Category Archives: Photography

You Roll Right On – Live Studio (HD)

Recorded live studio David Elias & The CasualTees
[words, music, photos, video by David Elias, © 2018]
[24/176.4k audio download]

Video from photos of Big Island Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, and Maui’s Haleakalā.

Aloha ʻĀina
Recorded live studio David Elias & The CasualTees
[words, music, photos, video by David Elias, © 2018]
[24/176.4k audio download, released 7/2018]

Video by David Elias w/ iPhone photos of Big Island Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, and Maui’s Haleakalā.

Aloha ʻĀina

David Elias
DSD/MQA Masters:
YT Channel:

You Roll Right On
– by David Elias

Coastal waves of inspiration all you have is meditation
Trees of fire burn the choir singing for their salvation
Hints of glamour girls enamored with their own afflictions
Situations complications never mind the contradictions

You roll right on
You roll right on
You roll right on
As you roll right by
You roll right on

Memories of disenchantment paying back the conversation
All you owe is paid in full the rest is just hallucination
Early water Sunday’s daughter ran away no hesitation
Where she goes nobody knows, hell to pay in moderation

You roll right on
You roll right on
You roll right on
As you roll right by
You roll right on

Acupuncture found the juncture in between the constellations
Heaven knows those bodies glow when forced away from contemplation
Witness this with mortal bliss the Gods can’t touch our incarnation
And after all is said and done
You wind up back where you begun
Everlasting peace will mark the end of our emancipation

You roll right on
You roll right on
You roll right on
As you roll right by you roll
As you roll right by you roll
As you roll right by you roll
Right on

higher ground – for meditation and contemplation

(after clicking play, click on lower right icon of player to see full screen)

higher ground

i feel the rain come in
the smell before the wind
leaves fold down
those pale green crowns
yima yima yai
yima yima yai

i watch the river rise
both forks are snake eyes wise
set me down on higher ground
yima yima yai
yima yima yai

i’m back where i came from
the trees the old deer run
worn out trails
tucked tired tails
yima yima yai
yima yima yai

i’ll meet you up the hill
your hair it’s falling still
lay me down on higher ground
yima yima yai
yima yima yai

the nights were cold and clear
and every star hung near
reaching round for higher ground
yima yima yai
yima yima yai

— david elias
photographs from windy hill, northern california

request free 1080p download of video by contacting david at or use this form:

silver pen… a journey to transformation

Silver Pen

She caught a long train gone
There wasn’t nothin to it
In the red red dawn
She just had to do it
Heard that lonesome song
And she could sing
Right through it
She caught a long train gone

She found a change of heart
In the changing light
Whatever made her start
Could not have been more right
She took her namesake’s part
In the dead of night
She found a change of heart

She found a new home town
And she moved right in
And the freeway sound
It didn’t come again
And in some drawer she found
Another silver pen
In her new home town
In her new home town
She’s in her new home town



ground zero, nyc

And I Said…9/11/2001 in Memory

And I Said…

It’s the end of summer see the red lights running
‘Cross the open interstate
And the wind feels good through the summer wood
The evening’s getting late
I’m with my little boy wearing corduroys and
He’s looking up at me
He says why’d they kill those people there
In New York City
And I Said…

So we lit 3 candles sitting on the wall
While the stars were coming on
And we said our prayers in the early fall
For those never really gone
One for the bodies of the innocent
Good God let them rest in peace
And one for the minds in the universe
That learn from tragedy
And one for the Spirit and the Souls at large
May we find true Unity
In a little boy wearing corduroy
He’s looking up at me
And I say…


Written and recorded immediately following 9/11/2001 and uploaded to the web as an audio mp3. I created the video in 2007 after visiting Ground Zero and taking the photos. Posted today in memory…Namaste

near red mountain in new mexico

it’s all october…new mexico in b/w

I have traveled a lot by myself in all different ways. Maybe you have too. I probably started travelling when I was a young boy investigating a large woods and creek behind all the houses where we lived in Ohio. There wasn’t any development beyond that boundary and so the woods and creek had their places undisturbed as long as I lived there which was until 16.


Beyond the woods was farmland. As far as I know none of that has changed but believe me when I say I’m not in a huge hurry to go back and find out. I like it the way it “is”. There were easy adventures to make from there since the boundary was as far as I knew and believed limitless. In my teen years it was even possible on good winter spells to cross-country ski back there. And we did.


So travelling alone was really an adventure in nature to me then and remained that way until this very day. It doesn’t have to be far and it doesn’t have to have any particular route or destination. It’s an adventure after all. Not remembering exactly where I’d been or how to get back there was half the thrill. it still is.


In these ways I often learned about places in sensory ways. I didn’t care much about maps and never used a compass and just didn’t pay attention to external descriptions of where I was moving through. Instead I would create these catalogs of internal information about how things responded to me being there. This rarely included running into other people. It was very much about the space and how it received me being there.


One of my all time favorite songwriters and arrangers as well as singers is Neil Finn from Crowded House fame. But his solo records that began quite awhile back after Crowded House faded away are out of this world.  Anyway, one of his songs says “Birds talk to me. Birds talk to me”. That is very much how I’ve felt many times in the right place on a nature adventure, even if it doesn’t have anything to do with birds, though it might.


So I got in my car one late December day in California up in the SF Bay Area and headed south to LA so I could turn East and go back to Joshua Tree. Or somewhere like that. It turned out I ended up driving 2500 miles all the way out to northern and southern central parts of New Mexico, between Hwy 40 and Hwy 10, stopping in Arizona and the Grand Canyon on the way.


I remember that when I got to the intersection of Hwy 25 that runs straight up into and through Colorado I found out that the entire highway had been closed in the state of Colorado. There was so much snow up there that year at that very time I was travelling that I think they stopped delivering mail in Boulder for a couple days at least. Isn’t that not supposed to ever happen? Life is like the weather. Neil Finn sings “Everywhere you go, always take the weather with you, everywhere you go always take the weather.” Go Neil.


So I found a lot of very quiet, snowy, icy, sunny, cold, spotless, rockfull, watery, frosted, thawing, running, frozen, squeaky, silent, spacious, sacred, resting, sighing, bowing, crawling, ancient, memorial, shadowy, brilliant places to walk through, sometimes sleep in, often sit still in, and sometimes photograph. I don’t recall the trail and have only one photo of one sign reminding me that it was Red Mountain I was around that day or two.


So Christmas Day came and went through the mostly silent patience of some very beautiful roads and country. I felt like I was taking care of something by paying attention to the right things. I didn’t meet up with or speak to many people overall. It was a silent journey. But a lot was being said to me.


I have a song called “It’s All October” that became a video using shots from that same journey.  All the B/W photos were taken in digital B/W on a small 1M Canon Powershot. Instead of converting color frames to B/W later, I feel that setting the camera to B/W (mono) is the only way to see things right when I’m shooting. I also have this tech-suspicion that light and exposure might be handled differently by the digital camera based on the different settings between B/W (mono) and color. Just a feeling.


“It’s All October” is something of a journey in itself back to those days I was investigating the edges of woods and farmlands in unknown parts of the south boundary of the town I grew up in. I was learning how to pay attention to space. In writing the song, I was also learning how to live with less.

It’s All October

Set my boot on the ice under frozen fields
Took my breath right away
Watched the rings of those vapors fade from the real
It’s all October today
It’s all October today

I looked around to see where all the leaves had gone
But a few left to stay
There to remind me that nothing was really wrong
It’s all October today
It’s all October today

As I fall on those clear and cold autumn blues
Where some part of me stays
I still live through those colors that came with you
On those October Days
It’s all October today
It’s all October today

Set my boot on the ice under frozen fields
Took my breath straight away
I’m still living through those colors we came to believe
On those October days
In those October days
It’s all October today

Just Say NAK…

train through southern cal near the arizona border

train through southern cal near the arizona border

Just Say NAK – The Art of Listening: Part II

We might not think about it this way often, but we are all message driven. The multimedia culture we’ve created for ourselves worldwide makes this clearer every day. However the types of messages we choose to receive and send are of course just that: our choice.

But often (i.e., incessantly) we are confronted with messages that make every attempt to disregard those choices and so be delivered without our recognition or agreement. In data communications there have long been different protocols for sending messages. A favorite standard is referred to as ACK/NAK which stands for Acknowledgement/Negative Acknowledgement.

In an ACK/NAK world, messages are sent (say as a stream of characters as text) one at a time, perhaps controlled by the number of characters (say a fixed length of 128 or any other number), or perhaps controlled by a special character or two that indicates the end of the line of text (say a carriage return/line feed).

There may also be other information in the message to help ensure the integrity of the data being received. This is usually referred to as a checksum which is just a number calculated using the content (character by character) of the current message. The receiving end does the same calculation and compares its result to the checksum number sent, hoping they match indicating that the data received is “good”.

The beauty of the ACK/NAK protocol is that the receiving end must either acknowledge the receipt (and integrity) of the last message by sending an ACK character back, or deny it by sending a NAK character back. The receiving end may also end up doing nothing!

The only way the sender can continue its delivery of messages is to receive an ACK back! It essentially lives for ACK. If anything else happens, like nothing comes back or it receives a NAK instead, it may try to resend the last message. But that will only go on for a limited number of retries before the sender quits….This result is bliss to me.

Maybe the message I’m sending here is “Just Say NAK“…if you choose to. You may have to say it more than once, but before long, that message you’re NAK’ing will cease to come back. You can also say nothing with the same result. I’ve learned from applied statistical probability theory and strategic planning of different types that doing nothing (no decision) is often a very good choice to make!

I’ve developed ways of saying NAK to messages and media that suit my lifestyle. These include avoiding being bombarded with negative news and information that seems to have completely dominated the common media. Predominately we are confronted with bad news on a fairly never ending basis through typical sources of information like newspapers, web giants, and television. In fact I’m beginning to believe there is only one source feed of all media worldwide. But where is it coming from?

By not ACK’ing that source, I am keeping my channels open for receipt of other messages that are more beneficial to my well-being. That’s my direction anyhow. I am often surprised by where the messages I do receive and acknowledge are coming from.


The other interesting thing to me is the idea of applying the checksum to everyday communications. As years go by, it seems more and more obvious to me that no two people witness the same event the same way, at least in recollection. The event can be as simple as a short conversation between two people. Neither one will recollect the conversation the same way.

The words change and all the extra information entwined in body language, the weather, the mood, the time passed, all change completely, even within each retelling of the story from the same source. No checksum!

It is always someone’s story (version) of what happened and what was said. We expect accuracy in the story’s retelling but it is never probable or maybe even possible. This is due to our lack of skills in listening…

So instead of tuning up and tuning in to our observational, listening and memory apparatus it appears to me that culturally we have moved to a much simpler but woesome way to achieve accuracy: We put cameras and other recording devices everywhere, everywhere, everywhere…

The documentation of what happened everywhere is captured by data recording, video and still camera gear everywhere from yours or my driveway to the first traffic light we come to, to the first public or private building we walk by or into, to the first GPS’d phone call we make, to the first no-cash-accepted-here transaction we make, to the first Google search of the day we make, and then back again. Woesome.

As much as I like photography and video for their artistically expressive capabilities, I shudder and say NAK to the incessant recording of my daily activities.

It is our own societal escape from the Art of Listening in action. We don’t want to pay attention to what we hear or even see it seems.

We let devices do it for us. And so what is it then that we are doing?

photography – an old friend


I have been taking photographs as long as anything I do that is artistic. I usually have music at the forefront of my publicized art world, but photographs have been important to me for just as long as music, since I was a kid, first using an old Kodak camera with a bellows and large film, then the ubiquitous instamatic, then buying my first Nikon (Nikkormat FT2) at the age of 14.

I took that Nikon with me on all adventures in nature for many years that turned into decades. I first learned to develop film and print black and white at the age of 16 while living in Norway and attending a Gymnas in Telemark. That same Nikon is still in use by a very energetic and artistic young man who prefers film and negatives to flash memory in our digital age.

I bought my first digital camera in 1999 or 2000. It was at a time when 640×480 VGA had been the standard for digital photo resolution and it looked crappy to me. So I had said to myself that when they came out with a digital camera that fit in my shirt pocket and was at least 1M pixels (3 times better quality) I would buy it and try it.

That camera was the early Canon Powershot Elph. I forget the model (maybe 440?) but it had a burnished metal/aluminum body and 3x optical zoom and could manage 1600x1200p shots with some good software to catalog and even stitch the panoramic shots. I became very interested in how it captured light and colors and how developing the photo digitally was possible using just basic controls of that light and color.

I rediscovered photography through that camera which is also still in use by a friend in California. I have bought and used the Nikon D60 since moving to Hawaii but have also used the iPhone 3G and 3GS camera a lot. I always feel that it is interesting to work with the media I am sometimes forced to use to create something I like.

Carrying around a large SLR camera has both advantages and disadvantages. It can do a superb job within the right setting but sometimes seems to lose the immediacy or intimacy of a moment.

If there’s a Heisenberg Principle of photography, then I have been unconsciously aware of it for a long time. That is, the more equipment and sophistication you bring to try to capture a natural setting in a photograph, the more unlikely you will be allowed to achieve that goal.

The portable camera in my shirt pocket often makes taking photographs more spontaneous and less intrusive for me. I like lo-fi audio recordings sometimes for similar reasons. By lo-fi I usually mean a very basic setup of one mic (mono or stereo) used to capture the ambient setting whether that be just me sitting at the kitchen table playing guitar and singing, or a small to large band setup somewhere. A bit of mastering is usually done to adjust the levels, but not much else.

I have also made complete videos using just the iPhone camera still shots and its Voice Memo recorder for the music soundtrack. They have a personalized character of their own that I am comfortable with.

Photography is an old friend of mine, but I’ve only begun sharing my still photography and music combined into the form of video in the past few years. My videos are currently being demonstrated on my linked blog at davideliashawaii and on YouTube. My original works are all composed using my still photography and music sources.

All comments and any story you might have triggered by these images are welcome and much appreciated! If you’d rather not post your comments feel free to contact me using this form at the bottom of the photographs.

Aloha! – DE

mauna kea observatories

observatories at the top of mauna kea (“white mountain”) on the big island, hawaii

telemark boathouse

an idyllic vision in a land of northern natural beauty in telemark, norway

san mateo coast - hwy 1

a favorite stretch of beauty between san francisco and santa cruz…

humboldt sunset

a sunset through two windows in the hinter-regions of humboldt county, calif.

san mateo hills, calif.

an old comfortable walking grounds in the hills between palo alto and the coast

mythological fish trio, keaukaha, hilo

mythological fish trio, keaukaha, hilo



"fishtail" sunrise from annapurna sanctuary, nepal

“fishtail” sunrise from annapurna sanctuary, nepal



surf buddies - montara, calif.

surf buddies – montara, calif.

kathmandu, nepal


sea lettuce at laupahoehoe, hawaii

sea lettuce at laupahoehoe, hawaii

lawai fern, hawaii

lawai fern, hawaii

snow print, new mexico

snow print, new mexico

near red mountain, new mexico

near red mountain, new mexico

fractal coast near pescadero, calif

fractal coast near pescadero, calif

firerock, water, air - laupahoehoe, hawaii

firerock, water, air – laupahoehoe, hawaii



active halema'uma'u caldera, kilaeau volcano, hawaii

halema’uma’u caldera, kilaeau volcano, hawaii

solo thistle, san mateo hills, calif

solo thistle, san mateo hills, calif

hamakua coast, big island, hawaii

hamakua coast, big island, hawaii

earth and sky, san mateo hills, calif

earth and sky, san mateo hills, calif

swordfern survival, kilauea volcano, hawaii

swordfern survival, kilauea volcano, hawaii

cracked lava boulder - kau desert, hawaii

cracked lava boulder – kau desert, hawaii

pele's halema'uma'u

pele’s halema’uma’u

self portrait