“Beyond Venus” (unreleased)
This particular shot was taken after my last post with my photography adventures at sunrise down at the Venus Pools on the East side of Maui. You can read the full (wet) story here. As the sun played with the clouds I decided to put on a strong ND filter (basically a black piece of glass to stop light), and do a couple of longer exposures. One of the problems with using this filter is that once it is on it is near impossible to see the composition as everything goes dark! Then of course is the guessing of how long the exposure should be and dealing with the bright and dark parts of the image. Luckily…in this case, I guessed right 🙂 The combination of filtered light and all the colors from the clouds/water/reflection mixing together gave this image a unique feel.
Maui offering up some more magic!
So after spending a day running errands and exploring I ended up settling on this small park south of Lahaina. As I got out of the car I knew photographically it would be a bit of a tricky place. Even though these palms were pretty there was a property just to my side. However being the most dramatic composition I careful positioned myself just to the side. By chance the sun was setting in the perfect spot and was able to get a couple of exposures that ended up working well 🙂 Pau Hana in Hawai’i usually refers to the after work beer that most like to partake in and this spot seemed to collect quite a few for just that occasion. Perfect end to the day.
“Bathed In Light” (unreleased)
I find it funny for as many times as I’ve been there and photos I’ve taken around it….I have very few of Queens Bath itself. One of my favorite locations on Kaua’i it can be tremendously beautiful, or extremely dangerous (think 30′ waves). On this particular afternoon I was out on a private workshop and were exploring the coast. As we worked our way down and finally got to the Bath itself we noticed that the waves were just big enough to occasionally refill a pool of water up hill, which would then filter down in to the bath. With the sky to the west clear I had the feeling that the light would be perfect to possibly illuminate the pulsing water. The next key factor was, of course, a wave filling the pool above when the sun was in the right position. For anyone that has been around the ocean, shooting or not, it does not always cooperate. As the sun got lower the client and I were doing our voodoo dance for that one wave….then…”look out!”. The biggest wave of the day came through (not dangerously…just shocking), which caused us to pick up our tripods but woah there was a lot of water! Quickly reset the tripod and started firing off exposures. The light lasted about 5 minutes. We assessed our other photographic possibilities then the victory hike back up to the parking lot. Just another afternoon chasing light (and waves)!
Come join Kory Lidstrom and me in March for a 6 Day Workshop on Kaua’i! More info here!
So about mid August I had the opportunity to visit the incredible place known as Great Sand Dunes National Park. This crazy place is located south of Denver and just a bit west in the San Luis Valley. Nestled up against 14k foot mountains, these sand dunes cover 30 sq miles and rise, at the tallest, about 700ft. Meeting a friend from college the day before we headed out to our date with the dunes. Arriving later in the afternoon (maybe a bit later than planned), there was only one thing to do…climb the dune, aptly named “High Dune” of course. Climbing at altitude is one thing, the dunes start at 8500ft, but climbing up a hill of sand AT altitude….exhausting! That combined with the fact we were a bit late and hustling to make it up for the good light (ok I was trying to make it up for the good light…he was just along for the ride) made for some huffing and puffing. Arriving at the top there were a few people already collected to watch the sunset and the monsoon storms that had started to pop a bit. Then, as sunset wore on, blam!….lighting across the valley. Luckily…right before this trip I had purchased a Lightning Trigger on the oft chance I would have the opportunity to photograph some lightning. Quite pleased with that decision 🙂 Setting up the camera and composing the trigger did its job, firing the camera when it sensed lightning. How? I can only say SCIENCE! As the sunset wore on the lightning continued across the valley, approximately 50 miles away. Then another storm to the south of that as well. What a scene to watch! As the color started to fade and the storms seemed to start to move around a bit we made the DARK hike back down the dunes, which made for an adventurous hike. A few light rain drops hit us as we made the bottom and got back to camp. Checking my camera I found this set of bolts that came down all at once and knew I had something special.
And that was just the first night 🙂
For those of you who dont remember…I had a massive data corruption in January and have been mostly out of commission since then working normally. Yes, I had a Drobo (4 drive RAID backkup) and also was pushing to the cloud via CrashPlan. However the corruption was also pushed to the cloud before it was caught.
Now…8 months later via some magic I dont quite yet understand….the drives have been fixed and we are back up and running
I tell you this now as there will be some exciting/big/important news next week and this all seems timed perfectly.
Here comes the future….
Recently I had the opportunity to return to the Big Island for a 5 day trip for a friend’s wedding and some more shooting/scouting. The wedding itself was a very special event with some great friends as well and the weather played a roll in making it all the more interesting. With rain/fog and clouds off and on the bride and groom made the best of it and we were able to get some special images 🙂
Before and after the wedding I had an opportunity to go out and explore more. Returning to a place that we got to visit during the 6 Day 2014 Workshop (and will revisit again during the 2015!). Of course the fog greeted us once again but this time, going off trail, I managed to find this very intriguing (mostly) dry stream bed surrounded by bamboo. But not any normal kind of bamboo as I was to find out…but this crazy KILLER bamboo! What the hell! What kind of bamboo grows crazy spikes?? Understandably that made going up and down a little bit stressful…and much more focused on where the hands were going. Getting down to this part the fog and light gave the area a very surreal place. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on ones perspective), the stream was not flowing, which allowed me to get in there comfortably. Though…it is now a goal to achieve this shot WITH water flowing…but that will require some luck and timing. We shot around and explored a bit more then the hike back out in to the fog. Another fun day exploring what the islands of Hawai’i have to offer 🙂
Much thanks and enjoy!
“A Tale Of Two Falls” (unreleased)
Another fun title…and project. This one meandering through my mind for years. Unsure of what to expect or what would be possible just knowing there was a chance of something…
Getting a chance to head down to the falls a couple of months prior I was stymied by too much water coming over the falls…rendering the scene, wet. This particular day the timing was correct. A bit drier over the previous week and the two streams were about as calm as they get. Approaching the falls itself is a fun endevour. Down a cliff over some rocks/roots/branches, etc and then of course making the way behind the falls. For those that have been near a waterfall before of any significant size know about the wind that they create on their own from the force of the falling water. This one is no different which of course makes shooting behind the falls even more challenging. Then throw in the dramatic differences in light, and well, there ya have it. Given that I’m usually end up shooting the most difficult thing possible…I combined those factors with a panorama. The dance around the camera, light, and spray I’m sure was entertaining to watch. And the hope was that I would get something with little to no water spots to work with. Luckily I was right 🙂
Had the opportunity yesterday (6/5/14) to go photograph one of my favorite spots on the island. One that I havent really visited much in the recent past. The sky that afternoon was a bit hazy but overcast with high clouds. Without seeing much of the horizon I made a comment to a fellow visiting photog
Of course the bottom line gives it away. After climbing down the trail, a trail that has been much degraded in the last few years. By which I mean slopey dirt/mud and the crux at the end where the ropes are in bad need of some maintenance to say the least). I dropped my bag in my desired location and walked around a little scouting for future projects. The sky being very suspect. As I got back to my bag and wasted some time (read: playing hearts), I poked my head around the rock and the sun was lighting up a tiny section of cloud on the horizon. Gave me some hope. As the sun set the glow stayed…then started to grow…that is when I sent the text. Over the next 10 minutes or so the color crept over the sky causing everything to glow as I giddly laughed to myself….chance of epic. Of course the hike back up to the car still was ahead of me…but we all know up is always easier 🙂
Well after a rousing adventure on the Big Island earlier this year Kory Lidstrom and I decided to continue the fun and do it again next year!
Additionally we are adding a Kauai tour as well! Woah!
Details above and look forward to seeing you next year!
Recently had the chance to spend a few days on Maui for the first time in about 3.5 years. Probably a bit too long…and with many projects to shoot and still discover, it was a great time. Had the benefit of a great friend/tour guide and some unexpected surprises. Needless to say I have a lot of work to do over there 🙂
This particular image was at the end. Which is usually a great place to start. Camping in the back of the truck the night before, 4am is never a good time for an alarm. Making the drive, finding the pull over and then hiking down in the dark is always exciting, especially to a place unseen (by me) before. As we got down to our intended location I looked across the pool and saw where I really wanted to be. Next step, figuring out how to get over there. Climbing up the rocks, through the forest and then finally figuring out the path we arrived on this ledge. There is a place in my heart for sea stacks (and similar formations) and this spot had me quite happy. Then the waiting for the sun. As it breached the horizon there was about 5 min of good light, then back in to the clouds, then the rain…and more rain. Sometimes having a good friend along pays off in that finally as the sky started to explode with crazy, I had an handy umbrella holder and was able to rattle off a number of shots trying for different water motion. The rest of the morning continued with off and on rain. But finally getting some dramatic light (it has been a while for me), had me in good spirits.
Then of course…was that long, windy drive back to the airport…. 🙂