Wanted to share a fun image from a couple weeks ago here on Kaua’i. After photographing the Kilauea Lighthouse last year I have put it in my calendar to remind me each year to visit for this very unique opportunity. For about 30-45 minutes a year they light the main light. Doing so allows for some really unique imagery! You can see last year’s attempt here: This year I wanted a different perspective and went with the classic overlook along the road. What we couldnt have predicted was the blazing sunset to accompany our time hanging with the bird and taking photographs. All in all…another great year for the Kilauea Lighthouse 🙂
Been trying to shoot more lately and had a free afternoon a couple days ago so ran out of the house a bit before sunset. Generally these days I carry 2 bags, one camera and one drone. Never know what I want to do so best to have options. I had been eyeing the field near my house (again) and set off on the short drive.
Flying around the light was pretty great. As it was fairly cloudy, the sun would pop in and out creating some awesome dappled scenes. As I captured my field shot (to be shared at a different time) I decided to fly around and see what else was there when the pattern of the orchard caught my attention.
I tried a few different compositions, all playing with the patterns, but this particular exposure caught me. This frame was in between the sun coming from shadow to sun so the across the scene was soft and unique.
The original shot is vertical but also added a square crop as well. Which one do you prefer??
All in all a fun afternoon and more to share later. Thanks!
P.S. Bonus points if you know what kinds of tress they are 😉
Funny how ideas happen. These days it’s been more about figuring out how the stars align, sometimes literally. Planned out an evening where I thought the celestial objects would be what I was hoping for. This required sleeping in my car for a couple of hours and then shooting, in what I thought would be the dark. For anyone that has been to Shipwrecks knows there is a large hotel just next to the beach. While my original idea didnt work out (will be going back to try again), I figured I would stick around and hope that the clouds would cooperate. After over an hour of playing cat and mouse I was able to get some shots off that showed the Milky Way blazing overhead. The light from the hotel actually helped illuminate the landscape. Truly amazing what happens while most of us are sleeping 🙂
After a long enough time of living in Hawaii I finally had the opportunity to go out and do some whale watching earlier this past week. Our tour booked for 8am out of Kihei on Maui. As some might know I’m not the best on boats so while I was excited at trying to capture some new subject matter the uneasyness of possibly being uncomfortable was there. Luckily for us the trades were more easterly than usual and Kihei waters were in the lee of Haleakala. This meaning that the ocean wasnt nearly as choppy as it could have been. We ventured out and started heading north all on the lookout for our sea friends. Eventaully we came back south as a few had been spotted and then…boom. Next thing we know we are being ‘mugged’. 4-6 whales are circling our boat. Diving underneath us…for an hour! Because these animals are highly protected the term ‘mugged’ means that we were unable to move until they were a safe distance. Normally I would have expected to be shooting at longer distances but this meant we had extended time RIGHT next to these huge animals. Luckily I brought my wide angle and was able to shoot at 24mm as they passed over and over again. Including some fun abstracts as the clear water let us see them below us. Truly an incredible experience.
This particular image was taken as this whale passed JUST off the bow. I hurried to the front of the boat and as it passed did this awesome barrel roll. Haleakala being very clear in the background. Such a fun moment!
It all began on a winter day. Ok, it was a Kauai winter day and we were at a friend’s birthday party dancing. But I was approached by a couple of friends who were getting married in May 2016 and asked if I could join them on this wedding adventure to Kalalau. Unknowing of my schedule I tentatively said yes, because well, Kalalau. I had actually only been to the beach once before about 6 years prior and was in desperate need to get back. Of course I didnt realize how much I would be working at the time but nonetheless, all in good time.
We arrived Friday morning and got things set up. And was pretty much in relax mode. Without having a day off in more time than I could remember I was now completely off the grid for 3 full days. That evening while laying in my tent I decided to check out my photo apps; The Photographer’s Ephemeris and StarWalk. I knew that summer season is better for viewing the Milky Way and had an inkling that it might be rising over the cathedrals. As for the moon and timing, that I needed to figured out. Doing some quick calculations it seemed that my window would be in the middle of the night so I set my alarm for 1am and went to bed. Hearing the phone go off and wanting to stay in bed are all too familiar feelings for most of us. I through on my sarong and grabbed my pack and walked (ok it was a pretty short walk) down to the beach. However this night it was not to be. Clouds. However I was able to see that my hunch was correct. Now to hopefully catch it. 2 more chances.
Next day was wedding day. Most of the day again, spent hanging out and relaxing. Per the expected forecast we had some clouds/rain start up around early afternoon and the mountains were pretty socked in. With the land/sea breeze regime in place I was expecting the weather to break around sunset…and right on queue as we headed out for the ceremony…blam! Here are some of the first edits from the wedding, but yes, the conditions were amazing! (story below photos)
We returned to camp after an amazing event (and photos) and had ourselves a merry little time that evening. This day however instead of going to bed and waking up again I stayed up until my window. As the night progressed and my time came to be our friendly little clouds decided to make an appearance again while I was shooting! Bastards. At least it was an eventful party (clearly I was the last still awake at this point). Off to bed. Strike 2.
Last day. More of the same. Clouds building up during the day, some slight rain. And clearing toward sunset. My window now pushed back until 3am. Alarm set. I poke my head out of the tent and see some stars. A good sign. I walk out enough to see over the cathedrals and there she is. Milky Way arcing right over. The moon getting close to the horizon gave a sunset/moonset feel to everything and I started to work quickly. Of course after 3 days of shooting, including a wedding, I had already finished one battery and was working on one bar on my 2nd and last one. As luck would have it. That is all I would need 🙂
This particular day I was headed up from the south shore to the west side to go shoot sunset. At least that was the plan anyway. While heading out of North Kihei I looked in the rear view mirror to see Haleakela clear of clouds. Woah. All of a sudden I had a tough choice of trying to figure out where to shoot. I pulled over and debated a bit then hustled back to an area I had thought had a lot of potential. Careful exploring around it was difficult to settle on a composition I liked best. Always happens when I shoot a composition-rich area for the first time. Bouncing between two spots I spent well over an hour barefoot in the ankle deep water watching and shooting the change in light between sunset to nightfall. This particular image of the earth shadow rising behind the volcano caught me upon review. I’m always a sucker for those deep blues and magentas!
Was recently on Maui for a couple of weeks mostly working at the new aFeinberg Gallery Wailea. On the few afternoons I was able to get out I found myself playing ultimate (frisbee) on the North shore in Paia. This of course meant I was traveling across Maui. As usual the camera gear is almost always in the trunk, especially while traveling. While Maui as a whole is a different beauty to Kaua’i, the West Maui’s are so dynamic with the weather they effect. Over the course of the 2 weeks I actually ended up pulling over and photographing them 3 different times on my drives back and forth. Here, the light was magical and even though I was in a rush to get to the field had to make sure I stopped to get the shot.
Enjoy here but the detail on the large scale is amazing! 🙂
It’s amazing how images to come to life. Sometimes they are the work of years of planning coinciding with perfect conditions. This very well may have been one of those photographs….had I actually knew what kind of conditions I was to expect this evening. After spending the afternoon and sunset exploring the southern coast of Maui in the La Perouse area and photographing down there I packed up and started the drive back north. As I made my way down the bumpy road the stars were absolutely blazing. With only a crescent moon hanging in the western sky I was still able to see the landscape but the Milky Way was clearly visible arcing all across the sky. I pulled over to the side of the road and took some images of the scene facing Haleakela. Of course at this point I realized my battery was hanging on to one bar. Uh oh. Change batteries. Dead. Crap. I forgot to charge everything after Burning Man. Back to the first battery and now with every exposure I’m worried about my evening ending early. Especially with night time images they take more power as the exposure times are around 25 seconds. I make sure to only take a few shots on the side of the road and continue up. Next stop Secrets beach.
Normally Secrets is not so secret. There are weddings almost every day of the week and it’s a great spot to hide out and watch the clouds pass by. However, at night, it is a different story. As I walked down the path and to the shore and set up the waves were pounding pretty good. Lessons learned in the past means keeping my bag well above the high water line. Then approached. At this point I heard voices…what?! I looked around in the darkness. There were houses around so maybe it was there. Then again. Finally I noticed a couple tucked in the back corner of the beach near the wall enjoying the evening as well. Not even alone at night!
Of course the obviously difficult thing of shooting stars is that it’s freakin dark out! With the little bit of moonlight I was able to get my composition pretty close and fired off a test shot. Keeping one eye on the ocean to my right I spent the next half an our or so adjusting and trying again. With each shot worried my battery was going to kick out on me. After seeing this one pop up on the back of the camera I was pleasantly surprised. The little but of moonlight was enough to give enough color and definition to the landscape without hiding the blazing Milky Way.
Whew. On ward to my next stop where fingers were crossed I could get a few more shots before I had to call it quits. What an awesome night!