The Joy of Looking Back at the Glory Days of Kodachrome

 California Chickens, circa 1977

California Chickens, circa 1977

I took it upon myself recently to rummage through some of my old film files and began reminiscing about the good old days of Kodachrome. These barnyard chickens were photographed with this film on a Nikon Ftn, with what I believe was a 28mm f3.5 Nikkor lens, sometime around 1977.

For a positive film emulsion it was unparalleled in its ability to render color with beautiful contrast and saturation.

It's kind of a shame that we photographers can't create the same kind of images with today's digital technology.

I don't care what others might say about the quality of today's advanced digital equipment, including camera phones.

None of this can replicate the true subtlety and ethereal qualities of film, and especially Kodachrome.

The Perils of Living on the Big Island

 High above old lava flows of Mauna Loa

High above old lava flows of Mauna Loa

Once again I am reminded of the chance people take by living in certain areas here on the island. Currently the danger zone is in Puna where as to date over 80 structures have been consumed by the fast flowing lava.

Many years ago the same basic area of Kilauea's East Rift Zone erupted and inundated and destroyed homes near Kalapana at the Royal Gardens subdivision. This activity also wiped out the road that led to Volcanoes National Park from Kalapana up the Chain of Craters road.

When I started this journal entry several days ago the lava had not reached downslope to the sea. Now a beloved area of mine, Kapoho has been wiped off the map, buried over by 10-20 feet of lava. Kapoho Bay: Gone. The Beautiful Tidepools: Gone. And now hundreds of houses destroyed displacing many island residents. Super sad. 

This is the example of the powerful work of Pele, Hawaiian goddess of fire who has the ultimate say as to what goes where, especially on the Big Island. She has the power to destroy and renew. 



 Before the 2018 onslaught: A pleasant evening from a shoreline near Kapoho Beach Lots

Before the 2018 onslaught: A pleasant evening from a shoreline near Kapoho Beach Lots

The Beauty of Clouds


I'm thinking of starting a new project that will only deal with clouds. That's it, no land forms, no seascapes, no wild life. Just water vapor and air.

Almost every day here in Hawaii the sky presents  a new look. It is never the same. Kind of like fingerprints of people; no two clouds are ever alike.

My grandfather was always into taking photos of cloud formations in Oklahoma--especially the big thunderheads the would menace the afternoon and evening skies. He mainly shot Kodachrome and we would sit down monthly for the big slide show after dinner. It was a real treat. 

Something that is fascinating here is the many layers of different types of clouds at various altitudes. You can see low stratus below cumulus below alto cumulus below cirrus. And they can be moving different directions at different speeds.

I have a goal of one year for this project and I plan to produce a book at the end of it. 

Keep checking back for cloud updates! 

New Life, Kona Hema Preserve


On thing that seems to remain constant on the slopes of Big Island volcanoes is the regeneration of plants. 

This example was discovered on the western flank of Mauna Loa in the Nature Conservancy's Kona Hema Preserve. 

Ferns are usually the first forms of life that arise from the lava and eventually make up much of the forests under canopy. 

I like the way the new growth of ferns contrast against the decaying background of its ancestors.  Deep in the shadows, the brilliant green stands out brilliantly.

Hawaii Considers Banning Sunscreens on Coral Reefs


There's a move afoot in Hawaii state government to ban common types of sunscreens from ocean environments because research is showing this is a contributing factor to the death of corals.

in a recent article by CBS News experts warn that a UV filtering ingredient ozybenzone is the main culprit. This agent has a powerful effect and even at incredibly minute dilution rates. Just an ounce of this chemical in volume the size of a swimming pool can have consequences.

If Hawaii lawmakers pass a bill banning the use of these sunscreens it will be the first state to do so. There alternatives to using products containing oxybenzone; primarily ones that contain titanium or Inc, these are safe. 

My Take:

It's about time the Hawaii state government steps up to the plate on this issue. This is just one of many areas of conservation that direly needs to be addressed in Hawaii. There are other coral reef areas in the world that have had sunscreen bans in effect for decades. I remember stepping on to a snorkel excursion in Xcaret in Mexico many years ago. The staff were actually searching your belongings for sunscreens as they weren't even allowed on the boat. And this was Mexico.  

What with the myriad other impacts on corals like bleaching and rising sea water temperatures, any efforts we can take on a local effort is important.