So, how’s my Note 8?

It’s fine, thank you. I don’t have any complaints and if pushed, I’d be hard-pressed to come up with something I’m not happy about. Blazing fast, lots of customization, handles pretty much anything I throw at it. However, readers of this blog are likely to only care — if they care at all — about one aspect of the Note 8 . . . the camera.  

Well, I’ve been taking odd photos here and there, and I aim to show those in the next few days. Today, I want to share stuff from the middle of December. Specifically, two movies from December 14, when I dropped in at the Pine Tree park beach area (a. k. a. Koanaiki Beach Park) and also stuff from my December 17th visit to the Place of Refuge ( a. k. a. Puʻuhouna o Hōnaunau NP)

Yes, slow motion is about to come your way . . . 

It was a very windy day. So windy, that it was difficult holding the phone steady because the gusts of wind were working hard at getting me to lose my balance and fall on the lava. The lava was also in on it, providing an uneven platform for me to stand on. That’s why — despite the guide lines on the screen — the horizon occasionally goes off horizontal. 

I also had my P900 with me, but those photos are for another post. Here’s the second video from the Note 8. 

I like the way the Note 8 lets me control which parts are shown in slow motion, lets me control the speed of the slow motion (normal speed, ½ speed, ¼ speed, ⅛ speed), and lets me make multiple versions from a single movie. 

I would have loved sitting on the shore snapping photos and taking videos for a few hours, but we had errands to run. 

That Saturday, December 17th, we decided to take a drive down to the Place of Refuge. One reason was the relatively mild temperature (low 80s) and the other was the exceptionally clear sky. If one has read my previous posts from the place, one might have noticed it’s usually cloudy or — at the very least — voggy. (HERE and HERE)

I began my visit with a specific purpose . . . to evaluate the combination of using the Note 8 for macro and wide shots and using the D7000 with the 70-200mm f/2.8 lens for anything requiring any kind of zoom. The D7000 photos will appear in future posts. The content of this post all comes from the Note 8. 

One of the features I’ve not photographed much at the Place of Refuge is the murals. In part, it’s because they are under the overhang of a walkway and recessed from the opening, so they are poorly lit. But now I had the Note 8 — pretty good in low light — combined with a brighter than usual day.

The shot above is a panorama from two shots. If you have a good Internet connection, you can click HERE for the full-size version (5.0 MB). The full-size version will open in a new tab or window and you can then click on various areas to zoom in and out (one click to zoom in, one click to zoom out; repeat).

You can also go to the associated SmugMug Gallery HERE and see all the photo at any desired resolution up to “original”.

Honest, I never really stopped to listen to the narrated history associated with the murals. The visual history seems to hint at the conquest and unification of the island, with perhaps giving a nod to the Tahitians who settled here. That’s focusing on the ancestors of the current (few) native Hawaiʻians. Recent history has a lot more mix-and-match when it comes to people who have a right to consider themselves natives. 

As much as some Hawaiʻians see American and European immigrants as invaders and destroyers of the culture (many people here hold on to culture with a strong passion), they are descendants of people who basically did the same thing to the original Polynesian before them. Really, point to any area of the world, and what you see is a succession of cultures overrunning each other. Still happening, but now we play with bigger and deadlier toys. 

Sorry, didn’t mean to sidetrack into social, political, and economic fields. Where were we? Right, murals. Here’s another panorama (I think it’s from three photos) showing . . . well, I don’t know. Looks like people waiting in line for new iPhones, but I could be mistaken. Regardless, interesting mural. 

Once again, click HERE to see the 11MB original version. Once open, click on individual parts to zoom in and look at details.

Same with these next photos. This is a single photo:

. . . while this is a composite of a few photos . . . 

and one can click HERE to see the full-size version (3MB) and examine the details of the wood carving.  

Anyway, the Note 8 was with me to both take wide-angle views . . . 

. . . and macros.

Did you notice the bee? Remember, you can click the photo for a larger version to open in a new tab or window. Here are a few more photos with the bees better represented.

Those don’t look much like fruits and flowers, but . . . 

Here are more wide shots . . . 

Well, Bob, let me pause here and tell you something: as far as blog photos go, the Note 8 seems perfectly adequate in giving me sufficient quality and it combines a fair amount of versatility. 

I’ve shot these fellers before but I think this first one is not usually shot from the front (leaning over and holding the phone out and using a voice command to snap the photo).

The posterior shots are also not bad. It shows this feller guarding the approach from the bay. 

He’s obviously got a bum leg . . . still not someone I’d want to tangle with. 

Especially since he’s got these fellers backing him up . . . 

From here, I headed out to the tide pools. The D7000 and 70-200mm lens proved useful for shots of the fish swimming in the inlets and the various pools and yes, those too will be shared in future posts. 

The Note 8 was used for the close-ups of the denizens of these little microcosms.

Those are static captures but these little habitats are dens of activity.

As you watch this next video, keep an eye out for what I think is a crab that perfectly blends in. The only reason I noticed it is because the hermit crab forced it to move a claw and I only noticed it when watching the video. 

This is me holding the phone just above the water and trying to not cast a shadow on the scene. 

From there, I proceeded to the edge of the ocean for some videos. Most of these are under a minute and split into a segment at ½ speed and a subsequent segment at ¼ speed. I could go slower, but most readers don’t have the patience for anything over a minute; two minutes is seen as pushing it. As it is, I suspect few people will watch these (at least going by the number of views for previous slow-motion videos I published). 

No, I’m not trying to shame anyone into watching these. I’m explaining to the people who are interested as to why they don’t see the ⅛ speed version.

At this point, I turned my attention to waves. Me do likes waves. We’ve yet to see the kind of monsters that were common last December and January (photos will come, I swear) but I still get a kick out of watching the ocean breathing. 

Now, it’s always a little frustrating sharing these videos because it’s not as immersive as being there. The sea breeze, the rush of water, the vastness of the surroundings on the senses . . . on the other hand, I can’t “see” in slow motion and that makes up for a little of what’s lacking from the actual experience.

As I process these videos, I’m learning what looks decent and what doesn’t. For instance, I personally think the ⅛ speed videos are the better choice, but only if something interesting is going on. I will probably gravitate toward shooting shorter videos of specific events and showing them at the slowest speed possible. 

Meanwhile, as I sat there, I noticed a couple of blowholes. This is one of them. It’s not as dramatic as I would like, but it’s a decent view.

In the short time that I sat filming, the amplitude of the waves seemed to diminish. Like I said; I’m waiting for the monsters. Still, I do like this next video. There were a couple of times when I thought I would have to scramble. This, despite the fact that the rocks I was sitting on were dry (a good indication the waves won’t reach me).

Here’s the second blowhole. Again, nothing dramatic; I should have gotten to it sooner. 

As short as these are, I should probably have made them even shorter to help people make the time investment. Next time. 

On the way back, I noticed that some of the places where I had been able to jump from lava rock to lava rock and cross into mini-peninsulas by going over water were now submerged. I did have water shoes on, but I don’t particularly like walking around with wet feet in wet shoes. The return trip to the park proper and the car required a long detour around some of the ruins. I was in no danger of being cut off from land, but it’s something I’ll keep in mind; check the tides when wandering out onto any uneven lava shoreline.  

On the way back, I stopped and took a few photo of the tiki statues from a different angle. Usually, this angle includes people milling around but I happened to catch a quiet moment and a quiet area. Lucky me.

You know, I think I named them once. I mean, I’m old and feeble-minded, but I seem to remember giving them names. I’ll try and retrieve them from the memory banks but I’m not too optimistic; it could very well be I made up the memory whole cloth just because it sounds like something I might have done. 

If I don’t remember by the next time I visit, I’m (re)naming them anew. 

So, dear readers, what do you think of the captures? I mean, it’s not museum quality, but I’ve either mellowed in my old age, or these are pretty good. If you have an opinion, let me know below. If you don’t have an opinion, consider forming one. If you really don’t care, pull a Jayne and make something up.

Here’s a music video for you to play while perusing the gallery below. This piece, by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, used to sound amazing on the system I used to have. In fact, that CD is what I would put on when wanting to show the clarity and power of the Accurus components combined with the Vandersteen 3 speakers. 

Here’s the gallery (minus the videos and the full-size photos) . . . 

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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