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Monday, August 11, 2014

Weekend of the Super Moon

Waikiki Under the Super Moon

After the week's hurricanes passed Hawaii, the tropical evening was turned into a time to catch the 2nd "SuperMoon" of the season. The phenomenon "is the coincidence of a full moon or a new moon with the closest approach the Moon makes to the Earth on its elliptical orbit, resulting in the largest apparent size of the lunar disk as seen from Earth." (Wikipedia).

Technicalities aside, the night afforded for some great picture taking at Ala Moana Beach Park. Enjoy the photos that I have of the night lights from Honolulu. All photos copyright Melvin Ah Ching Productions. (2014)

The Evening's Super Moon
The actual moon! Shot with Canon S5 iS.

Honolulu Morning Light

Honolulu City Lights (above early morning shot)


Light Patterns from 2 Planes

Light streaks from passing aircraft. This area is about 3 miles from the airport.

Hilton's Refreshed Rainbow Tower

The Hilton Hawaiian Village wears an updated Rainbow mosaic that is well lit.

The Yacht Club @ Ala Wai

Night shot of the Yacht Club at Ala Wai Boat Harbor.

All photos were shot using a Canon S5 iS super zoom camera. Tripod mounted. Long exposures. File under "photography".

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Iselle Hits Hawaii - Julio Slated to Miss

Hurricanes Iselle and Julio

Residents of Honolulu dodged a major bullet after Hurricane Iselle slammed into the Big Island of Hawaii with winds of up to 90 mph this past week. While the hurricane's impact to Oahu was minimal, residents of the Big Island were adversely effected.

From Wikipedia:

Upon making landfall on Hawaii, Iselle became the first tropical cyclone of at least tropical storm intensity to make landfall on any of the state's islands since Hurricane Iniki in 1992, and the first to do so on Big Island since 1958. Moving ashore, Iselle brought damaging surf along the east coast of the island, and strong winds unroofed homes near Hilo and downed trees. These winds also felled power lines, causing widespread outages impacting roughly 21,800 electricity customers. A geothermal plant in Puna released toxic hydrogen sulfide gases upon losing its power sources, prompting officials to urge an exodus of the immediate area. A water treatment plant in Kula on Maui also shut down due to power failure, prompting the conservation of water supplies in that area.

Reports from family and friends on the Big Island indicated plenty of rain but minimal gusty winds (along the Hamakua Coast), a long lasting power outage (Honokaa) and to add insult to injury, a 4.5 magnitude earthquake occurring the same morning (August 7) of the hurricane strike. My sister in Honokaa reported that she felt it, but overall there was no damage from the temblor.

Meanwhile the most impact to Honolulu / Oahu from Iselle came on Friday, August 8 after the hurricane was downgraded to a tropical storm.  State and County offices including all public schools closed for the day. Parks as well as several major shopping centers and businesses also closed for the day.

I roamed the Waikiki - Kapiolani Park - Diamond Head area for some photos that morning. For the most part there was very minimal winds, some sunshine, a lot of tourists milling about and a short burst of heavy rain up in Diamond Head. See photos below.

Overall Hawaii dodged a bullet.

Meanwhile Hurricane Julio which has been slightly downgraded to Category 1 as of this writing, is moving on a northwesterly track and is expected to miss the islands completely. That is good news.

Tropical Storm Iselle 8-8-2014

Storm clouds obscure the morning sunlight near Kapiolani Park.

Tropical Storm Iselle 8-8-2014

A drenching rain falls near the Diamond Head lighthouse.

Tropical Storm Iselle 8-8-2014

A jogger caught in the rain.

Tropical Storm Iselle 8-8-2014

Big rain near the Diamond Head lookout.

Tropical Storm Iselle 8-8-2014

Very minimal winds at Kapiolani Park.

Waikiki Hawaii - Tropical Storm Iselle

The sun did peak in the morning offering this small rainbow visible from Waikiki.

Last Minute Buying

Panic buying the day before the hurricane.

No Water For Sale

Bottled water was in very short supply. Next time stock up early!

All photos except the satellite view at the top of this post taken by Mel. Satellite imagery courtesy of NASA. More photos on Flickr.

Here are some quick tips for the next time a hurricane threatens Hawaii.

1. Prepare early. As the disaster experts say, get your 7-day preparedness kit ready long in advance before a storm hits.

2. Buy devices that use AA, AAA or 9 volt batteries. As I was shopping this week I noticed nearly all of the D size batteries gone. Many stores had the smaller batteries. There are flashlights, radios and other battery operated devices that use these types of batteries.

3. Fill Your Vehicle Up With Gas - Always a good idea to have a full tank of gas on hand just in case the pumps don't work for like days.

4. Fill your empty plastic bottles with tap water - Duh? Why the rush to buy cases of bottled water? If you have containers that can hold water just fill them up from your faucet. Tap water is still drinkable, easily available before the storm and allows you to not go to the store to stand in long lines or see nothing on the water shelf when you get there.

5. Have and maintain a landline telephone. Yes, many people have ditched their traditional landline telephone. Guess what? These phones usually work when the electric power is out. Cell phone towers require electricity to pass on signals. No power. No cell phone reception. Who you gonna call???? By the way, if you do have a landline make sure you have a telephone that doesn't require AC power to operate. The simple ones that just plug into the line work best.

6. Weather radio: One of my favorite sources for weather related news and bulletins is a radio that receives around the clock broadcasts from the NOAA. You can get one for as little as $25, maybe less. I have an old Sony that receives AM / FM / and VHF. The weather frequency is on the VHF band.

There are many other tips I could mention. These are just a few.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Best Photos for July 2014

Starting this month, I'll highlight some of the photos I've taken over the past 30 days. Most of these are posted on Flickr.

4th of July Fireworks

Post Fireworks Traffic

July is always a month for celebration and this year was no different. The founding of the United States of America is first and foremost on everyone's mind on the 4th of July, a national holiday that has been celebrated now for more than 230+ years. As usual in Hawaii, spectators on all islands were treated to aerial fireworks such as the one shown above, only to be later stuck in traffic after the events were over. Still it is a great way to celebrate and remember the founding of these great states of ours, of which Hawaii remains and will always be the 50th. God Bless America!

Nash Metropolitan

I recently spotted this well taken care of Nash Metropolitan, a compact car from the 1950s that is well known of its somewhat odd design and two-tone paint job. This red and white one was spotted on Punchbowl Street in Honolulu.

Paint the Sky With Color

Hawaii residents are blessed with beautiful sunny skies and colorful sunsets such as this that I caught while on a walk along Young Street in Honolulu.

Sunday Evening Sunset

This is another sunset shot taken a few days later near Keeaumoku Street.

Early Morning in the Neighborhood

I like night and evening shots using available light. This was taken early one July morning shortly before dawn broke. The night scenes are in the Ala Moana / Pa'awa area of Honolulu. I sometimes walk around with my Canon 600D which does good with handheld night shots using available light (next 2 photos below too).

Early Morning in the Neighborhood
Early Morning in the Neighborhood
Ellison's Yacht?

And finally I caught this yacht tied up at Kewalo Basin on July 27. I suspect this belongs to Oracle CEO and owner of Lanai Island, Larry Ellison. Anyone know for sure? Drop me a comment.

All of the above photos and more than 16,000 others are available for viewing on my Flickr website. A question recently posed to me was "am I a photographer?" I sometimes have my doubts because a lot of pictures I shoot, I often think are just crap when compared to others I have seen online. You tell me.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Best Local Political Ad of 2014

Haven't commented much about politics lately on this blog. However just want to note that Lt. Governor Shan Tsutsui's 30 second TV spot is warm, entertaining, different and right on. Plus he's a good guy. I'd vote for him over anyone else in the Lt. Governor's primary if I pulled a (D) ballot. August 9. Coming soon.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

New Honokaa Rodeo Stadium Dedication Kicks off Western Week

The County of Hawaii will bless and open the Rose Andrade-Correia Stadium in Honokaa on May 19 at 10 a.m. Invitations like the one above have been sent out to the media by the county.

Honokaa's annual Western Week gets under starts on May 19 and continues to May 26. The rodeo lasting over two days will highlight the festivities that are also marked with a parade, chili cook-off and dancing.

Honokaa Western Week on Facebook