10 days in Waikiki (Day 2): Expert Photographing Tips in Waikiki

October 16, 2018

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I have two days before the ADA convention starts so I decided to meet Nicole, a family and wedding photographer in Honolulu, to get some professional tips in photographing. We met at the entrance of Honolulu Zoo at 7:30 in the morning, I found Nicole already waiting for me, I readily like her the first time we say hello, soft-spoken and polite.

I have the classic Nikon D90 and a 50mm lens (1:1.8G). I noticed Nicole have a Canon and 50mm lens (1:1.4G). Mine was a handed down Cam  from my eldest son which coincidentally his first camera and was bought from Honolulu year 2009 🙂 yep! brand new, if I am not mistaken D90 came at the later part of 2008 replacing D80. At first my Cam didn’t cooperate well, huh! after all the blurry photos I’ve been getting was not from my hand but rather from the camera itself 🙂 Isn’t it D90 has a built-in auto-focus motor?  I know…I can hear you..all excuses huh! She suggested that I should maybe tune it up or just buy the body, anyway I already have a good lens with me. Carrying this big camera was also heavy, hmmm maybe I should just consider buying an Iphone X. what do you think?

I am hobbyist in photography and I would like to learn how to use it in manual setting. I always consider myself as a beginner in DSLR  (digital single lens reflex)camera. My son would always like to note that having a good camera is one thing but to have an eye and a story is another thing , of course this is not his words, I just gathered my interpretation of what he told me. However, being in a right place and point the camera in the right direction and at the right time with emphasis on lighting will give a good if not better photos. Right?

Maybe 🙂

Anyhow, let’s talk about the ‘Exposure Triangle”

ISO – measurement of a digital camera sensor’s sensitivity to light

Aperture – the size of the opening in the lens when taking the picture

Shutter speed– the amount of time the shutter is open

Hence, its early in the morning and we’re outside, my ISO was set at 200. It was a beautiful day, from the zoo , we walk towards Waikiki beach. My aperture was set at F2.8 and F5 depending on what I want to achieved. My camera was acting like crazy so Nicole told me to set it to Aperture priority.

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So, if it was cloudy or dark, I would increase my ISO to 400 or 800 or even higher. The higher the number, the more it is sensitive to light but the images would be higher in grain or noise.

Aperture  is the “F’ or F- stop or F/number. My camera was set to aperture priority, so the shutter speed is automatically chosen by the camera. When I choose F2.8, the opening of the lens is bigger, the smaller (shallow) the depth of field (DoF) meaning only a part of the image will be in focus and the rest will be blurry. I love to take photos of flower so this was a good tip for me, I can focus on the petals and the rest of the parts like leaves are fuzzy. If I want to have a bigger focus I will increase to F5 or F11 and all the images will be clear resulting to a bigger (wider) depth of field.

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Before we end the one hour walk, Nicole was able to figure out what was the problem with my camera and as I walked home, I tried many settings. Hence, it’s a 50mm lens, I have to move closer to my subject to get a clearer image.

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Though it was a short meeting, I totally enjoyed the company and the experienced having to walk with a professional photographer like Nicole.

Ladies, if you would like to know more about Nicole click here

Cheers,

Jamilamimi@beautybeyondfifty

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10 days in Waikiki (day 1) Airbnb

October 15,2018

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It was a long flight from Jeddah to London to Chicago to Los Angeles and finally to Hawaii. How many hours?

From Jeddah to Heathrow (5 hrs) to Chicago (9hrs) to LA (5hrs) to Honolulu (5hrs) total= 24 hrs plus lay over , roughly a total of 36 hrs! WOW:-)

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I arrived around 12 noon in Honolulu, I decided to take a shuttle bus (USD 16) instead of Uber taxi (USD 32), it was an easy ride to airbnb. Yep! I got airbnb at Hawaiian Monarch Hotel (USD 85/day) not bad, the photos in the app looks exactly as it is. It is only a 10-15 min walk to Hawaiian Convention Center – venue for the ADA (American Dental Association) annual meeting, the reason why I flew 36 hrs from Jeddah. Omg!

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I familiarized myself around the area checking how long it will take me to the venue, shall I wear high heels or flat shoes? Trying to gauge my pace and at the same time looking where is the nearest grocery stores etc. It is a good location after all, there is 7/11, Abc store, restaurants, hotel, spa and shopping malls. I don’t have to take a taxi, everything I need is just around the corner. Good choice!

The place is also secured with a lock key card, no one can get in the elevator without it. There is security guard 24/7 a small gym a coffee shop and a small breakfast resto at the lobby. The studio is good for two people, it’s clean but I found the floor sticky so I texted the owner and she did address my concern immediately, cleaning the floor twice. Pretty neat huh! The studio is equipped with a small Fridge, microwave, iron and ironing board, towels ,basic kitchen wares and a lot more!

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Ala wai canal – is an artificial waterway in Honolulu. Hawaiian monarch Hotel is just adjacent to it. A lot of people walk and jog along the area. There is a rowing team that practice almost every afternoon, though the water may not be as clear, it’s a good place to just sit for a while, instead of staying inside the hotel.

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After an hour walk, I decided just to stay in bed and tried to sleep to regained my energy. I wish! but I couldn’t, it’s an emotional roller coaster first day for me.

Ladies, stay tuned for the next nine days 🙂

Cheers,

Jamilamimi@beautybeyondfifty

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Mermaid’s Secret Haven – airbnb

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Photo credit: Edge Suarez

AirbnB – stands for airbed and breakfast, but that was then …today you can actually rent the whole place and make your own breakfast. 🙂

I heard about airbnb from my two sons, the first time I was going to visit them in Los Angeles. It’s cheaper than hotel and it feels like your home, but I want to feel like I’m on vacation… I don’t want to cook my own meal, clean my place, I like to stay in a hotel.

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Photo Credit: Edge Suarez

Try mom!

Alright! We stayed one week in Sta. Monica, the host is kind and the place is neat and clean, though I still think , hotel is way better but if you’re thinking to save some money for shopping 🙂  airbnb is a choice!

This is the second time I tried airbnb, this time in Hawaii for two weeks. My children would like to feel local, ok ladies, I am not rolling my eyes but my kind of holiday is like..staying in the hotel, spa,guided tours and shopping, I guess that’s my definition of a tourist. (in my own vocabulary)

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Photo Credit: Edge Suarez

What is like being a tourist and a local at the same time?

 

One thing is to rent a house far away from where the tourist usually crowds. I rented “Mermaid’s Secret Haven” in Kaneohe,Hi. Indeed, the place is far from the airport and a car is a necessity . If you have used the airbnb app, the pictures are exactly what you can find at Katrina’s place. I find her very charming and polite host.

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welcome treat from the host

It’s a one bedroom/bathroom apartment which is attached to the main house but has a separate entrance. It is complete with all the things you need while on vacation, plenty of different kinds of towels, even picnic basket,cooler and snorkelling gears are available.

Though the place is far from the centre, it is a few minutes drive from the malls and nice beaches around the island. Nearer to the North shore and Kailua beach.As the days passed, I really didn’t feel that was a far place.

I love the serenity of the place, the garden …though it was raining every now and then, I had the chance to enjoy my coffee outside and taste the sweetness of the freshly pick papaya every morning, it was heaven to my palate. Thanks Katrina!

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Photo credit: Edge Suarez

This is our family photo on rainy days inside the Maiden’s secret haven. I love it!

I’m looking forward to another family holiday,another adventure.

Will I use another airbnb?

Hmmm… maybe yes..maybe no!

Cheers,

jamilamimi

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Thought provoking… Honolulu Fish Auction

At first when I heard from my son, Chef Kevin, he wanted to see the Fish Auction in Honolulu, I was bewildered! There’s a lot of scenic tours around the island why at the Pier 38?

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4 Am mom!

What? Why? Are we going on fishing? Are we selling fish? Why 4 am?

Do we have to take part in auction?

What about the smell?

Well, this is his holiday gift so I just went along with the idea. We woke up at 4:30 and was at Pier 38 5:30 am, the auctions starts at 6 am. Thought provoking? Yes!  you can say that again, a lot of things in my mind 🙂  Anyhow , as I see the excitement on his eyes , I begun to feel excited too!

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nice smile!

IMG_6618To my surprise, the place is clean and I hardly smell the fishes.Before going in, we passed through a small board with water ( i’m assuming it is mixed with disinfectant) .  I noticed a small portion of the fish tail is cut off and I learned later that it was done to show the color of the meat i.e.: bright red is fresh, streaks of white indicates high fat content and if brown, oxygenation has taken place. Would you still buy it? The guide said, are you going to eat it raw? or are you going to cook it? It depends 🙂

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a small piece of meat is cut off from the tail to show the freshness
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This is me just goofing around..

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Why are we wearing headset? Well, with all the people around trying to bid, it would be hard for us to listen to the guide. The auction is done like in the wall street trade but instead of suits,hand gestures and screaming, auctioneers are in jackets and boots,quickly moves in rows of fish and speaks in steady fast manner.

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The most common is yellow fin tuna and big eye tuna, but they also have opa – moon fish

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Well, I’m happy that I went along with chef Kevin’s idea. I enjoyed the tour as well. And here are the few things I learned:

-Tuna contains the mineral selenium (selenoneine) which is antioxidant and together binds with the mercury which lowers the risk of mercury-related problem. When we eat tuna we likely get the same antioxidant protection.

-Interesting to note, and tricky too :0 Tuna has a higher mercury content than other fishes so it was advise pregnant women should avoid eating it, but other researches shows when pregnant women eats more tuna, the kids are more smarter.

-Hawaiian name for big-eye tuna- (Ahi) yellow fin, blue fin (maguro)

After the tour, we had breakfast at Nico’s Pier 38 IMG_6632

 

I enjoyed the tour as well 🙂  I had a better idea of what is going on in an auction like this. I  also have a better appreciation of the fishermen and the chefs who have gone through fish searching , so we can savour the menu on the table.

Way to go!

Cheers,

Jamilamimi

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My Oahu Escapades – Hanauma Bay (part 3/5)

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Another day to explore, another OMG! :-0 I can’t refrain from saying the word “nice” every-time we got out for a ride and explore the island.

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Again, we didn’t catch up with sunrise and I don’t think will ever be 🙂

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Though we arrived early, we didn’t go down to snorkel. Hanauma Bay is great for snorkelling. It is sheltered from strong currents and waves. People starts to come as early as 6 in the morning.

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Under the tire of one the cars parked in the area, I’ve seen two small creatures fast-moving around.  It was not easy to take the shots but I tried. These small animals are called Mongoose  known also by its Hawaiian name of ‘lole manakoke.

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Hanauma Bay Nature preserve and Beach park is 30 minutes drive from Waikiki

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I have settled not to go down because of the spectacular view on the top. So beautiful, so blue and green.. so refreshing..

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Even the grass flowers are so stimulating..

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I took 3 shots and didn’t use filter to alter the background. It’s really beautiful!
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Ladies,this place is amazing, I definitely would love to come back and try to bring our own snorkelling gadget, see the under the sea creatures and not the mongoose 😉

Of course..underwater camera here we go 🙂 .. beautybeyondfifty will research on the best waterproof camera. Any recommendation?

will be coming back soon!

Cheers,

Jamilamimi

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Trio

I took this picture on my recent trip to Polynesian Culture Centre in the Islands of Hawaii. Although every village in the Island had shown their culture through dancing, this three Samoa dancers took my attention because of their vibrant energy while dancing.

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<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/trio/”>Trio</a>

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My Oahu Escapades – Nu’uanu Pali Lookout (Part 1/5)

My Oahu Escapades started at Downtown Honolulu, a walking tour from Kinau St. to a glimpse of road to Queens Medical Centre , State Capitol building ,Lolani palace, Hawaiian Mission Houses ,Hotel St. , Art Museum to Al Moana Blvd. And before the sun goes down, we drove to Waikalani drive to Pali point, a breathtaking view of Oahu’s Windward coast.

Lolani Palace
Lolani Palace-the former residence of the Hawaiian monarchs (1882-1893)
Hawaii Mission House
Hawaiian Mission House, includes three restored houses, two of which are the oldest houses in Hawaii
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During World war II, it was told that women coming from the mainland were working in Hotel St, a block of brothels that charged 3 dollars for three minutes.
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Honolulu Museum of Arts
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absolutely beautiful!
absolutely beautiful!

And of course, I won’t leave Waikalani without taking photos of flowers along the road 🙂

The drive to Pali point was as exciting as the sceneries and the wind, oh my! It was windy and cold but I love every minute of it. After all, Pali point is known for strong and howling wind!

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remains of the pali road
remains of the old Pali road

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Mokolii – a pointy island, the locals call.. Chinaman’s Hat

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and more flowers along the sides 🙂

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I took this photo to show how the grasses swayed along the gust of wind. really? hmm it doesn’t look like it 🙂

Ladies, to enjoy the scenery comfortably, bring along some heavy shirts to protect yourself from the cold wind, there’s no entry fee but a $3  for car park is a must.

Cheers,

Jamilamimi