My vacation is nearly over and I haven’t accomplished even 50% of what I intended to including treating myself to a massage at the Grand Wailea Spa. However, I did check one very important to do off my list. I attended a beginning digital photography class at Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center.
I don’t have any practice shots to show you yet from my Canon T3 (that are blog worthy that is) but I did snap a few instagram shots of the center so you could see the beauty of the Hui’s property. The first day was cloudy and rainy so I shot the building and the pool during a drizzle with grey skies. The second day was sunnier so I took that opportunity to snap a shot of the series of stick sculptures by the Hui’s 2011 Artist in Residence, Patrick Dougherty.
The Hui is a not-for-profit located in Makawao, Maui, whose mission is to unlock creativity through exceptional visual arts education, translated as “people coming together for a common purpose- for the development of artistic skill and the wisdom which derives from that expression.” They aim to ensure that access to the arts is part of everyday life on Maui. The Hui offers community based educational opportunities for visual art instruction. It sits on the historic estate of Kaluanui which was built in 1917 for its founder, Ethel Baldwin.
I felt inspired by the history of the Estate and its beauty. Our class was taught by Aubrey Hord, a Maui wedding and portrait photographer. Aubrey is full of life, energy and passion. The class was intimate in size (eight students) so she was able to give each of us individual attention. She explained the technical and mechanical concepts of digital photography in a step by step way that I could finally wrap my brain around (I’ve been struggling trying to learn how to use my camera via self study these past six months). I’ve always thought of myself as not a very technical person. I embrace learning the technical aspect of a new tool or skill as a necessary evil, the means to a desired end result. After class with Aubrey though, I can say with enthusiasm that I now find the technical aspect of photography incredibly interesting.
Wait now, what I was supposed to be blogging about? That’s right, without further ado, here’s the top ten things I learned on my vacay (photography plus a few choice nuggets from my in-between class adventures):
- What exposure, ISO, shutter speed, aperture and white balance mean and how these factors all work together to pull off a great photo. The concept of balance, when one goes up or down, the others also need to be adjusted.
- How to manually focus my camera. Did you know there is a ring at the front of your lens (the focus ring)? Because I didn’t. Ok, you can stop laughing now. This was my “there is no stupid question moment” because I was not the only one in class who didn’t know this. Let me tell ya, this was life changing information for me.
- There is a <$500 option for a good macro lens that will help me achieve my lifestyle blogger macro dreams. Can you picture it (no pun intended)? Tight & sharp shots of food, flowers and tabletop decor with that great blurry out of focus background (known as bokeh, which is now part of my everyday vocabulary).
- The Hui has a wonderful gift shop. Their well merchandised collection includes beautiful pottery, jewelry and art created on Maui rounded out by fun options like Tokidoki collectibles.
- Polli’s in Makawao makes a mean seafood enchilada.
- Mercantile in Makawao has a well-edited selection of super soft, luxurious and casual ready-to-wear including pieces by James Perse and Soft by Joie. They also carry cool prints, cosmetic bags, magnets and wallets by Papaya Art.
- I’m not bad at gift buying but suck at delivery. It is already Thursday and I have yet to mail my already significantly delinquent baby gift even though I’m on vacation.
- The Native Intelligence shop in Wailuku is absolutely gorgeous. When you first walk in, you are drawn in by the monkey pod floor and all its beautiful variation of color and texture. Native Intelligence is Hawaiian practitioner driven. The jewelry, clothing and wood working products are made in Hawaii and are of high quality. The dedication and passion of the artisans are evident in every piece.
- Wailuku Coffee Company has smooth coffee, a great vibe and ono food (the tomato, basil and feta quiche was perfect).
- The best time to go to Costco in Kahului (by best time I mean a time when the risk of getting into an altercation in the parking lot over limited spaces is slim to none) is the late afternoon on a weekday (well, I’m not sure about Friday, that could be an exception).
Have a happy Aloha Friday everyone!
If you’re wondering about the status of my spa day, I’m still not sure if I’ll get a massage tomorrow or not. When you want to buy a macro lens, a wide angle lens, a R camera strap, a monopod and a fill flash, spending the hard earned cash on a massage suddenly seems less important.
Source for Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center background and mission via their website.