Admittedly I do not get out to shoot as much as I once did. While my production has slowed a bit the ideas that I have had and still come up with do not cease. On Monday night I had the opportunity to actually attempt one of these such ideas that could probably date back 1-2 years. After leaving aFeinberg Gallery Poipu I got in to my car after catching a quick bite, and while tired, the sky had actually cleared up from the rainy weather we had had over the last couple of days. Seeing as that I had my gear in the car the only thing left was to head out and give it a go.
For those not familiar with the area this is Spouting Horn. A hugely popular attraction during the day, especially in the summer months when the south swell is more predominant. The ocean gets forced through an old lava tube and sprays upwards like a geyser. Pretty spectacularly at times. Of course venturing down is never recommended. I spend a LOT of my time around the ocean photographing and have a healthy respect for what it can do. Then add in the night time aspect and all the more creepy. Especially since that as the horn spouts there is a huge whistling sound. But this startling noise comes from about 30yards away from the water! Watching one direction…noise from another. After watching for a number of minutes I decide we’re good to go and grab the gear. I carefully make my way to where my approximate shot is and watch the ocean some more. Getting accustomed to the sound and pattern of the waves. Then the tricky part. Composing, focusing and shooting in the dark.
Now one of the things that I had not realized when visualizing this image was that there were street lights all around, thus bathing the area in artificial light. Rats, was my first thought. I had wanted it dark so that I could light paint the scene together. I took a test shot to see if I had my composition down and the result was pretty crazy! The whole ground was glowing bright red….like a dragon’s lair. And, as predicted…the milky way BLAZING off the horizon up in to the sky. Now the next part; figure out a way to capture the splash properly. Over the next hour or so I spent rattling off 25 second exposures and playing with different lighting…all while waiting for the right wave to send the spray shooting upwards (but not getting blown too much to block the milky way!).
Finally, toward the end, and getting fairly tired, I decided to call it. Hoping that at least one of the shots I had captured would work out. After all it took me almost 2 years to even attempt this…and the wait was worth it :0
Had the opportunity a couple of weeks ago during one of my signing trips to CA to do a quick run to Yosemite. And by quick I mean I was only in the park for 12hrs. It’s amazing, I’ve been able to be there 3 times in the last 12 months. Something I never even thought might happen. Of course my knowledge of the area is very cursory right now but I consider the time there some of my most productive. This particular evening I finally made the park entrance around 11pm. The moon had rose a couple of hours before and the valley was bathed in awesome, bright moonlight. I drove around a bit to get the feel for this new look and, not wanting anything too crazy of an adventure, decided to pick a location I hadn’t been to before. Of course…sitting outside the gate, at 1130pm, the only thing I could think of was being in the dark, by myself…with bears. I know I know they’re big scared ‘cats’ and run away, but when alone in the woods…eek. So after gathering up some courage and motivation via a friendly reminder I packed up my camera bag, put on my big boy pants and off I went down the trail. Ok…so to get a better picture of the scene imagine just a fair amount of dragging my feet on the ground and taking big heavy steps…to make noise of course. This way I dont startle anything that would want to make me a snack.
Down to the river, then using my headlamp to find the path along the banks. Weaving in and out of folliage, I come around the bend and BAM…what a reflection! So of course to work I go. Now walking and making noise is one thing, but standing still and quiet allows other things to possibly sneak up on me…so occasionally I let out a ‘yip’…you know…just to make them aware of my presence 🙂
Spending about an hour making as much as I could of the special light and reflection, the clouds danced across the sky continually making some truly awesome patterns. I finally decided it was time to pack up and get a few hours of sleep in the car before sunrise…so I could come right back here again.
Getting the images back home and seeing the results it makes all the darkness and creepy feelings with it….as long as I dont get eaten 😉