artist

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Living out in the middle of the Pacific ocean has it’s advantages,

clean air, clear skies and on Maui a 10,000 foot volcano offer never-ending opportunities.

A photographer by the name of  Wally Pacholka inspired me to give it a go a couple years ago.

Click here to see those shots.  

I’ve been hooked ever sense. Moon shots, night sugar can burns, planetary events and of coarse starry nights.

But none have generated the response this shot of the Milky Way over the top of  Haleakala.

I’ve been getting asked quite a bit about the recent Milky Way shot:

Is this for real? How did you do this? Is this Photoshopped? Is it HDR? Did you use fill lighting? And what were the settings?

Here are the stats… Canon 7D, 16mm fish-eye, 30s, 2.8, iso 1600 – a couple seconds of my headlamp for the foreground,

a couple second with a spot light on the building. Camera on the ground (on wadded up surf trunks to be exact – forgot my sandbag :)

2s timer – Processed in Camera Raw 7.0 CS6 – Here is a screen shot of bridge showing the default raw file and the finished jpg.

Screen shot in bridge. Here you can see the raw file and the edited jpg, also some of the other takes that evening.

Let me know if this is helpful…

Thanks for all the all  likes, shares, comments and interest in this picture on FB.

Subscribe to my Facebook page here :)

12×18 Aluminum Print with a Natural Edge Koa and Mango Frame

Custom prints and frames are available.

 

 

  • Koa is the most beautiful wood I have had the pleasure to work with. The color, texture and amazing three dimensional depth, put it in a class of it’s own. A variety of the Acacia tree family, unique to Hawaii. It grows to be eighty plus feet tall, from sea level to near the tops of the mountains. Unfortunately it is also rare, having been cleared for cattle and burned to process sugar in the late 1800’s. There is a movement to restore it, but that’s another story.

  • The wood that I use for my creations comes from “windfall” trees, downed by the forces of natural. None of the mills I work with cut live trees, so it is often difficult and expensive to come by.
  • This particular  piece of wood is from a tree from the upper slops of East Haleakala on Maui. It had been on the ground for a while, so it had begun to decay. This process called “spalting” can add dramatic color and depth to the wood.

  • When I’m looking for a piece for a rocker, there are two things I look for, structural integrity and dynamic patterns in the figure and curl. I look for natural curve in the grain for the runners and solid straight grains for the support components, as well as distinctive patterns and curl for the arms, seat and headrest. This can take some time, at $45-$65 a board foot (12″x12″x1″) you don’t want to make a mistake.
  • After selecting the raw slabs, I lay out the design (each chair is different, as I do not use stock templates) and rough cut the various components. These pieces are stacked in my drying shed to stabilize. After two months they were ready to be shaped and sanded to a near finished point before assembly.
  • Each component must be hand fitted to ensure tight joints. This process takes weeks, as each section is glued and cured. Each rocker’s wood has a different weight and balance point that must be careful worked out before the final glue up. I use a marine epoxy and waterproof glue,  so it needs to be right the first time. I let the glued up chair sit for a few weeks to cure and stabilize before finishing.
  • The next step is to sand the entire chair over and over, applying thin layers of lacquer sealer until all the grains and joints are baby bottom smooth. A final lacquer finish is sprayed and a hand rubbed wax and oil is applied.
  • My goal in a rocker is to create a piece of furniture that is both comfortable and aesthetically pleasing, revealing the amazing beauty of the wood.

Aloha,
Mike

This chair was SOLD at Native Intelligence 

September is an awesome month for Maui Sunsets!

Hi, my name is Mike and I’m a woodaholic.

You can ask my wife, I cannot pass up a slab of Maui’s amazing hardwoods. It started at yard sales, a piece here, a piece there, till I had to build a shed to store them. Then I found the mill, oh my, the “candy store” for someone with woodlust. I began hanging around the millyard (100s of logs and piles of slabbed wood) looking through every pile looking for just the right piece. Whether it’s Koa, Mango, Monkey pod, Norfork Pine, or Opeuma, I love um all.

I also love driftwood. Whenever we have big storms with heavy rains, you will find me searching the river-mouths for chunks of battered and beaten pieces of wood. So anyway, now my backyard is piles of wood, every nook and cranny in the shop is piled high.

Woodlust, ya I’ve got it, because wood “speaks” to me. I mean, I see a piece a wood and it says “rocker” or “fish sculpture” or “treasure box”, it lets me know what it wants to be. Every piece of wood has a story, in this section of the blog, I will share the history of the wood and the process it took to become what it “told” me to make.

Aloha,

Mike

Looking down at the Ko’olau Gap from the N. East slopes of Haleakala.

Lobelia Grayana

Lobelia grayana

  • Rare and endangered plants are a new subject for me. My friend Pat Bily of the The Nature Conservancy (a self proclaimed “plant geek”) has been patiently pointing out the native plants in the Waikamoi Preserve. The Lobelias are one of the food sources for the native birds of Maui . In 3 years of hiking past this paticular plant, I had not seen it bloom. So when I heard it was flowering, I had to have a look. WOW – beautiful! It was lightly raining, but I had to shoot, as a family of I’iwi were working it.

Keiki I'iwi - Lobelia Grayana

I’m a Plant/Bird Geek in the making :)

Full List & Pictures of Hawaiian Plants by Forest and Kim Starr