Hanalei Reflections

As what seems to happen in photography more often than not, is that the plan doesnt always seem to work out and we are left to think on our feet (which is weird because I think with my head…or is it on our toes….ah in any case!).  Arriving down to the pier on this morning the idea was to head out on some jet-skis to photograph the big surf coming in.  Well, the swell was arriving later than expected and I wasnt able to wait long enough as I needed to be at the aFeinberg Gallery St Regis at 9am.   With all the large surf a tidal pool of sorts had formed next to and around the pier.  Since I’m a sucker for reflections I knew my goal for the morning now.  Of course this ment getting knee deep in some murky water with a very slippery bottom.  Then waiting approx 30 min…very still to not disturb the reflections…for the light to finally crest the ridges and ilumminate the Ehu Kai or sea mist.  The very clear and calm conditions dont happen all that often here on the north shore of Kauai so it was a special way to capture Hanalei Bay.
For more info and purchase information please contact any of the aFeinberg Galleries!
Much thanks and enjoy!
Hanalei Bay Reflections

“T Minus 5″…A story of light

Lately there has been a boon of photo workshop requests and on this day, Dec 24, I met with my client on the north shore and off we went to Moloa’a Bay.  Now admittedly I don’t always like getting up for sunrises…they’re early :p  In the winter at least we are afforded a later start time, 715am at this point, so it’s not quite as harsh.  As we drove south/east the sky had already started to glow something wicked…what one sees AFTER a crazy sunset….my assumption…a precursor to an AMAZING sunrise.  Arriving on location the light was already very fun.  My goals during my workshops is direct instruction both with the technical side of the camera and the artistic side of “what the hell we put in front of the camera”.  Making sense of it all.  As we got set up and started a few compositions the light continued to increase.  My camera was already out as I was showing by example some of the techniques I was talking about.   Then….BAM!!!  Holy freakin light explosion.  (just as I expected…of course) 😉  Quickly getting the client’s composition dialed and settings in order I excused myself and scampered about 30ft over to the side, threw my tripod down around this rock where I saw the ocean washing past.  I clicked exactly 4 shots…4.  And then ran back to my client to make sure we kept recording this wonder.  The explosion lasted just 5 minutes.  Sometimes….we just get lucky 🙂

Incredible light at Moloa'a Bay, Kauai
“T Minus 5”

Engagement in the rain?!

Was recently asked to do a last minute engagement shoot and managed to fit it in to a really busy schedule.  So what happens?  Rain!  The idea of walking along the beach, scrapped.  Backup plan…use the property and see what fun we could come up with.  While driving over I had the idea to try something that I had never attempted before.  Backlit rain.  Given as that would make the couple wet…I saved this for last.  Now, as luck would have it as we got to the end of the shoot the rain was tapering off!  Uh oh.  Good thing dad was standing close by to lend a helping hand and bring on the rain!  This was actually the very last frame of the afternoon after a handful of tries and two very wet people.  🙂  Worth it!


On The Road (and back) Again

Another trip to California in the books…and this one did not dissapoint 🙂 While I photographed a few places, the Shasta area was my target again. And after the recent storms, had completely transformed to it’s winter coat. Amazing to see. Of course, it was MUCH colder than the last time I visited in August which kept me thinking if I had brought the right clothes for the job. Admittedly I am a winter person. My body runs warm. I love playing in the snow and skiing. The cold air in the nose. Fresh. Tingling. The quite. It’s just a special time of year. How and why I ended up in a tropical paradise…I can only say that the universe knows better than I do 🙂
While there were LOTS of incredible photos taken I offer you up the story of a special sunrise I was able to capture…please enjoy 🙂
445am alarm at hotel.
Get out to car…thick frost already over everything…it’s cold alright. Drive about 30min up to the trailhead on a frost covered road. Arriving in the parking lot there’s snow…in fact there’s a nice ground cover over the entire landscape. And it’s cold. Standing there in the dark I wonder what the hell am I doing up here? It’s completely dark, approx 25F and this hike will be completely in the snow. And there is wildlife out there…where…I have no idea, but that always enters the back of my mind. Well, this is what I’m here for. I just hope I stay warm as I hike up to 6k feet.
There’s something quite remarkable about hiking in the dark. Our surroundings merely include what our headlight illuminates, leaving the reset of the world a mystery. Then of course there are the forest noises. Which, thanks to the snow, are fairly minimal. I do love winter, a lot. No silence quite like it.
Having attempted this trail in August (and getting redirected lets call it) I was happy to follow the footprints of others that had already made the snowy trek. And to my surprise I was both warm and making great time. So much in fact that I arrived at the lake, (which was of course frozen over, so no reflections), before sunrise.
An even better surprise, the high cirrus glowing absolutely radiantly directly behind Mt. Shasta. Standing up on the ridge alone taking in the light and experience it makes that parking-lot-decision all worth while 🙂
To see more images from this incredible sunrise and some truly remarkable sunset (with reflection!) photographs please contact any aFeinberg Gallery or email us for more info 🙂

Hiking in the dark...the headlight made the snow to twinkle and dance as I hiked up the trail.
Hiking in the dark…the headlight made the snow to twinkle and dance as I hiked up the trail.

Self-portrait after a successful sunrise.  What a morning!
Self-portrait after a successful sunrise. What a morning!

Incredible pastel sunrise over Mt. Shasta as seen from the Heart Lake area.
Incredible pastel sunrise over Mt. Shasta as seen from the Heart Lake area.

Scouting Pays Off

Having not been to a place before there are a certain amount of ways to approach the scene.  Depending on the time one has it could be just a “grip it and rip it” trip.  Whatever the light/clouds/conditions have that’s what we get.  However, with a few days to explore I drove around a fair amount just looking.  Mentally (and sometimes physically) categorizing locations under what conditions I wanted and want time of day.
This particular image was captured on my 3rd day along the Eastern Sierra.  Having found this spot on my first day out I knew it had potential. The early morning light would first illuminate the mountain sides before finally reaching over the ridge and shining in to the foreground.  This of course gives lots of options.  If mother nature wanted to cooperate :p
Sleeping in my car the night before (bear encounter story for another time), I awoke to be overjoyed with the fact that there were clouds!  Not something that one can always count on in that part of the world.  I quickly made my way down to the scouted location, temperature around 30F and proceeded to spend 4 hours watching the light manipulate.  I even went as far as grabbing my camping stove to cook breakfast while sitting there and waiting for the sun.
As the sun made it’s way higher in to the sky, the clouds shifted a bit and the valley floor was finally illuminated.  Added with the unique sky I knew after I captured this photo it was time to move on 🙂

Magnificent color and clouds in the Eastern Sierra
Magnificent color and clouds in the Eastern Sierra

Back from the Eastern Sierra…a study in light and color.

Aloha all!
So I have just returned from the wonderfully diverse state of California again.  This time, the focus was fall color.  Having not seen autumn in approximately 6 years I was a bit deprived.  Especially growing up in New York!  Having the opportunity to get my lens on some amazing color was exciting.  The game plan took me across Tioga pass, bypassing Yosemite this time (I know, not easy to do), and ending up in Lee Vining on the eastern side of the Sierra, along route 395.  I had some general knowledge of the area as I explored a bit in August but now the seasons had turned and a new world takes shape.
Over the 4 days and nights I spent the main goal was to do nothing more than drive around, chase the light, and explore with my camera.  In doing so it was obvious that capturing the uniqueness of the foliage would require the right light.  One might say of course!  That’s what photography is always about, however, the leaves were almost bipolar.  When front lit the trees almost seemed dull.  However.  Put the sun behind the trees and BOOM!  They came to life…glowing on the trees.  This also meant I could shoot almost sun up to sun down because even midday (a time I almost always avoid), there were intimate compositions to shoot with the vibrant leaves.
This particular image was a great combination of back-light and clouds.  The sun, while technically behind and to the left of the trees, was momentarily obscured by some high clouds.  Thus, rendering the seen in this soft bath of glowy light.  As I looked around for a standout subject these few trees poking out among the rest caught my attention.  Just as quickly as the cloud came it went and a new scene was sprung.
I’m quite excited to share the new images I was able to capture and be sure to stay tuned over the next few weeks!

Eastern Sierra Autumn I
Glowing Aspens along the Eastern Sierra. Oct 2012.