Melissa And Christopher - An Intimate Elopement at Kawela Bay, Oahu

Melissa and Christopher travelled all the way from the Uk to get married at this beautiful location. Kawela Bay is fast becoming one of the top destinations for couples seeking a more secluded and intimate elopement backdrop.

Melissa absolutely dazzled with her beautiful dress and her vintage look complete with bright red lipstick really popped against the green of the trees and the white sand of the beach.

Christopher looked very dapper himself, going for a creme colored suit with a light blue shirt and together they made such a perfect couple.

Post ceremony photos taken inside the forest area came out amazing, the bouquet by Watanabe Floral was very unique and almost had a christmas theme to it, perfect timing for the holidays. Again the brides lipstick and the red of the flowers really stood out against the greenery of Kawela Bay.

Im looking forward to handing over the final set of images to this lovely couple and if any of you brides and grooms are reading this and considering a trip to Hawaii for your wedding or elopement id love to hear from you. Let us capture that very special day!



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Phantom 3 Professional - Drone Review

So I am a long time fan of UAV's or Drones ever since the first DJI Phantom came out. I have never personally owned one till now as I just could not justify the cost versus how much use I would get out of it. A couple of fellow photographers had them and I got to have a play with those and get some idea of what it was like to fly one of these crafts.

I finally made the decision to purchase the DJI Phantom 3 Professional, it was an easy choice really, it shoots 4K video and does not need an extra camera like a gopro 4 to be added. DJI claims it has a 1.5 mile range through a Lightbridge connection, this is DJI's own hardware setup and allows the drone to be controlled over great distances. It broadcasts a live feed to your phone and allows full control of the craft through a remote controller to which your smart phone or tablet will attach.

Learning curve: I flew the drone in an open field for about 2 weeks before venturing out into more congested areas. What I love is that DJI include a beginner mode as standard on the craft which not only slows it down but also limits the distance out and up that the UAV will fly. Once you feel confident enough, you can use the setup option in the app to change and configure your flying modes. I have mine set to below 400 feet elevation but maxed out on distance out the drone will fly. I do not however fly the drone out of my line of sight as per FAA regulations.

 Very easy to fly as mentioned before, take time to watch as many youtube videos as you can, read the manual and practice in an open field before going anywhere with trees, buildings or people. Learn to fly figure 8's, counter and clockwise circles and in reverse.

Picture and video quality: As a photographer and amateur videographer, picture quality is very important, eventually I want to be able to use footage and stills for professional use. The Phantom 3 does not disappoint, stills quality is excellent and video at 4k is rather breathtaking. I highly recommend a ND filter as well as a Polarizer for the camera, the polarizer reduces glare off buildings, roads, water, sand and snow and the ND filter will help with difficult exposures and 'jello' effect in video which seems to plague many a drone at this price point. Link in button below:

Overall: If you are in the market for your first drone, these are the ones for you. There are currently 3 models available and prices start at $799 for the standard model up to $1349 for the professional model reviewed here. I purchased my drone from Aerial Media Pros and I highly recommend them for all your drone needs.

Pre Flight Inspection   

Pre Flight Inspection

 

Waikiki from the Hilton Hawaiian Village

Waikiki from the Hilton Hawaiian Village

Coco Palms Hotel destroyed by Hurricane Iniki in 1992 - Made famous by Elvis Presley in movie Blue Hawaii, Kauai, 2015

Coco Palms Hotel destroyed by Hurricane Iniki in 1992 - Made famous by Elvis Presley in movie Blue Hawaii, Kauai, 2015

Wailua Falls, Kauai, 2015 

Wailua Falls, Kauai, 2015 




A Blog a Day - Lulumahu Falls hike and a product review

So I have decided to inundate you with my glorious exploits of day to day life, ok maybe not as somedays are just not that exciting. 

Yesterday I went on a hike, one of my favorites to be exact. King Kamehameha's summer palace and Lulumahu falls hike off the Pali highway in Oahu, Hawaii. The ruins are amazing, a plaque at the entrance tells the story of the summer palace and how it once was the site of a 10,000 strong Luau. When you get here you will see how spectacular that must have been, given the small space. This are is very sacred to local Hawaiian people and needs to be treated with respect, I cant explain it but the energy surrounding this area is both eerie and peaceful at the same time. I have come to enjoy it and embrace the solitude.

The Lulumahu Falls hike is an unofficial hike but quite well known. The entrance takes you through a tight singletrack trail that weaves through a bamboo forest, eventually spitting you out on a wide path that you follow, down a small decline, across a sluice gate, a forest and eventually a clearing. You are now on Dept of Water land so be careful and dont hurt yourself, this may lead to the trail being closed down. Take some steps up an embankment, there is a no entry sign but keep going and just follow this trail all the way up. You will cross a stream 5 or 6 times to the waterfall. As always dont go when its raining as flash floods are common place. Be safe and dont do anything stupid. Have fun and enjoy the Waterfalls.

For the most part of my hike I used my Iphone as my image capturing device, it simple and quick and produces image quality good enough for web and instagram use. We were also on a deadline as I was with a friend who needed to be back home by a certain time. Setting up my DSLR would have just taken too long.

For the waterfall however I wanted my DSLR as I had just received a brand new Neutral Density filter in the mail and wanted to shoot some long exposure moving water shots.

This filter is a 77mm 6 stop ND filter made by Breakthrough Photography, its only 3.5mm in thickness which makes it ideal for wide angle lenses and will not vignette. When I received it I was immediately impressed with the packaging and presentation. The filter is labeled as being color neutral which is important when shooting Landscapes, some high end filter will add a noticeable color cast and you dont want this.

Setup was easy, I simply screwed the ND filter onto my Canon 17-40 f4 mounted onto a Canon 5D Mark II, tripod support by Calumet and a Manfrotto 496RC2 ball head, exposure was set for 20 seconds, 100 iso at f16. 

Lulumahu Falls, Oahu, Hawaii - Canon 5D MK II, 17-40L and 6 Stop ND

Lulumahu Falls, Oahu, Hawaii - Canon 5D MK II, 17-40L and 6 Stop ND

This area has become increasingly more popular and even though when I showed up I was alone, by the time I had setup my gear a crowd had arrived and proceeded to take over the area I was photographing. This resulted in a slightly peeved photographer and not many pictures being taken. I will return earlier in the day and capture some more photos very soon. 

On a final note, I love this new ND filter by Breakthrough Photography, the quality really shows on a well though out product and I highly recommend it to anyone doing landscapes or video work that needs a high quality Neutral Density filter.

King Kamehameha Summer Palace ruins, Pali HWY, Oahu, Hawaii

King Kamehameha Summer Palace ruins, Pali HWY, Oahu, Hawaii

Though Shall Not Pass - I love this tree, standing tall in the middle of the trail, Lulumahu Falls Trail Hike, Oahu, Hawaii

Though Shall Not Pass - I love this tree, standing tall in the middle of the trail, Lulumahu Falls Trail Hike, Oahu, Hawaii

BTS - Shot with my iphone - My view before the tourists took over

BTS - Shot with my iphone - My view before the tourists took over




Waikiki Sunset Swim

Its been a while since Ive gone for a swim in Waikiki, especially for sunset. Commitments have kept me away, mainly my Jiu Jitsu classes which is a positive thing at the end of the day. I knew the surf was up so I felt it would be an ideal time to grab my Essex Surfhousing, Dafin Fins and my trusty Canon 5D MK II with a 50mm 1.8 attached. 

I always swim out at one spot, its called Waikiki Walls and is situated at the east of end of the Waikiki Strip, its easily identified by a long concrete pier that goes out in to the ocean. I like this area as its shallow and the waves are a little more hollow. Also there is less traffic in the water as its a bodyboarding only spot. Being shallow has its downfalls as I always seem to get tore up by the reef when I'm here, but hey its worth it at the end of the day...

Enjoy the photos:

Unknown Uncle paddles out with his little dog sitting on his back

Unknown Uncle paddles out with his little dog sitting on his back

The things you see while swimming in the waters in Waikiki - hehe.

The things you see while swimming in the waters in Waikiki - hehe.


My new passion as a photographer

For a long time I have looked up to wave photographer Clark Little and Surf Photographer Zak Noyle. I wanted to be a part of a new trend in water photography, namely Waves and shooting from the water. My move to Hawaii put me in the perfect spot and now takes up most of my morning time before work. Armed with a GoPro camera and a KNEKT trigger, I venture out into the surf. It has been a huge learning curve but I am so excited to learn more. The GoPro has helped me develop my timing and swimming skills in varied conditions.

Unfortunately for large scale printing the GoPro is not up to the standard of my Canon 5D MK III DSLR. I am currently working towards a Surf Housing from the likes of SPL or Essex surf housings.

Prints are available up to 16x24 and start at $75 including shipping.

Please contact me at photobret@hotmail.com

Flickr Link to current gallery:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/bretthompsett/sets/72157644131973815/


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