Ashley and I made it back from Hawaii, and we had an amazing time! Hawaii is a beautiful place, and a bit different from what I was expecting. Traveling on a cruise ship was likely a bit different than we expected, but overall a nice way to travel. The journey home was a bit long and frustrating – a five hour wait at the Honolulu airport, followed by a six hour red-eye flight to Seattle, then a five hour wait at the Seattle airport – but we’re glad to be home. We went there with two bags, and came back with four, so we have a lot of souvenirs for friends and family, along with Christmas gifts, and a whole lot of food and goodies. As per usual, we didn’t buy much for ourselves: Ashley got some new jewelry, I found a line of clothing I really liked and bought a few shirts. The real reward of travel for us is the experience, and for me specifically, the photography. I purchased my Nikon D200 with this trip in mind, and the camera performed amazingly well. There’s nothing quite like aiming the camera at a surfer catching a wave, and capturing four photos per second – I love that I never have to wait for this camera! I have an ungodly number of photos to go through – I was capturing in RAW+JPEG for 95% of the trip, so that slows things down tremendously (and is one of the reasons I find RAW so frustrating to work with). Most of my work will be culling though – I have 6288 photos in total, so if you figure that roughly half of those are RAW files, I have around 3100 images to go through. I suspect I’ll end up with around 800 to 1000 images in the end, perhaps less once I start to compare images of tropical scenery and flowers – odds are I shot much of the same thing, only in different places. The Canon Powershot SD800 served me well as a video camera and secondary photo unit when I didn’t have time (or the desire) to un-sling the big D200. I also had a chance to test out some new gear, including a very hardcore Kata camera bag, a new hard drive enclosure with a CompactFlash slot, and my Zune got a real road-test. More to follow later, though I suspect it will be at least a week before I’ll have my photos finished. Here’s a shot below of the sun deck on the cruise ship. This is one of the only times we were up there – we didn’t even go in the pool.
I have so much email waiting for me I’m scared to open Outlook, but tomorrow I’ll dive in and try to get brought back up to speed. I’m so amazingly thankful I can rely on the awesome team of volunteers I have, which allowed me to go on this vacation. Those guys truly made this trip possible.