Tuesday, August 21, 2012

August 21, 1959: Hawaii Becomes the 50th State

August 21, 1959: Hawaii Becomes the 50th State of the USA
Happy Birthday Aloha State!

Here's a taste of Blue Hawaii, the 50th state of the United States and President Obama's home-state...





Flying Hawaiian. Hawaiian airliner taking off from Maui airport. Photo Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Flying Hawaiian. Hawaiian airliner taking off from Maui airport. Photo Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
So, let's fly to Hawaii...

There are eight Hawaiian islands:



Map of the Hawaii Islands on a full rainbow stretching from Molokai to Lanai. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Map of the Hawaii Islands on a full rainbow stretching from Molokai to Lanai. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.



 Maui - the Valley Island - is maybe the most visited Hawaiian island. A city full of art galleries and tourists is Lahaina. Haleakala dormant volcano is also on Maui. Haleakala crater is said to be the size of Manhattan Island. It's a place from where one can witness the sunset from above the clouds, and also the optical illusion known as Brocken Spectre.

Lanai'i - the Pineapple Island - is a small island where we got to spend a fabulous day. It is known for its pineapple plantations.

Hawai'i - the Big Island - is the largest and closest to the West Coast of continental U.S.. The Big Island is home for Volcano National Park and the only live Hawaiian volcanoes. Black (volcano) and green sand beaches are also on this island.

O'ahu - the Gathering Place - is a place where history was written: Pearl Harbor, close to Honolulu (Hawaii's capital and birthplace of America's first black president, the 44th president of the United States, President Barack Obama)

While in Hawaii, I tried to learn a few words in Hawaiian...

Aloha: Hello, Good-Bye
Ahinahina: Very Gray
Anuenue: Rainbow
Mahalo: Thank You



Maui, Hawaii: Sunset at Haleakala

Haleakala reaches an altitude of 10,000 feet above sea level. That allows visitors to witness the sunrise/sunset from above the clouds. It is truly a "top of the world" kind of experience.

The dormant Haleakala crater is said to be the size of Manhattan. This giant crater holds smaller craters, as seen in the next image.

The bottom of the crater has trails, on which travelers can take horseback rides.
Sunset over one of Haleakala's dormant craters. Maui, Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Sunset over one of Haleakala's dormant craters. Maui, Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
West Maui, green, Hawaii, clouds, landscape photography
West Maui Green. Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.



Sailing Boats Silhouetted by Maui Sunset Glow. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Sailing Boats Silhouetted by Maui Sunset Glow. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Watching the Sunset from Above the Clouds. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Watching the Sunset from Above the Clouds. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Crawling on Lanai Beach. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Crawling on Lanai Beach. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.


The Big Island offers everything for everybody: live volcanoes and lava flow, smoking lava fields, serenity and rain forests, waterfalls and rough terrain (unmaintained roads, how they are called). In a poignant way, Big Island is Mother Nature's  kingdom and She is the queen--beautiful, fascinating and at times dangerous, always in charge, showing her mesmerizing power everywhere.

Visiting the Big Island, finding ourselves, literally, at the edge of the world, on a forgotten coast where there's no signal of any sort (no radio and no Internet), we were reminded of the majesty--and also the force--of Mother Nature. Thus we could rediscover its beauty and power... and relearn to respect it. 


Lava Face. Watching Live Lava Flow on the Big Island of Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Lava Face. Watching Live Lava Flow on the Big Island of Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
 There's nothing like watching lava flow, burning everything on its path to the ocean, adding to the island, creating new land, thus defining the juxtaposition between destruction and creation. Along the way it forms lava caves (the top layer solidifies, creating lava tunnels). In its solid form lava   turns black, hence the color of black, lava beaches. On these beaches, deep inside their dryness, people have planted seeds that, in time, grow into green plants.

Live Lava images were taken near Hilo, Big Island
Smoking Lava Fields. Big Island of Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Smoking Lava Fields. Aerial Photography over Big Island of Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Ahinahina ("very gray" in Hawaiian) is a strange looking plant one can find at Haleakala. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Ahinahina ("very gray" in Hawaiian) is a strange looking plant one can find at Haleakala.



Smoking Lava Fields. Aerial Photography over Big Island of Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Smoking Lava Fields. Aerial Photography over Big Island of Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.


Hilo, Big Island of Hawaii. Aerial Photography. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Hilo, Big Island of Hawaii. Aerial Photography. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.



Coconut Island. Hilo, Big Island of Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Coconut Island. Hilo, Big Island of Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.


Whale Watching in Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Whale Watching in Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.

Whale Watching in Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Whale Watching in Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.


Live Lava Flow. Big Island of Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Live Lava Flow. Big Island of Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Akkaka Falls. Big Island of Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Akkaka Falls. Big Island of Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Kona, Big Island of Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Kona, Big Island of Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Peeking Through: Lava watching on the Big Island. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Peeking Through: Lava watching on the Big Island. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.


Lava Creatures. Volcano National Park. Big Island of Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Lava Creatures. Solidified Lava forms what is known as Lava Trees. Sometimes the Trees look more like Creatures. Volcano National Park. Big Island of Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.

Honolulu, Hawaii, WWII, Pearl Harbor, tower, Pearl City
Tower from where the Pearl Harbor attack was first seen. Pearl City, near Honolulu, Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.

Hawaiian woman surfing, water, woman on the surfboard, watersports
(Hawaiian Woman) Surfing: the Aloha Sport. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Honolulu, Hawaii, hotel, resort, turning on the street lights
Honolulu, Hawaii: a local [hotel employee, I assume] turning on the street lights to guide our way to our next destination or maybe help us find our way back to the Land of Rainbows. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.





Hawaii
Having the Ultimate Hawaii Adventure. Photo by Alina Oswald.
To Hawaii, the 50th state of the United States! I look forward to visiting again, hopefully sometime soon.

Hope you enjoyed this brief Hawaii experience. As always, thanks for stopping by,

Alina Oswald
Writer/Photographer
Author of Journeys Through Darkness: A Biography
Now discounted on Smashwords

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Abstract Lensbaby Photography

Abstract Lensbaby Vampire (or not) Photography

Ever since I've first put my hands on it, a few years ago, I fell in love with my lensbaby composer. It's a small (fits in your pocket), funny-looking, 50mm lens that can do magic. I used it to shoot my favorite angel, Bethesda Angel statue in Central Park, among others. The resulting image was Angel in Central Park, now part of the permanent collection of the AIDS Museum.

But back to lensbaby photography. While many tease me about the lens, I, again, adore it, have fun with it and, while it's not like shooting with a 70-200mm, it's quite portable and can create (Photoshop-free) effects other lenses cannot.

Therefore, while trying to update my website, I've been playing with some of my lensbaby images, ending up working on some... abstract images. Here are a few of them:

My lensbaby heart series, which is also part of my vampire photography series:

Bloody Lensbaby Hearts:
hearts, blood, red, lensbaby photography, vampire photography, abstracts
Sea of Bloody Hearts: Lensbaby Vampire Photography Series. Copyright 2012 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.

Blue Lensbaby Hearts:
hearts, blue, frozen hearts, cold hearts, abstracts, white hearts, lensbaby photography, vampire photography
Sea of Frozen-Blue Hearts: Lensbaby Vampire Photography Series. Copyright 2012 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.

Queen of Bleeding, Broken Hearts, holding her trophy--a heart broken open, setting free a wave of tiny, bloody hearts
Queen of Hearts, heart, broken bloody heart, abstract photography, bleeding hearts, lensbaby photography, vampire photography
Queen of Hearts holding a heart, broken, bloody, filled with tiny bleeding hearts. Lensbaby Vampire Photography Series. Copyright 2012 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.

Queen of the Blue Hearts holding her second trophy--this time, a heart broken cut open, setting free a wave of tiny cool blue hearts
queen of hearts, blue, frozen hearts, vampire photography, abstract photography, hearts, lensbaby photography
Queen of Hearts holding a broken, blue-icy heart, filled with tiny bleeding hearts. Lensbaby Vampire Photography Series. Copyright 2012 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.

Queen of Frozen Hearts inspects her third trophy--a giant frozen icy heart, cracked open. Tiny, frozen hearts it once held inside could not escape, though, instead they remained glued, ice on ice, on the giant heart's walls.
frozen heart, broken heart, queen of hearts, lensbaby photography, abstract photography, vampire photography
Queen of Hearts holding a broken, frozen heart, filled with tiny bleeding hearts. Lensbaby Vampire Photography Series. Copyright 2012 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
More on lensbaby and bokeh in upcoming posts. Thanks for stopping by,

Alina Oswald
Author of Journeys Through Darkness: A Biography of AIDS with Photographs by Award-Winning Photographer Kurt Weston

Thursday, August 2, 2012

How to Photograph Naked Boys (Singing) on a Public Beach (Part 2)

How to Photograph Naked Boys (Singing) on a Public Beach (Part 2)
Photographing the Cast of Naked Boys Singing for the cover of Out IN Jersey Magazine


Naked Boys Singing photographed for Out IN Jersey Aug/Sep 2102 Cover by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
The Cast of Naked Boys Singing photographed by Alina Oswald for Out IN Jersey Magazine. From Out IN Jersey Magazine page click on the cover to read the Aug/Sep issue online



At the beginning of summer I had the opportunity to photograph the cast of Naked Boys Singing on Asbury Park beach for the cover of Out IN Jersey magazine. While, at the time, I couldn't share too many images, now I can. It's almost August, the Out IN Jersey new issue is out and available in print and online. 

About the photo-shoot:

While props were few, I tried to make the best use of them. I had to play with sunglasses, sweaters, towels, and swimsuits. Thing is, almost anything is possible when working with a bunch of fabulous models, a very large reflector, and other lighting and photo gear, to mention only a few of my favorite things.
Naked Boys Singing on Asbury Park Beach. h. Photographed by Alina Oswald for Out IN Jersey Magazine. All Rights Reserved.
Naked Boys Singing on Asbury Park Beach. Photographed by Alina Oswald for Out IN Jersey Magazine. All Rights Reserved.


In the image below, the Naked Boys Singing cast members display their signature... pose from the show. I added the B&W filter in post (production). Nothing else. Yes, they had their swimsuits on... at least for this image and a few more.
The cast of Naked Boys Singing photographed by Alina Oswald for Out IN Jersey Magazine. All Rights Reserved.
The cast of Naked Boys Singing photographed by Alina Oswald for Out IN Jersey Magazine. All Rights Reserved.
The cast of Naked Boys Singing photographed for Out IN Jersey Magazine by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
 The cast of Naked Boys Singing photographed by Alina Oswald for Out IN Jersey Magazine. All Rights Reserved.




































The above group picture was one of the first ones I took. Same goes for the pose. Just warming up... 

Who are the Boys in Naked Boys Singing you might ask? Well, that's David, Dylan, Chris, Ricky and Ryan. They are six fabulous, talented, funny young men who were more than happy to help me get 'the shot.' Thank you all!

DAVID

David from the cast of Naked Boys Singing. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
David from the cast of Naked Boys Singing. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
David from the cast of Naked Boys Singing. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
David from the cast of Naked Boys Singing. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.

David is fantastic! The first one I photographed. Funny, sweet, ready to help me throughout the shoot. He was there for me, in a way. He started laughing and wrapping himself in a beach towel, and then ended up dancing on the beach, in and out of the water.


DYLAN

Dylan seemed to me a relatively shy guy. At first not quite sure where to how to pose, he ended up coming up with just what I needed.


Dylan from the cast of Naked Boys Singing. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Dylan from the cast of Naked Boys Singing. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.



CHRIS


 Chris gave me this look, while partially hiding behind a huge rock on the beach. So inviting, I had to take the snapshot.

Chris from the cast of Naked Boys Singing. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Chris from the cast of Naked Boys Singing. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.




RICKY

Red-headed Ricky, by himself and in the group. He made it easy to choose him as first in line, when taking the group shots.



Ricky from the cast of Naked Boys Singing. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Ricky from the cast of Naked Boys Singing. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.



RYAN

Ryan's smile is inviting...  He knew exactly how to pose. Maybe even read my mind, hmmm.

Ryan from the cast of Naked Boys Singing. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Ryan from the cast of Naked Boys Singing. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.

 

SEPH

And same goes for Seph...
Seth from the cast of Naked Boys Singing. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Seth from the cast of Naked Boys Singing. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.


Another group picture of the cast jumping on Asbury Park beach:

dNaked Boys Singing on Asbury Park Beach. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
The Cast of Naked Boys Singing on Asbury Park Beach. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.

Hope you enjoy the read, the images, Out IN Jersey magazine feature and Naked Boys Singing show.

Thanks for stopping by,
Alina
Author of Journeys Through Darkness: A Biography of AIDS
www.alina-arts.com