I was looking through my backlog of pictures tonight looking for something to post (when you get to work at 7:30 in the morning and don’t get home until 7:30 at night, trust me when I say you are too tired to go out with a camera), and I found this image from our family vacation to Maui.

I’m not sure how I missed this one while I was there and didn’t post it, but I clearly kept it so I could share it with you tonight.  This was another shot of the Grand Wailea Hotel’s grounds.  The sun was just going down and the lamps by all the paths had just been turned on.  It was clearly dinner time as there is nobody in the picture (I have no idea how I managed that).

I liked this path leading to the small pagoda and the sunset over the trees and the sea was kind-a pretty.  The hotel has a lot of grass grounds like this but we didn’t go to this side of the hotel very often because this was the “Adult’s Only” section.  At the end of the path is the 18 and over pool and a large lawn area with a load of beach loungers for those who luv to sun worship.  So with two kids 15 and under I didn’t go here very often.

All I’m gonna say here is that Slinky’s are dangerous!

I was walking around the some of the fresh water ponds in Maui trying to get some pictures of water lilies.  I wanted a picture of the lily as in Maui they are just so perfect.  They flower and sit on the lily pad in the water and just look beautiful.  However all the lilies I could find had floated to the waters edge and didn’t look as nice – you can probably imagine the shot I wanted, that perfect flowered stem on a number of lily pads floating in the middle of a pond.  I did take some pictures but didn’t get the shot I was looking for.

To be honest I was just shooting other plants out of frustration, I mean I came out with the camera I didn’t want to go back with nothing.  But I didn’t think I would post anything.

When I got home I was going through my pictures and came across tonight’s image.  I had to look this plant up, it’s called a Bromeliad, or at least is from that family, as is the pineapple.

What caught my eye was the fact that this plant caught and held water and had small blooms in it’s center.  I looked up on the internet about these plants and it’s all incredibly boring so I won’t bore you here, but I think they look really interesting.  They do say that you shouldn’t shoot plants and flowers and add them to your portfolio as plants are expected to look beautiful, so if you do shoot one, it needs to be especially stunning or very different.  For me this plant falls into that second category.

I took a few pictures of the plant, some with the plant entirely in the shot and others like this one where I just catch part of the plant.  I really liked this composition, your eyes are drawn to the bottom right corner and I think it makes the plant interesting as you spend a couple of seconds looking at it asking yourself “what the heck is that”?

So definitely not a typical picture, but one I really liked.  Hope you like it too.

Here we can see Master Chief and Carter clearly not following the “rules” as laid down by the hotel pool!

You can’t come to Maui to shoot a picture every day and not post a picture of a gecko.  I mean, they’re everywhere aren’t they?  What I learned was that they are everywhere when you don’t have a camera in your hand.  But if you go out and want to shoot one, well you had better bring some patience.

I posted a picture yesterday of the gardens in the Wailea Grand Resort and Hotel and would go there every day looking for one of these guys to shoot.  The first time I found one I got all excited and pushed my lens too close and the little guy bolted!  I couldn’t believe it, it took me three days to find a gecko on a leaf for a picture and the bloody thing ran off.  So I waited, and waited and, well you get the idea, I waited a long time – unfortunately without any luck.

Next time I was in the gardens I got my opportunity again, only this time I went slower.  I started taking shots from some distance away and slowly moved in.  I guess once I got a few pictures under my belt I got a little more adventurous and got closer still.  Eventually the gecko moved but he went up the leaf and I got this shot today.

When I got back to my room, I found that photographing a gecko and photographing an “in focus” gecko were two entirely different things.  Most of my images had a nice blurry gecko but the one below came out really well.

I actually had a different picture in my mind that I wanted.  Shooting these leaves into the sun captured really beautiful colors and having a gecko on the other side of the leaf poking his head around would produce a great leaf with a gecko’s face appearing around the leaf and the silhouette of the gecko’s body through the leaf.  I even got one of these and if it had been in focus I would have posted it tonight.  That said, I’m pleased with this one.

Carter enjoyed a go on the water slide, here he is hitting the water at the bottom.

I’ve mentioned (a few times now) that the Grand Wailea Resort was really big facility.  One of the areas of the hotel I haven’t really talked about are the gardens.  Directly below our hotel room are these amazing Koi Carp ponds that are surrounded by beautiful gardens.  Each morning I’d go down to the gardens to take pictures and I got quite a few that I really like.

I spent a lot of time looking for little geckos to photograph that would come out in the morning sunshine to warm in the sun.  I had one successful morning and got a gecko sitting on a huge green leaf, I’m sure I’ll post that in the future.

There are paths that take you through the gardens that cross the ponds that the are linked together and the water is full of huge Koi Carp.  The little wooden bamboo bridges you walk across and bamboo stairs that take you to different levels within the garden are really cute and there are also several little water falls joining different pools and levels together.  Also every now and then you come across a thatched roof gazebo.  These provide lovely places to chill out and avoid the direct sun in the afternoon and enjoy the serene atmosphere of the gardens and I’ve even seen people enjoying breakfast in the gazebo’s in the mornings.

A lot of the palm trees (at this time of year) have really small coconuts which are the size of a small potato.  In the evening we’d swim in the pools and find these baby coconuts at the bottom.  The kids called them potatoes and used them as dive targets to retrieve from the bottom of the pool.  The naughty thing we did with them however was take them to our room on the 9th floor at the end of the day, and throw them off our balcony into the Koi ponds – this was completely Lisa’s doing (nobody is going to believe that) and I spent lots of time suggesting it was a bad idea.  Fortunately she never hit a fish and nobody saw us or kicked us out.

Today’s picture was actually taken on our last day.  I wanted an image that had a bamboo bridge, part of a pond, a fish and a thatched gazebo in it, and ironically this was the only one I got.  I even got a tiny waterfall under the bridge.  The vibrant colors really capture the gardens and hopefully help you appreciate just how beautiful this place was.

When we got to the airport, Carter and Master Chief spent a lot of the time looking out the (very dirty) airport windows at the plane that was going to take us home.

24. July 2012 · Write a comment · Categories: Image a Day · Tags:

The Grand Wailea Resort hotel is pretty big.  It has 780 rooms, 5 pools, a lazy river, 2 large water slides, a collection of smaller slides and some rapids, numerous gardens with Koi carp ponds and a massive bar in the middle of the hotel.

One of the things that makes the hotel different (I think) is that when you walk in everything is open to the elements. There aren’t really any walls and the the main bar that’s just past the reception has no ceiling, when you look up you see the sky.   I’m sure that a lot of the hotels in hotter locations are like this but it makes it different and fun to have a drink in the hotel bar after a day in the pool with cool breeze blowing around you and stars above your head.

There are numerous statues around the bar as well and these are a little odd, I may post pictures of these in the coming days.  They are all black (probably marble I would imagine) and depict naked men and women with “traditional” Hawaiian bodies shapes and sizes.  By this I mean they are rather large (as in over-weight).   It’s actually rather refreshing to see images and statues like this rather than the traditional western super slim muscular body types we are used to seeing every day.

To add to the relaxing ambiance they have live music every night.  Usually someone with a guitar who just sings contemporary songs REALLY well.  At least I think they’re good – James may disagree.  Either way its a lovely place to end the day.

Also in the middle of the bar is this collection of Absolut Vodka bottles that are lit up with blue lights that seem to rotate around the structure (so the brightest part actually moves).  This looks really cool and you can see it from the entrance of the hotel and it definitely draws you in.  Today’s image tried to capture the Absolut structure, I’m not sure I caught it well enough for you to really appreciate how cool it was but I thought I’d post the image anyway.

While Carter was off having a swim, I caught Master Chief admiring this statue!