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  1. #1
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    Kaua'i 2012 with OM-D

    Mrs. Thinkcooper and I just wrapped a two week stay on Kaua'i. First week was in Poipu, second in Princeville. Absolutely loved the island. It's photo opp heaven. The Olympus OM-D has been outstanding. My primary lenses have been the weather sealed Oly m.Zuiko 12-50 and the m.Zuiko 75-300; both are remarkable travel lenses. Was caught in a few deluges over the stay, no problems at all with the 12-50 mounted. The camera is muddy and dusty - my favorite look for it. My wife is playing with my old EP-3 and digging it as well.

    Here's a link to a collection of sets of the full trip on Flickr. .

    Kaua'i 2012 Collection on Flickr


    Wailua River Valley


    Waimea Canyon


    Plumeria Lei on the lanai


    Crab cakes?


    Guardian of the beach


    Fern leaf spores


    Edible, not delectable?


    Nice spot for a jungle self portrait

  2. #2
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    More stuff...

    Tropicbird over Makawehi


    Hanalei taro fields


    Self portrait at sunset - Hideaways Beach


    Sunset - Hideaways Beach


    Since this trip was an alternative to being on playa for Burningman, we brought out own to burn




    Love that 300


    Cutest. Feet. Ever.


    300 plus villa in the tree canopy = win!


    Hanalei Bay, our villa is in the background


    Golden Hour - Hanalei School Garden


    Hanalei Bay sunset

  3. #3
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    More stuff 2....


    Sunset over Poipu's Baby Beach


    Moonrise over Poipu's Baby Beach (looking the other direction)

  4. #4
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    Last round...

    Kalalau Trail - slicker than snot...


    ...with views worth every step


    boards in Hanalei


    last sunset


    like


    fragant plumeria


    another turtle - love that 300 (cropped)

  5. #5
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    This was a response from a micro-four-thirds photography forum:

    Quote Originally Posted by jsusilo View Post
    Really impressive pictures, lots of good contrast, curious are you using any filter or post-processing in them? thx
    Thank you! Funny you should ask - I was going to post my workflow in a follow-up, but I'll do that in this reply instead... in short? Yes. A bit of both filtering and processing.

    Equipment edit:Again - all shot with an OMD, RAW. As for filters, I use a circular polarizer for some of the ocean close-up shots, like the sea turtles, or for cutting through distant haze on some landscapes, more often than not I don't use it though. It fingerprints pretty easy. That said. I love that polarizer. Also I shot almost exclusively with the 12-50. We got rained on daily, that lens is a charm for not fretting when on a hike or at the beach and it starts dumping. The m.Zuiko 75-300 is magical as well. With time to experiment, it was fantastic to swap the 300 on and see if details around me emerged worth capturing.

    I traveled with my MacBook Pro and a tiny USB3 external 2TB harddrive, with Lightroom 4.1 installed. Every day I'd copy over the camera's card onto the HD and sync the new images in Lightroom. To keep my images organized I use a folder structure that is Year/Month/Day set up like this: 2012/2012-09/2012-09-01/images from that day. It really helps when going back and chronicling the trip (my wife's project is to journal the details and my daily images help jog what we can't recall).

    My morning ritual continues with processing. I'm an early morning guy, so I generally get a two hour headstart on my wife. Perfect window to process. I go through the bulk of images and add the keepers to Lightroom's Quick Collection, then head over to the Develop tab.

    Once the processing is complete, I'll create a daily Flickr collection of everything in the Quick Collection and queue for upload while we are out playing. I also grab a subset of those good dailies for our Facebook Gallery - that had around 170 images total from the whole two weeks. Family and friends seemed to enjoy the daily upload and share our trip...

    As for processing, here's my workflow.

    First - I shoot full resolution 4:3 RAW exclusively. With the OMD I know I can pull at least a stop or two in either direction and correct white balance...

    ...and my philosophy? I want the images to look natural but as electrifying as they were when I was first motivated to capture them. But I want my colors to feel correct, unless I've decided to go artsy. In most cases I wanted the images from this trip to appear "natural".

    I'll look at the day's images and find one that seems to have good exposure with a good range from black in the shadows to white highlights. I set White Balance based on conditions - in Kaua'i it was mostly "Cloudy" setting. I leave Exposure as is, then pull down the Highlights and Whites and bump up the Shadows and Blacks until the image reveals all theimage's details in the outer ranges of dark and light. Then I bump up contrast slightly ~+8 to +10.

    Next I tweak the Presence settings by upping Clarity about the same amount as Contrast, perhaps a little higher if there is a lot of small details like leafy landscapes, then I'll increase Vibrance about half as much, and carefully start upping Saturation to resemble what I recall seeing when I first shot the image. I'll generally go a little further and back it down till it feels right, then see if going back up makes sense or looks too "pushed"

    Then I'll go down to the Noise Reduction controls and add an appropriate amount of Luminance reduction based on what ISO the image was shot at (for me +20 for 200 to +40 for 1600, higher settings - rarely- only if the image was shot in very dark places like inside a cave). I may add a little bit of Detail and Contrast noise reduction too... If I need to sharpen an image, I figure I failed when I captured it.

    Last step is to go in to Lens Corrections and toggle the Chromatic Aberration with a setting about half way +8.

    Then I right click on that starting image in the filmstrip display, Copy all Processing Settings and then select the whole range of photos from that Collection and Paste the settings on each one in bulk. That allows me to at least get into the approximate range for images shot that day, typically of a similar location under similar settings of light and color.

    Next step? I go through each image and further tweak settings individually based on that image's needs, starting with Exposure first, then Highlights, Shadows, etc., then adjusting the Presence. Next I move down to noise to see if that needs further adjustment. Generally it's pretty close unless the image required me to pull up the Shadows a lot. Also skintones take more careful attention to avoid getting smeared.

    Then if needed I'll tweak the individual image's Color if something weird was going on, like a deep night blue sky behind a tungsten lit interior. I'll saturate or desaturate a color depending on how the image feels...

    Last step? Crop and check horizon lines... I hate tilted horizons unless it's on purpose, but vacationing on the ocean gives lots of opps to fix that. :-)

    Once all the imags are processed, Lightroom automatically passes all he adjustments to all the images in my Facebook or Flickr collections. I start uploading to Facebook first - it's a smaller subset of images, and it reduces them so it's quicker to upload to, then when finished, I start uploading to Flickr.

    By this time I've also made coffee for my wife and I, we've had some breakfast, and we head out for the day. And my family and friends have had a day to comment and we get to have fun with responses.

    It was a blast to process and upload each days' shots on site. I encourage doing that - it is wonderful to come home and have nothing to do today but go to our local beach in Santa Cruz, followed by a bike ride in the redwoods...

    Here's an example of why shooting RAW is so critical... Pulled up shadow details, preserved the sunset and caught the moment.


    Why the 300 rules: just sitting around and these little crabs were dodging the surf.


    White balance nightmare that I feel "good" about, not great. Had to desaturate some orange and blues to bring them more in line.

  6. #6
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    Great shots. They make me want to go back to Kauai.
    "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." --A. Einstein

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigrider View Post
    Great shots. They make me want to go back to Kauai.
    Hear that Kaua'i Travel Council? I think you guys should fund our next trip in exchange for promotional photos.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by thinkcooper View Post
    Hear that Kaua'i Travel Council? I think you guys should fund our next trip in exchange for promotional photos.
    When my wife and I were there, we kayaked up onto the beach in Hanalei bay, just off the pier on the mooring side. Some producer and camera guy came up to us and interviewed us. Meant to be a clip inserted into their one of their promotional videos.

    I'm assuming we were left on the cutting room floor.
    A good habit is as hard to break as a bad one..

  9. #9
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    Beautiful photos. Looks like a great trip.

  10. #10
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    Great pictures! The wife and I went there for our honeymoon and absolutely loved it.

  11. #11
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    Just to echo others- absolutely beautiful work, thinkcooper.
    I lived on Kauai in the mid-70's and still love to visit. My family is having a small family reunion there this Christmas- your pictures have got me extra-stoked, brah!
    Capt Willard: "Every minute I stay in this room, I get weaker, and every minute Charlie squats in the bush, he gets stronger."

  12. #12
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    Lots of fantastic photos in there.

    Particularly fond of "Hanalei taro fields" and the Hideaways Sunset.

    And MissK continues to be the hottest and coolest lounge wife.
    "He groaned when we hung the rope over the tree but was relieved to see the white pinata."
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  13. #13
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    That is some fine photography. It looked like a wonderful trip.

  14. #14
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    i followed these on FB. Great shots. Thanks for sharing.

    Len



    "Evil....is the complete lack of Empathy!"

    ""We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. " Aristotle

    No one is as bad as the worst thing they have done & no one is as good as the best thing they have done.........think of that when you feel like you understand someone.

  15. #15
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    great shots. I love that Island, love Hanalei, especially when it is double over head and roping down the point
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    still not figgering on biggering

  16. #16
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    love it!
    * posted by Creakybot 2013 all rights reserved.
    * not actually waterproof.

  17. #17
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    Beautiful stuff, thanks for sharing.

  18. #18
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    Wow, I just love photo threads like this. Thanks.

  19. #19
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    Great stuff Coop!! I've been following your adventures and it looks like you and your Missus had a great time. Wonderful shots of some beautiful country. The shot framed in the palm frond is my fave.

    If I was going for a 2nd system that would be the one. The OM-D looks like a winner from everything I've seen.
    If I were to beat you senseless with a tire iron, what color would you bleed?..The Missus

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by danl1 View Post
    I'm assuming we were left on the cutting room floor.
    As long as your memories aren't...

    Quote Originally Posted by QED View Post
    Beautiful photos. Looks like a great trip.
    Thanks! My goal was a string of 14 consecutive Saturdays. No goals, no schedules, just exploring as whim took us' everyday to feel like a Saturday, and when going to bed, we'd know the next day was another Saturday. We succeeded.

    Quote Originally Posted by JRide6 View Post
    Great pictures! The wife and I went there for our honeymoon and absolutely loved it.
    Thank you! Kaua'i is honeymoon worthy.

    Quote Originally Posted by RRRoubaix View Post
    Just to echo others- absolutely beautiful work, thinkcooper.
    I lived on Kauai in the mid-70's and still love to visit. My family is having a small family reunion there this Christmas- your pictures have got me extra-stoked, brah!
    We spent a lot of time thinking about how to engineer a life in Hanalei. It's frikkin idyllic. What did you do there? Have a blast at the reunion!

    Quote Originally Posted by DrRoebuck View Post
    Lots of fantastic photos in there.

    Particularly fond of "Hanalei taro fields" and the Hideaways Sunset.

    And MissK continues to be the hottest and coolest lounge wife.
    Thanks Doc on all fronts! It was a blast to shoot out there. Lots of unique treats for the eyes. And I fell head over heels in love all over again with Mrs. TC. It was exactly what we needed. BTW, your compliment put a smile on her face.

    Quote Originally Posted by Slowhead View Post
    That is some fine photography. It looked like a wonderful trip.
    Glad to share it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Len J View Post
    i followed these on FB. Great shots. Thanks for sharing.

    Len
    Len - one of my daily rituals was to get up at sunrise and dump the card, then process and upload. I was really enjoying the share, and very happy friends and family were able to take a look day by day at our adventures. I hope to be able to fund new adventures on a more regular basis; perhaps by cutting out Burningman and treating it as a respectful commemoration on future trips we can make that happen more consistently.

    Quote Originally Posted by atpjunkie View Post
    great shots. I love that Island, love Hanalei, especially when it is double over head and roping down the point
    Thankfully surf was mellow enough so us beach dwellers could venture into it. I do have the hankering now though to really dial in surfing here in Santa Cruz. We've got all the gear, I just suck at it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Creakyknees
    love it!
    Do you like turtles?

    Quote Originally Posted by lot8con8 View Post
    Wow, I just love photo threads like this. Thanks.
    I don't contribute much these days, glad that this is one of the ways I can.

    Quote Originally Posted by VaughnA View Post
    Great stuff Coop!! I've been following your adventures and it looks like you and your Missus had a great time. Wonderful shots of some beautiful country. The shot framed in the palm frond is my fave.

    If I was going for a 2nd system that would be the one. The OM-D looks like a winner from everything I've seen.
    Thank you! I love that shot as well. I think its needs to be printed. The dynamic range is pretty remarkable on this little sensor in the OMD. Add to that being so small and easy to lug around a set of glass in a pocket or two or a small backpack, and it's an ideal travel kit. I'm very pleased with the investment in the system. Next for me is a dive case. A Nauticam, so I can do some in-water wave and tidal pool shooting or paddle board shots.


    --------------------------

    Heading into the office now, first day back... Actually looking forward to it. Cheers!

    Cooper

  21. #21
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    thank you, coop. been following all of these as well on the fb page.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by thinkcooper View Post
    Thanks Doc on all fronts! It was a blast to shoot out there. Lots of unique treats for the eyes. And I fell head over heels in love all over again with Mrs. TC. It was exactly what we needed. BTW, your compliment put a smile on her face.
    Don't know if I mentioned it on FB, but my wife wants to go to Hawai'i, and when she first brought it up I said if we go, we're staying on Kauai. Your trip cemented that.
    "He groaned when we hung the rope over the tree but was relieved to see the white pinata."
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  23. #23
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    jealous.

    The Boy and The Girl ask to go back to california every day. With those pics, there is no way i could take them to the island state and expect them to come back with me.
    I don't normally "do people." - Dr. Roebuck

  24. #24
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    Beautiful pics Cooper. We loved Kauai, but have a tendency to keep going back to Maui because we're beach freaks that like easy swimming beaches. We stayed near Princeville and it was wonderful. Off season was so quiet that we felt like we had the island to ourselves.
    “To kill, you must know your enemy, and in this case my enemy is a varmint. And a varmint will never quit — ever. They’re like the Viet Cong — Varmint Cong. So you have to fall back on superior intelligence and superior firepower.”

  25. #25
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    Nice!

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