Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Last Flight

Maui has a lot of tourist beaches with beautiful sand, and gentle waves generally popular with the tourists. Though I would love to stretch out on one of them, I find them boring for photographing. This is one of the beaches that has the dark, rugged lava rocks jutting out from sand towards the ocean. As I stood towards the almost edge, I hoped that the waves not scoop up my tripod and camera. They were becoming more rough by the minute. I had lost my tripod and had received two bleeding wounds when a wave shoved me on a rock in California's coast. I stood here shooting for a couple of minutes more and then hurried back, avoiding the wet and slippery rocks. After a few minutes, the place I was standing had been overpowered by the waves. The title was inspired by the birds flying out of the island at sunset. Were they flying home to Kaho'olawe, the island that you see far away? Or were they flying out for a last catch of fish?


A ten minute drive from the famous Kaanapali beach with its Sheratons, Westins and Mariotts is the cute little town of Lahaina. It is one of those quaint towns that houses some eclectic tourists spots like a giant banyan tree, and lots of small streets with boutique shops selling super expensive flimsy clothes. The homes in between these shops are rustic with grass tufts on mud & stone fences but am sure are very expensive. Lahaina used to be the capital of Hawaii before Honululu. A 15 minute drive south of Lahaina is a long stretch of a coast with unnamed beaches. People who want to get away from the crowded getaway spots come here to laze around and do nothing. I found this location fascinating because of that trees that were short and warped, appearing as though individual pieces were twisted together to form the trees. One of these was lying down dead, as though trying to reach out to water.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

What The Hobbit Saw

"How long have you been hiking?" I asked a hiker I met in Shenandoah National Park.
"57 days," he said, completely drenched in sweat, sporting an unkempt beard, wet hair, lean body frame and a heavy backpack that ran almost half his height that carried his tent along with other things.
"Wow. That's awesome. So you camp all nights?"
"Mostly nights, yes. Sometimes we stay in bunkhouses along the trail," he shrugged, as he stuffed some snack bars back to his backpack. It was apparent that he was accustomed to such questions.
"How many more days to go?"
"I suspect about 70 days," he said, "We plan to go all the way upto Maine." That would complete 2200 miles of hiking in the woods.
"Nice," I said, "Have you heard of Bill Bryson? I read his book on hiking the Appalachian Trail. Pretty good memoir."
"Oh! Yeah. He is a loser. He did not hike even a quarter of the trail,"the dude smiled wryly.

Murder and the Jellyfish

When you photograph things, sometimes you never know what you get. When I was a kid and went to a photography conference with my father, I remember a wizened old photographer with a goatee tell a story in his speech. The movie story is of a bored fashion photographer who wanders off from his models photoshoot and goes around the city photographing random things. He chances upon lovers in a park and takes their pictures. When he returns back home and prints the images in large sizes, he sees a dead body in the distant background of the photograph and the killer. And that is the beginning.
When I was busy photographing the sunrise, I missed the charming aquatic being in the foreground.