Category Archives: Travel Photography

Pictures of Tulum, Mexico pt. I

Wow! Where has this year gone? We’re already near the end of June and I still haven’t posted any pictures of trip to Playa del Carmen y Tulum, Mexico earlier this year.

I had the opportunity to join a number of local divers who where traveling to the area with our friends at YSS Dive to dive in the Caribbean and in some of the Cenotes. For those of you that don’t know what the Cenotes are a type of pit, sinkhole, cave/cavern created by the collapse of limestone bedrock, exposing groundwater underneath. They are typically, and most commonly, found in Mexico. but there are also known cenotes in Australia, Belize, Canada, Dominican Republic, the USA and Zimbabwe. The cenotes that we were at were, obviously, large enough and deep enough to dive in.

First up were a couple of dives in the Caribbean. The seas were kind of rough (the weather on those days wasn’t great) and we were in small boats but still managed to get a few dives in including one to the wreck of the Mama Vina where we encountered a rather large Bull Shark (it was not a threat at all).

After those, we went inland and dove at Dos Ojos and Dreamgate Cenote. While I have had a number of dives in the open salt waters around the western hemisphere, I have never dove in pitch black, dark, freshwater cenotes before. What a unique experience that was. In some of the pictures you will see some of the rock formations that we came across and perhaps even a couple of the small, freshwater fish that were present.

I definitely plan to return and dive some more of these Cenotes in the near future. The open water around Playa del Carmen I don’t need to dive again (that doesn’t include nearby Cozumel), not sure why but I wasn’t impressed with what I saw (visibility wasn’t great, current was strong, boats were uncomfortable, and there just wasn’t new or unique sea life that can’t be found in better locales).

I hope that you enjoy the photographs. I’ll post a few non-diving pictures after this post.

Blessings,

Chris.

Also posted in Landscape and Nature Photography, Underwater Tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

2022 Bahamas Highlight Video now online

Greetings Friends,

I’m not going to prolong this since I will be posting photographs later, but wanted to let you know that a highlights video of my underwater experiences in the bahamas earlier this year is now online. You can video here or follow the link and head over to my YouTube channel.

Or watch on Vimeo.

Blessings,

Chris.

Also posted in Landscape and Nature Photography, Underwater Tagged , , , , , |

Some of my Aerial Drone Photographs Around Kona, Hawaii

Aloha e na makamaka (Aloha my friends),

Last month I finally made it back to the big island of Hawaii. We have been trying to get back there for two years, but something called Covid kept getting in the way (you know, travel restrictions, testing, quarantines, etc.). But thanks be to God we got back for a week of diving and some relaxation. Ok, well not much relaxation but definitely some diving.

One of the things that I was able to do this time was bring the drone with me and get out flying a little bit. I managed to get it into the air more than once or twice and flew a little bit outside downtown Kona, on a lava field east of the airport (with FAA permission and all safety precautions taken, of course) and another close to South Point, around the Kona Small Boat Harbor, around Puako, and more sites along the south end of the island. And yes, the blobs are old lava fields.

I have to say that I am really enjoying the challenge of aerial photography. It is providing me some things to learn, new places to photograph, and new perspectives to see. It is not easy but it is something that I really enjoyed on this trip.

Lana koʻu manaʻo e hauʻoli ʻoe i kēia mau kiʻi paʻi e like me ka hauʻoli i ka hana ʻana iā lākou (I hope that you enjoy these photographs as much as enjoyed working on them).

Mahalo.

Chris

P.S. Want to see more of my aerial photography content. Click on the portfolio to see more. Thanks.

Also posted in Drone Photography, Landscape and Nature Photography Tagged , , , , , , , , |

Shot of the Day, September 2, 2021

Hi Friends,

It’s been quite a month of August. Travel, diving, work, and a corrupted website that needed to get fixed kept us busy and off the grid. But I’m back now and ready to post.

I mentioned travel. I spent a week on the big island of Hawai’i diving and trying to soak up some rays of relaxation. Well I got the diving in but not so much relaxation. In between dives, I was able to break out the drone and get some flying in. These particular photographs are ones I took of the Kona harbor just north of the city. I took these for a project I’m working on.

I hope that you enjoy them.

Blessings,

Chris.

P.S. If you want to see more of my aerial photography, be sure to visit my portfolio page at this link: https://chrismckennaphotography.com/portfolio/drone-aerial/.

Also posted in Drone Photography, Shot of the Day Tagged , , , , , , , , |

More Cool Pictures from the Florida Keys – Underwater

Hello again friends,

So as promised, I am now posting the underwater photographs I took while I was in the Florida Keys last month.

While the weather and visibility conditions were not favorable (in fact, 50% of our dives were canceled because of high winds and extremely rough seas), I still managed to get off a few shots and got some cool shots of a variety of fish, coral, sponges, and even a photography of my buddy/cousin Walter who was OW certified on this trip.

I ran across a HUGE nurse shark on one of my first dives there but wasn’t able to get a shot off before the individual I was diving with at the time took off on me and I had to give up on the picture to follow her (she obviously didn’t listen to my brief on the boat deck before we got in the water and didn’t understand what an underwater camera is for). Just a reminder to all to all my diver friends….always stay with your buddy. ALWAYS! But I digress. That shark was one of the most beautiful ones I’ve ever run across and her image will forever remain etched in my mind.

We dove with two operations while we were there. One was based in Marathon and the other in Islamorada. While both were exceptional, the one operating out of Marathon was severely overpriced and I will not dive with them again when I return. Not only were they severely overpriced, but they had the gall to automatically include a 20% gratuity when they charged me. Now I am an exceptional tipper, but I want a tip to be my choice and an expression of the exceptional service I may have received. If it’s automatic, it kind of defeats the purpose of a tip-right? So, 1) what motivation do those that are working have to do a good job if the risk of being stiffed is removed and 2) how do I even know that the tip is going to those that its supposed to? Ok, now I’ve digressed again. Sorry.

So the operation that I highly recommend is Islamorada Dive Center out of Islamorada, Florida (link embedded in the name). They were awesome and did everything to make our experience memorable and wanting to go back. I am sorry that we didn’t get more of a chance to dive with them.

I hope that you enjoy these photographs as much as I do taking them and sharing. As always, please feel free to provide a comment or two and share the blog with your friends. And if you want to see some of my other pictures from this trip, click the link below.

https://chrismckennaphotography.com/2021/06/my-cool-pics-of-the-florida-keys-2021/

Blessings,

Chris

Chris.

Also posted in Landscape and Nature Photography, Underwater Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |

My Cool Pics of the Florida Keys 2021

Hello again friends,

This May, we were once again supposed to be in the Bahamas. But for the 2nd year in a row Covid kept us out. So we were left wondering what do to. Do we take our chances traveling to Mexico? What about going back to Hawaii? How about giving Iceland a try? Turns out Covid played a part in keeping those destinations out of reasonable reach for us so we decided to stay in the lower 48 and go to the Florida Keys. I have never been there before and since the diving was supposed to be great the destination made absolute sense.

We packed the bags and our equipment and off we went. We flew into Fort Lauderdale, rented a car, drove across the State of Florida and stayed the night in Cape Coral. Cape Coral is a city that we have considered moving to and we wanted to check out the scene. You know…housing, community, and of course the dive scene. It checked all the boxes except one: the local diving wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. But that’s ok…after spending some time there and meeting and talking with some local people I believe that if we could find good jobs there we would make the move.

After, we drove down through Naples and hit the northern part of the Everglades before crossing the bridge and arriving in the Florida Keys. We ended up in Marathon, which is right in the approximate middle of the chain between Key Largo and Key West (link below). It was a good place to base out of and we were happy to be there. And I’m sorry I didn’t get any pictures of these areas before getting off the mainland, but if you ever driven the highway we were on you’d know there isn’t much to photograph along that route.

Unfortunately, the weather didn’t exactly cooperate with us the entire time we were there. The wind never stopped blowing and it got worse with each passing day. The result was that the water was so rough and churned up that half our diving was canceled out (an no chance to get in and snorkel and swim off the beaches). It was so rough that I even got seasick at one point. Yuck. But of those times that I did get out to dive I managed to get a few photographs that I’ll post separately.

The wind didn’t really stop us from getting out and doing a little exploring, however. We got to Key West and the southernmost point in the contiguous United States, the 7-Mile Bridge, some of No Name Key, Deer Key, Islamorada, The Bahia Honda Bridge (before and during sunset), and Crane Point Hammock.

Below are some of the non-diving pictures I took (those will be in another post). I hope that you enjoy them. As always, please don’t hesitate to comment.

Blessing,

Chris.

Link to Marathon in Maps

Also posted in General, Landscape and Nature Photography Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Photographs of Maui in 2017

Ok, ok, ok. Before you start, I know already. 2017, you say? Yes, 2017. I was looking through my draft blog posts today and I saw one buried deep in there-this one. So I’m going to post it now regardless of the fact that the year is now 2021.

So we visited Maui, Hawaii again in 2017. This was our 2nd visit to the island, and it was no less disappointing than the first visit. In some ways, it was better. You see, it was February and that means whale season and we had arrived smack dab right in the middle of it (last time we went the whale season was over).

So in this gallery you will see a variety of pictures that I took over the week that we were there. It starts with some sunset photographs overlooking Molokini from South Maui, other sunsets from Lahaina, sunrise at Haleakala (the dormant volcano) including a startrail photo I took, surfing, whales, island landscapes, and ending with a variety of Hawaiian flowers that can be found on Maui.

I hope that you enjoy the photographs as much as I love taking them. BTW Maui is one of my most favorite places in all the work and I really look forward to getting back there in 2022.

Blessings,

Chris.

Also posted in Landscape and Nature Photography Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Oahu 2021

Greetings friends.

Well after a year of lockdowns and quarantine for me (seriously a year), we managed to get away from the house and work for a few days last month and visit Oahu. We’ve only been one other time, so being the least restrictive of all the islands in terms of travel from across the Pacific we decided to go back and chill for a bit. So negative tests in hand, masks on the face, off we went.

We met Lynette’s cousin and his wife there for a week of fun and relaxation. We got in a few a sunsets, toured the island a bit, managed a few dives, and just turned off the brain for a bit.

And of course, I drug my cameras with me and snapped some photographs., both above the water and below. Landscapes, shipwrecks, mountains, sunsets, fish, and of course Diamondhead. Couldn’t ask for a better time.

I hope that you enjoy the photographs as much as I did taking them.

Blessings,

Chris.

Also posted in Landscape and Nature Photography, Underwater Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , |

Hawaii 2020 part 2

Hello again friends.

As promised in my last post, I am sharing some photographs I took underwater and dive related on our last trip to Hawaii.

This particular trip we had family with us so I didn’t get to spend a whole lot of time underwater, but of those moments I did I tried to make the most of it. Beside me being in a couple, the buddy I had with me was my son, Joseph.

So without further adieu, I present the underwater photographs.

Blessings,

Chris.

Also posted in Underwater Tagged , , , , , , , |

Hawaii 2020, part 1

Hello Friends,

What an absolute crazy year this has been! Crazy is an understatement to say the least. We’ve all had our challenges with the coronavirus crap and everything that that has meant (if you have lost a loved one because of it we are deeply sorry and offer our prayers for you and your family), but me personally this year started with us losing my father and needing to say goodbye to him. There have been other challenges that 2020 has thrown at me but I’ll keep those to myself and not bore you all with my sob stories.

Anyway, we were fortunate enough to have planned a trip to Hawaii (Maui) and were able to travel (and return home) before we were all locked down and sheltered-in-place. Our kids joined us and we had a fabulous time.

The photo’s below are but just a few of the many photographs (non-diving related) that I shot when we were there. Certainly not as many as previous trips as our kids were with us, but always just as entertaining. There are a few of our family scattered within.

I hope that you enjoy. My next post will be some of the underwater photos I shot so stay tuned.

Blessings as always,

Chris.

Also posted in Family Portraits, Landscape and Nature Photography Tagged , , , , , , , , , , |