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full-time travel & nature photographer. 1st to shoot all 59 US National Parks
Location: San Jose, CA
Added to CircleCount.com: 07/20/2011That's the date, where QT Luong has been indexed by CircleCount.com.
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QT Luong has been shared in 167 public circles
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2013-06-19 22:06:07 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 18 +1s)
Unlike the main Vietnamese population, members of the Khmer Krom ethnic group who live around Tra Vinh practice Theravada Buddhism rather than Mahayana. To create a more intriguing perspective, I photographed this group against a large mirror.
2013-06-18 19:53:23 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 37 +1s)
Spirit house on small pond. Tra Vinh, Vietnam
2013-06-17 22:48:34 (3 comments, 9 reshares, 68 +1s)
Woman paddles boat loaded with fruits and vegetable, Phung Diem. Can Tho, Vietnam. Situated one hour away from Can Tho, this floating market is still relatively little visited compared to others.
2013-06-16 18:46:36 (1 comments, 2 reshares, 28 +1s)
Khmer-style Ong Met Pagoda. Tra Vinh, Vietnam
Tra Vinh is a pretty town of the Mekong Delta, remarkable for the 300,000 members of the Khmer Krom ethnic group who live around, remnants of the time when the area was part of the Khmer Empire.
2013-06-15 21:22:22 (6 comments, 1 reshares, 54 +1s)
Can Tho, Vietnam riverfront at night, as seen from window of hotel room (tip: lean two legs against windowsill)
2013-06-13 20:54:31 (5 comments, 1 reshares, 43 +1s)
Grapefruit on tree in Ben Tre, Vietnam
2013-06-12 17:11:17 (2 comments, 12 reshares, 29 +1s)
I've just uploaded my "Hawaii Volcanoes" time-lapse video on YouTube at 1080P. Please have a look and reshare if you like it.
Behind the scenes notes: http://bit.ly/1a4ABdt
2013-06-11 20:06:06 (2 comments, 2 reshares, 32 +1s)
Tombs in a flower nursery in Sa Dec, Vietnam. In Asia, there is definitively a different attitude towards death than in the West.
2013-06-10 21:04:01 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 84 +1s)
This moment was captured in early morning in Tra Vinh (http://bit.ly/11bsoh7) part of the last update to my gallery of images of Vietnam.
2013-06-08 19:58:23 (4 comments, 7 reshares, 75 +1s)
This is the Mokuaikaua church in Kailua-Kona, oldest in the Hawaiian Islands. The color is a bit strange because the tungsten street lights were extremely warm, but it reminds me of HDR photos that some seem to like :-)
2013-06-07 20:15:42 (12 comments, 21 reshares, 141 +1s)
Since one of my goals has always been to inspire you to visit the places I depict, I'll conclude my posts on Hawaii Volcanoes by mentioning that if you want to see an ocean entry, it is a good time to visit. It's still going strong after six months, and pretty accessible.
Here's my guide to visiting & photographing lava in Hawaii http://bit.ly/12KOxWJ
2013-06-06 19:10:28 (2 comments, 4 reshares, 62 +1s)
Mauna Loa (world's largest volcano) summit crater bordered by 600 feet cliffs at night in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This is the closing scene of new timelapse video: http://bit.ly/10OPKMG Please check it out and share if you like !
2013-06-05 18:07:16 (1 comments, 4 reshares, 75 +1s)
Mauna Loa (world's largest volcano) summit crater bordered by 600 feet cliffs at sunrise in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This is the opening scene of new timelapse video: http://bit.ly/10OPKMG Please check it out and share if you like !
2013-06-05 01:45:31 (7 comments, 4 reshares, 23 +1s)
I've just posted my first time-lapse video:
Hawaii Volcanoes on Vimeo: http://bit.ly/10OPKMG
What do you think ? If you like it, I'd be grateful if you share !
2013-06-04 02:01:16 (10 comments, 7 reshares, 108 +1s)
One of the most beautiful places to watch a sunrise: Haleakala crater above a sea of clouds, a frame from my time-lapse short to be released this week.
2013-06-02 18:49:22 (0 comments, 5 reshares, 54 +1s)
The distinctive shield shape of Mauna Loa, as seen one island away from Haleakala in an opening in clouds: another sequence of my upcoming time-lapse short.
More on clouds from Haleakala: http://bit.ly/11buwEl
2013-06-01 21:42:23 (9 comments, 9 reshares, 86 +1s)
I am putting finishing touches to my first short movie. Set in Hawaii Volcanoes, it features scenes never seen before in time-lapse. Here is one of the frames.
More about photographing lava in Hawai: http://bit.ly/12KOxWJ
2013-05-30 18:52:00 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 38 +1s)
Happy Anniversary, Everglades National Park. I've always visited during the winter, but this year, I'm going to brave heat and mosquitoes in the middle of summer for the sake of the thunderstorms and associated light.
PS: anyone know where to rent cheaply a motor boat in Miami ?
2013-05-29 20:15:13 (0 comments, 2 reshares, 60 +1s)
Question for Miami area residents
Do you know where I can rent a motor boat inexpensively for navigating Biscayne Bay ? I'll be around at the end of July, and I'd like to check out Boca Chica in Biscayne National Park, but at that time the concessionaire boat doesn't run there. The closer to Boca Chica and the least expensive the better.
2013-05-29 01:53:32 (4 comments, 5 reshares, 18 +1s)
I will be giving a talk about my National Parks project at the Contra Costa Camera Club in Pleasant Hill CA in two days.
2013-05-28 19:00:29 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 65 +1s)
Have you heard of the Pig Fence "trail" in Pinnacles National Park ? It does deserve its mention on wikipedia, as one of the steepest trails: like Half-Dome with barbed wired instead of cables.
The fence was completed in 2003 to prevent feral pigs from destroying the park. At 26 miles long (cost: $40,000/mile), it is the longest such fence in the US. I connected the South Wilderness Trail and Chalone Peak trail by following a 2 mile section of the fence which gains 2000 feet. I got some adventure (didn't see a soul for 12 miles), a good workout, and nice views over the Salinas valley, especially in its upper part on the South Chalone Peak.
2013-05-28 01:26:39 (6 comments, 4 reshares, 90 +1s)
The High Peaks of Pinnacles National Park don't look so high when seen from Chalone Peak (highest point in the park). During the day, it was very warm, but at sunset, even wearing four long-sleeve layers of clothing, I could barely stay warm in the wind.
Because this was photographed with a telephoto, despite using a reasonably-sized series 2 Gitzo tripod and hanging a 20+ lbs bag to its center column hook, I had to raise the ISO considerably. I took many exposures, knowing that only a few would turn out sharp enough.
#mountainmonday curated by +Michael Russell
#nationalparksmonday curated by +Juan Pons
#landscapephotography curated by +Margaret Tompkins
#naturemonday curated by +Rolf Hicker
2013-05-26 22:37:28 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 72 +1s)
Driest winter/spring ever on record, but even late in the spring, this Friday, I still saw some nice wildflowers in Pinnacles National Park during South Wilderness/pig fence/Chalone Peak loop hike.
2013-05-23 18:29:43 (9 comments, 6 reshares, 105 +1s)
If you live in the Dakotas or know them well, a quick question for you: for storms with great skies and lightening, would the 2nd week of June or 1st week of July be better ? Is it that much better to make it worth it contending with more heat and crowds ?
This picture was photographed in Theodore Roosevelt National Park on 3rd week of July. I've read there are more storms earlier in the summer, right ?
2013-05-22 22:47:41 (9 comments, 8 reshares, 111 +1s)
Friday night will be full moon, and with Yosemite Falls flowing, could be another good opportunity for moonbow images. With less flow than in this image, one may even be able to capture it without a rain deflector. More information on how to do it: http://bit.ly/MYssxa
2013-05-22 01:16:10 (21 comments, 5 reshares, 136 +1s)
I received today a request by the Yosemite Conservancy to provide free images for use in a book. Yes or No ?
Yes: I support the Conservancy and in the past I have donated a large framed print for their fundraising efforts. It's a good cause and a way of giving back to the Park that has given me so much. The book is written by my friend Dayton Duncan. Since the Conservancy is a publisher all proceeds go towards their efforts for the park.
No: the Conservancy, like other conservation organizations, compensates other photographers for their work.The primary income of a "conservation photographer" comes from working for non-profits engaged in conservation, doesn't it ? Both the National Parks Conservation association and the National Parks Foundation licenses from me. The request was not made by the Conservancy itself but by a "publishing consultant" working on... more »
2013-05-21 19:19:18 (2 comments, 2 reshares, 41 +1s)
A cone called "Hershey Kiss" punctuates the immensity of the Mokuaweoweo crater floor on Mauna Loa summit, with early morning light accentuating the texture of hardened lava flows.
More about this adventure http://bit.ly/Z1Io9u
2013-05-20 20:07:59 (2 comments, 3 reshares, 64 +1s)
My image of Mokuaweoweo crater from the summit of Mauna Loa is the first I've seen which was photographed at sunrise. Read more about the journey here: http://bit.ly/Z1Io9u #mountainmonday
2013-05-19 18:51:27 (5 comments, 4 reshares, 68 +1s)
On Mauna Loa's summit's dry atmosphere, the sky shined with exceptional clarity the brightest light source being the glow of the Halemaumau vent. Camping there let me create a night-to-day time-lapse, almost certainly the first one recorded there.
Read more about this adventure: http://bit.ly/Z1Io9u
2013-05-18 17:37:11 (2 comments, 5 reshares, 65 +1s)
Because Mauna Loa, largest volcano on earth is of the shield type, I expected a flat expense at the summit. Instead I stood at the very edge of vertical cliffs six hundred feet tall, way above the spectacular caldera floor where ripples of hardened lava looked like waves in an ocean. More: http://bit.ly/Z1Io9u
2013-05-17 19:30:48 (2 comments, 2 reshares, 43 +1s)
I expected the hike to Mauna Loa to be monotonous because it is all lava, but I was surprised by the variety of colors (reds, greens, blacks) and textures (smooth and rough) in the lava landscape, all visible in this image. More: http://bit.ly/Z1Io9u
2013-05-16 05:15:20 (9 comments, 13 reshares, 176 +1s)
With new G+ design, vertical images look good, so I am going to start posting some, whereas in the past I stuck to horizonal. For details about how you can photograph a lava ocean entry, go to http://bit.ly/12KOxWJ
2013-05-14 20:39:23 (1 comments, 2 reshares, 16 +1s)
Surf, Isaac Hale Beach. Big Island, Hawaii
2013-05-13 18:51:00 (5 comments, 4 reshares, 44 +1s)
Kiholo Bay is one of the most beautiful spots on the coast of the Big Island, Hawaii, but it takes a bit of research to get there, as it is accessed through an unmarked trail. With a few hours to spare before my flight, I visited in the morning, although mid-day light might actually be better.
2013-05-11 18:29:37 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 37 +1s)
The seldom-visited Mauna Loa Overlook in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park provides, from a distance, one of the most interesting views of the Halemaumau crater and plume (super-telephoto required !). The light there is best at sunrise.
more around and above Kilauea: http://bit.ly/ZEURv0
2013-05-10 17:59:01 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 51 +1s)
The one-mile Kīpukapuaulu trail – another rainy day favorite in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park – explores a hot spot of biological diversity, with more native tree species per acre than any other forest in the park, like this Ohia which formed a natural arch.
more around and above Kilauea: http://bit.ly/ZEURv0
2013-05-09 18:23:42 (4 comments, 4 reshares, 40 +1s)
The Kilauea Iki trail is one of my favorite trails on the entire Big Island. It starts in the rain forest. You go suddenly from the ancient forest to the newly created maw of the crater floor, where just a few plants cling to life. The contrast couldn’t be more dramatic.
2013-05-08 17:54:02 (3 comments, 1 reshares, 40 +1s)
In rainy weather, one of my favorite spots in Hawaii Volcanoes NP is the short hike to the Thurston Lava Tube. The Tube itself is not great to photograph, but on the way you cross one of the lushest spot in the park, a wonderful rainforest with giant ferns towering above your head (check large image to appreciate texture).
2013-05-08 10:51:26 (7 comments, 20 reshares, 128 +1s)
After photographing the lava ocean entry, my other main goal in this sea-to-summit trip was to hike to the top of Mauna Loa. Altitude sickness is a frequent problem for hikers going from low elevations to the summit. In order to acclimatize a bit, I spent some time around and above the Kilauea area of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Shot backlit at sunrise, the otherwise ordinary-looking Steaming Bluff took an ethereal quality.
2013-05-06 18:28:32 (9 comments, 4 reshares, 74 +1s)
As it wasn’t raining when we departed, I forgot to pack my rain cover. It started to rain heavily at the ocean entry. My 100-400 got wet and unusable for the rest of the trip. I had to send it to CPS where they diagnosed it as “submerged in water” and charged hundreds dollars for repair. I am still glad to have taken the boat tour for the different perspective, interesting images that I managed to squeeze out and experience.
Learn more about photographing lava ocean entry: http://bit.ly/12KOxWJ
2013-05-05 18:13:58 (12 comments, 7 reshares, 86 +1s)
During my lava boat tour, the conditions were very challenging for photography. The seas were so choppy and it was so dark (because of the rain clouds, no pre-dawn glow nor sunrise, although there is always the "blue hour", as in this image) that I used mostly my 24-105. The boat was rocking so much that longer focal lengths were problematic.
Learn more about photographing lava ocean entry: http://bit.ly/12KOxWJ
2013-05-04 22:02:02 (6 comments, 4 reshares, 89 +1s)
Although working from the land will provide the best opportunities for photographing lava, because you can use a tripod and lower shutter speeds, a boat tour can provide you a different angle not available from the land. In particular, you are able to photograph lava flowing down cliffs that are difficult to see from the land, as well as reflections in the water.
Learn more about photographing lava ocean entry: http://bit.ly/12KOxWJ
2013-05-03 18:01:39 (6 comments, 0 reshares, 67 +1s)
Beautiful but dangerous: the plume formed when lava hits the ocean contains sulphuric acid, hydrochloric acid, and all sorts of bad caustic stuff. The trade winds normally blow consistently towards the southwest, but as you can see here, the wind can change direction. I enjoyed the swirling pattern, but I kept a respirator handy in case it would engulf me.
2013-05-02 19:34:02 (10 comments, 8 reshares, 83 +1s)
In between showers, the clouds parted to reveal the stars for a brief moment. There were also only a limited amount of times when the lava flow had an interesting configuration without spots too bright to be captured in a single exposure. Most of the time, the bright light of the breakouts would even cause lens flare. I am positive that out of the whole night, this image was possible only for a few instants.
30s f2.8 ISO 3200 Nikon 14-24 on EOS 5D mk3
2013-05-01 18:29:00 (3 comments, 2 reshares, 40 +1s)
This was photographed from the Blue Sky Tank (also seen in the previous image). It holds almost a million gallons and takes a day to fill-up. When not in use for water shots, it is just a parking lot.
2013-05-01 00:37:13 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 24 +1s)
On Friday, I attended Paris Photo LA, the new Los Angeles version of the leading photo art fair traditionally held in Paris. With 60 exhibiting galleries, many publishers, an excellent program, there was plenty of art to see. This didn't keep me away from making my own photographs, though, as I found the venue, Paramount Pictures Studio (last major studio still in Hollywood) to be very interesting as well.
2013-04-26 13:02:37 (12 comments, 30 reshares, 111 +1s)
It's prime moonbow time in Yosemite - and maybe the only opportunity this year - but since I got decent images last year (you can see my write-up and photos at http://bit.ly/MYssxa ) this year I'm going to skip the Yosemite moonbow scene and instead head to LA for 1st LA edition of Paris Photo (hope to meet William Eggleston at book signing) then Sequoia NP foothills.
2013-04-26 12:01:35 (28 comments, 89 reshares, 292 +1s)
For lava photography, the time around sunrise and sunset, extending to twilight is by far the best for photography. During that time, brightness differences between lava and land or sea are small enough that both can be properly exposed in a single exposure: there is enough ambient light that you can see details in the landscape, but it is dark enough for the lava to glow. For photographing the cascades of lava pouring into the ocean, such as this image, you will want a telephoto lens, since you won’t be able to get close.
2013-04-24 19:39:38 (10 comments, 7 reshares, 81 +1s)
The sight of glowing lava cascading into the ocean to form new land, as clouds of steam rise from the dynamic meeting, is one of the most mesmerizing I have ever witnessed. This winter, I traveled to the one place where this can be observed readily, the Big Island of Hawaii.
While the sight is most dramatic at night time, I was surprised at how difficult it was to photograph then. Because of the extreme difference of brightness between the flowing lava, the illuminated steam, and the land and sea, multiple exposures are needed. Those exposures are not easy to blend: since the steam is constantly shifting, you are not dealing with a static scene.
2013-04-23 18:51:04 (3 comments, 3 reshares, 80 +1s)
This time in the Mojave National Preserve I spent my brief time to photograph the Joshua trees in bloom (see yesterday's post), so here is an image of the Kelso Dunes from a previous trip. Those tallest sand dunes in California are one of my favorites location in the Preserve. They are much more peaceful (and have less footprints) than the Death Valley dunes.
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