii yet.  I haven’t written this post yet, but we attended a dedication ceremony for a new building in the McBryde Botanical Garden.  Some of the people participating in the ceremony wore native dress.

McBryde Botanical Gardens, Kauai, HI

Native dress for the men included tattoos, and for some, t-shirts.

I got a little shaky taking this picture.  hahaha  I had my zoom extended out to 270 mm, and I was in too much of a hurry!  hahaha
~~~~ I got a little shaky taking this picture. I had my zoom extended out to 270 mm.  ~~~ OK that’s one excuse  haha!  🙂

The girls that sang had their costumes wrapped around them.  It reminded me of a church play, where the church costume designer didn’t really go all out with the costumes, but the cute factor was still there.

The women didn't get as into the total costume as the young man did.  Does it look like he's glaring at me?
The women didn’t get as into the total costume as the young man did. Does it look like he’s glaring at me?  It was a very solemn ceremony.

Compare the religious ceremony to a commercial situation with people dressed in native costume at a luau.

The costumes were more complete, and dramatic, even for the men.

These girls were having fun being all dressed up.
These girls were having fun being all dressed up. A little gossip passes the time nicely!   “Can you believe what ___ did at school today?”

People from all over the world love to dress up and dance.  At our CCSS Conference in March, we saw Mexican Folklorico dancers in their bright costumes and smiling faces.

These beautiful dancers were dancing at a Thai festival in San Francisco on May 12th in Union Square.

I hope you enjoyed my choice of costumes to share with you.  If you didn’t see the rest of the costumes, check out Alisa’s travel theme.

Sunday Post: Perspective: Best Luau Ever

Thank you Jake for this challenge to help me share my perspective of our luau experiences.  To learn how to enter your own posts about perspectives, visit Jake’s Sunday Post.

water-snake-2013

From my perspective the luau we attended in Kauai on Friday, May 30, 2013 was the best we ever attended.

Luau Kalamaku in Kauai
Can you guess how I got this perspective?  No I wasn’t inside a bottle!  The answer is in one picture in this post, but you will have to guess. I didn’t label it as the answer!

The concierge at our Diamond Resort, The Point at Poipu, influenced our perspective when he told us LUAU KALAMAKU was the best luau we ever attended.

We're going to a hukilau.
We’re going to a hukilau.

We felt like expert luau attenders because we have had the privilege of going to several luaus on other islands over the years. The last luau we attended we decided would be our last.  From our perspective it was a waste of money.  We spent most of our time standing in long lines.  If I had just won the lottery in Florida, I would have a different perspective on the price of luaus.  However, from the perspective of my budget, luaus are ALWAYS EXPENSIVE, and the food in every other luau tasted just ok to #@%#@% from my Midwestern taste buds’ perspective!  (Did I say that out loud?)  Not only that, luaus are always buffets which from the perspective of a husband who hates people dishing food out of the same bowls was an experience to be endured and not enjoyed.  My mother and cousin Hal would have a different perspective on the buffet style service. The luau shows have been good, we usually had a back row seat which gave us a distant, and somewhat blurry perspective.  Nonetheless, this was Vince’s sister, Cindy’s, first trip to Hawaii, and we felt she should experience an Hawaiian luau from her own perspective.

Luau Kalamaku in Kauai

From the moment we drove in, we knew this one would be different.  No, it wasn’t cheap!  It wasn’t at a hotel, however.  First of all, there was no line, and beautiful people greeted us at every turn.  The requisite picture-taking took seconds, and again more smiling, gorgeous, hardbodied people appeared to pose with us.  We then entered the huge permanent tent structure where a polite and friendly usher escorted us to our assigned table, which was about 6 feet from center stage.  Our perspective would be excellent for the entire show.  All of us at our table happened to be from CA.

We were free to play until the show started.  From the perspective of a child this would make going to dinner a great experience.  As an adult, I didn’t come in from all the activities outside until they rang the dinner bell three times.  Outside of the tent were opportunities to play original Hawaiian games.  Cindy and I both tried bowling.  You had to throw a wooden disk between the same color pegs stuck into the ground about 10 feet in front of us.  The two girls demonstrated, then we were on our own.  We both bowled 150/300.  Not bad for 2 disks!   It’s all a matter of perspective!  My worst score in regular bowling was 9/300.  (Don’t ask!)

We didn’t take time to try any other games, but walked around to the different vendors.  Soon the show started – BEFORE the dinner.  In fact it kept going while the dinner salad and bread was served.  Singing and dancing continued while each group went to one of the four smoothly running buffet lines.  Yes, we still had to go through a buffet!  There was a brief intermission after everyone had received their food, and then the main attraction, the history of Hawaii’s settlement, started two hours after we arrived.  We hadn’t even realized that two hours had elapsed.  Our perspective would have been much different if the pre-food show hadn’t been so interactive.  Vince even took me to center stage to dance with full house of romantics.

The Playbill had the gist of the story.  I’ll summarize it for you.

A Polynesian father tells his daughter, Orama, that he and her fiancé were going with the other island men to Hawaii to seek a better life.  The long canoe trip would be long and dangerous across open waters with nothing to guide them, but the stars.   He prays to Akua for safe traveling and to watch over his daughter.

Devastated, Orama has a dream shown to her by Ka Uhane o Ke Kai.  In the dream she reunites with her love, Ari, and they have a child.

The arduous journey brings the island men safely to Hawaii.   Ari, in the meantime, has a dream of dragon ladies, a fire goddess, and her lover.  (I think he was working too hard.)  The industrious men produce abundant crops and find plentiful fish in the new land of Hawaii.

Father sends for his daughter, who arrives safely, marries, and has her dream child.

This story is skillfully set to ORIGINAL music with dancing in beautiful costumes.  The dancers are both young and old, and up close and personal.  Very personal!  (but modest, too)  Even from our perspectives as haoles, the musical story clearly explained how amazing it was that Polynesians discovered and settled Hawaii thousands of years ago.  The pictures aren’t nearly as clear, but from my perspective as a experimental photographer I think they are more than cool, so I’m including them.  Don’t look for any explanations!!!  🙂

After the end of the production, the actors posed with anyone in the audience who wanted to take a picture with them.  We tried taking one of Cindy, but we weren’t ready with the flash, and after two tries without one, Cindy grabbed her disposable camera, and we tried that.  I hope it comes out!

Anyone besides me have an astigmatism?
Anyone besides me have an astigmatism?  Why doesn’t someone come up with a challenge:  Blurry But Beautiful?

Now for some different perspectives.  Neither Cindy or Vince are known for their overwhelming enthusiastic endorsements.  Both come out of the luau showering praises all over the parking lot, and in the car all the way home.  It was “wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!” Cindy exclaimed.

“It was the best luau ever – BY FAR!” Vince raved.

If you are ever in Kauai be sure to go to the LUAU KALAMAKU.  You won’t regret it.  It’s the highlight of our trip.  I hope you enjoyed it as well, complete with totally weird pictures.  🙂

Here are some pictures of the grounds we took on a different day.

If you would like to visit Hawaii, and want a rent a two bedroom resort suite with an ocean view, email me at tchistorygal@gmail.com.