Waimea Canyon and a Rainbow

After living on Kauai for 8 years Waimea Canyon blows me away every time I make the trip up to visit.  I’ll forever remember my first visit, not knowing what to expect, and coming up the path to the great reveal to the canyon below.  Nearly had tears in my eyes.  It’s one of those places that just seems to defy the eyes.  The colors, textures, depth all create this surreal seen that is oh so real.  Now in that last 8 years I still haven’t successfully captured the essence of this spectacle.  Too cloudy, too clear.  Not the right combinations of conditions.  Whatever the reason it just hadnt happened.  After spending the weekend camping with friends in Koke’e (and hiking just before this…but that’s another image for another day….with another rainbow) we decided to hit the main Waimea Canyon overlook on the way down.  Given the conditions we had earlier in the day it was setting up quite well.  Again, coming over the ridge to the view the magnificence overwhelming.  And a blazing bright rainbow off to the right.  Woah!!  Then it was the sit and wait game.  With all the clouds, which are obviously necessary for the photograph, it meant that the light wasnt necessarily in the proper spot (from my perspective).  Over the next 30-45 minutes I probably shot a dozen or more panoramas of the scene as the light changed, the rainbow always there ebbing and coming back again.
Getting back home the process of figuring out which series of images hopefully encapsulated the experience of standing there.  Luckily after going through way too many I came to settle on this image below.  A great combination of lighting and hopefully gives you the feeling of being there with me on that picture perfect afternoon. I’ve included an inset image that shows the detail in the scene as the panorama is composed of 10 vertical images.  The waterfall, Waipo’o Falls, is on the far left side of the image.

Waimea Canyon in late afternoon light with rainbow and waterfall
“Waimea Splendor” (unreleased)

Detail in "Waimea Splendor"
Detail in “Waimea Splendor”

3 thoughts on “Waimea Canyon and a Rainbow

  1. Fantastic that you were able to capture the essence of what make Waimea Canyon such a magical place… In one memorable image! Can’t wait to see it on a large canvas!

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