Surf

Not netting.

We've been busy on the Big Island making sure we make the most of it and ticking off a few boxes. Kona turned out to be a sour taste for the island, considering how amazing the rest of the island is in comparison. It was full of huge resorts and condominiums, where old white lizards would grumble in their visors and whine about tedious things. We pushed on and strapped up the Asics, heading to a reef pass we saw flying near the airport a few days prior. After walking over lava for 45 minutes and a little bit of trespassing, we reached a beach with no-one around and a fun little mid-break - the colours were insane. Typical travelling scottish heritage meant a max 2 hour limit in the tropical sun before we bailed back to the car to suckle the air con teet.

The drive from Kona through to Volcano, revealed a different side to the island, where fruit and coffee stalls paved the way to rich fertile hilltops, surrounded by macadamia farms and coffee trees.

The viewing point for the Kilauea volcano is the best and only way to see any lava at the moment, where the glow plumes into the sky, through a mixture of gases. I was reluctant to admit that volcanic areas are quite monotonous when there is no volcanic activity, however plain and simple, we've done these trips before and stared at hardened lava for hours.

Next up was the drive to Hilo, where the landscape grows thicker with tropical trees and ferns and the buildings get smaller and more colourful. The town itself is like a step back in time. The food is farm fresh, the people are happy and the pace is slow. Just about every bay has a handful of turtles enjoying the sun and nibbling on peoples swimwear as they cruise over the lava reefs hidden in these bays.

There is a short 4 mile drive you can do, north of Hilo that winds around some of the craziest rainforest I've ever seen. You can literally pull over where a tight bend will allow and go for a little trek - to find water flowing down valleys.

So pretty, so fun. Well worth the walk.

A ripper organic avocado purchase at a roadside fruit stall just out of Keokea.

My pendleton and the black sands of Punaluu Beach Park.

Honoli'i setup.

Kilauea volcano breathing at 7:30pm. With semi-long exposure and a beanie as a tripod (ultimate rat dog).

Old lava flow in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

A local turtle named 'Radar' cruising east of Hilo.

Walking the paths through the rainforest of Papaikou

Driving through the rainforest, north of Hilo.

Oahu last daze/Big Island

I got to jump in the water and shoot some water photos yesterday for the first time on the North Shore which was pretty fun/scary. The swell died down enough to jump out at Rockpiles and shoot a 5-6ft NW swell. I definitely swallowed a few big gulps of water with the standard triple sized sets coming through clearing the lineup. A couple of light scrapings on the reef made me realise how nuts some of the OG water photogs are that frequent that stretch of beach on big days and how quickly my asshole can tighten when I'm in fear. Onto a new island today - the big island of Hawaii. The plane landed over a runway that was cut through fields of lava next to some really clear bays. We checked in with our Air BnB hosts and hit Kahaluu Beach Park for some snorkelling and people watching - it was cool and full of all walks of humans, most floundering around itching dangerously close to sea urchins.

Bomb rolling through Rockpiles on the first day shooting water with a 24mm lens.

Yesterday turned into a fun park with 3-4 foot ramps on the shore.

Fading day on Keiki Beach

Fresh lei vending machine, Honolulu Airport.

Kahaluu Point, looked suss for snorkelling but turned out amazing.

Underwater scene at Kahaluu Point.

Oahu

We landed into Oahu this morning after an all-nighter from Sydney yesterday arvo. Planes gross me out in general, but when you're sitting on there with a few hundred strong, frugal vacation-bound travellers it can be nek-level fucked up. Anyway, we made it into Honolulu and headed straight to Waikiki in our VW Beetle to freshen up and check the sights. First up Ala Moana, to see where my childhood idols (Kainoa, Aka) surfed and to go for a walk and get some blood flowing. Next up was Waikiki beach, where we hired some mals and surfed a marshmallowey outer reef. There were some turtles popping up from the reef which kept Kel busy while I got to surf a fun left.

After we cleansed the soul of Jetstar's economy marinade, we got in the car and headed straight to the north shore. We arrived into the back end of a fading 30 foot swell with leftovers in the 10-15ft range throughout the afternoon at the more exposed spots. Pipe had 3rd reef waves coming through and I could think of so many other people I'd rather be than the guys out there, but they really put on a show. Waimea was a bit wonky and looked like a great wave for pippie hunting if you're into diving 25m deep under a set.

We finished the day being little piglets by hitting the Waimea Valley markets for some shrimp curry and watched people get smoked in the shorey. Sitting here typing this, it's crazy to come back the the house and feel the house shake from the waves hitting the reef out the front of the place.

Kelly-Shaw-Volkswagen-Beetl

Andre-Botha-Pipeline-Surf

Jon-Jon-Florence-Respect

Log-Cabins-Surf

Waimea-Valley-Farmers-Markets

Waimea-Shorebreak-Sunset

Watching people scrap for the horizon when second and third reef bombs came through caused a little bit of anxiety.

Dense-Tree-Waimea

Woman waits for public transport on the highway, surrounded by lush green.

Flora-Waimea-Valley

 

Maroubra Summer

It's been crazy hot in Sydney lately. Living in the city, there is always a need to get rid of the city grime and the closest place to do that (least traffic) is Maroubra. Yesterday was in the mid-30s and today is supposed to hit 38-39 in Sydney. Maroubra is a cultural melting pot and a great place to people watch while you are cooling off.

ChillBra

LadyMcMahon

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KelBra

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My 5 favourite VSCO images from 2015

I use VSCO on my phone, just for a bit of fun and to relieve boredom in waiting rooms, on transport etc. The ease of editing photos on your mobile makes everyone a photographer (see instagram). Nevertheless it's a pretty rad app and comes up with some cool results at your fingertips. Here are my 5 favourite images from my VSCO library in 2015, uploaded from my phone, most probably in low-res. ant, mound, danny armstrong photography, australia, desert

surf, photo, danny armstrong photography, bw

tasmania, explore, binalong bay, bay of fires

 

Kelly, Hot Springs, Darwin, NT, Explore, Danny Armstrong Photogrphy,

Muslim, Mosque, Sydney, Religion, White Coats, Danny Armstrong photography