The Magic Of Waikapu Valley

 
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! 🙂
aF
 

Beams of light coming from the clouds over Waikapu valley on West Maui.
“Waikapu Wonder”

Secrets Of The Milky Way

 
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!
Enjoy!
aF
 

Milky way over Secrets beach in Makena, Maui, Hawaii
“Secrets Of The Milky Way”

Breakfast Time

 
While spending some time on Maui a couple of weeks ago I managed to rally back to Ho’okipa to attempt to capture more Honu, the endangered Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle.  This time at sunrise.  At first I was suspect as getting to the beach I didnt see any.  Especially after last time where there were about a half a dozen hanging out.  Walking closer I realized that there was in fact one…and a big un!  As I set up and spent some time with him/her (I didnt check) the sun started to rise behind me over my right shoulder.  The clouds scooted by. Some high clouds lit up and the occasional sprinkle of rain passed over.  As the sky brightened and the waves lapped up around our new friend she (I’ll go with she now) decided it was time for breakfast and started her morning wake up routine.  It was at this time that I had decided to slap (ok…carefully screw on) a 10 stop ND filter.  This allowed me to take 30s captures of the scene while maintaining the proper exposure.  I was able to get 2 shots off before she decided it was time to head in to the water.  As she approached the water she paused as I took one last shot.  And then moved again.  After the camera finally clicked I wasnt sure I got anything as my main subject moving would obviously create blur.  However I was pleasantly surprised to find that she moved the perfect amount.  The balance between movement and stillness.  You can see her motion but still make out the detail in her huge frame.
 
After that I decided to switch gears and put on my long lens to capture some of the surfers.  Not a bad way to start the day!
 
Aloha!
aF
 

Endangered Hawaiin Green Sea Turtle at Ho'okipa beach on Maui during sunrise.
“Breakfast Time”

Red Sands Of Hana

 
 
Back in May 2014 I was on Maui visiting a friend, which in turn would lead to the eventual opening of aFeinberg Gallery Wailea.  As we adventured around the island we had the opportunity to check out red sands beach.  A truly awesome place where the sand is red from the surrounding cliffside.  Amazing.  While this was a scouting mission I did manage to take the camera out and shoot a bit.  Even though this was a test shot I still think it captures the uniqueness of the place though I have some ideas for going back  for sure 🙂  To be continued 😉
 
Thanks!
aF
 
 

Red Sand beach during day near Hana, Maui
“Red Sands”

King’s Cauldron

 
Back in mid February I had the opportunity to work privately with a client on a workshop this afternoon.  With the surf being up to significant levels, 15’+, I knew that my usual go to spot would be a bit more challenging than usual.  After shooting some waterfalls we made it down to the coast and the waves were POUNDING.  The whole area is a very dangerous spot and normally I would not send people down here on their own in conditions like this.  Having a great understanding of the area and having a plan in case things get dicey is important.  As we watched the surf hit on to King’s Bath there was an area to stand and be safe yet able to scurry away if I thought we needed to retreat.  The amount of spray was incredible and therefore challenging to shoot in for sure.  After I had set up the client I decided I should join the fun.  As we watched, and occasionally ran away, the sun hit this hole right above Mt. Makana and the whole scene became this surreal cauldron of sea, spray and light.  I was able to get off just 2 series of photos before the sun passed behind the mountain for the night.  Quite the experience for both of us.
 
To see a slo-mo video please check out the link HERE
 
Much thanks all and be safe out there!
 
aF
 

Large surf crashes on the north shore of Kauai as the spray is backlit by the setting sun.
“King’s Cauldron” (unreleased)

Tears Of Joy

 
“Tears of Joy”
It’s hard to describe the circumstances around getting this photo. The gist is running an errand last minute which was on a correction mission and driving through one of the craziest storms ever. Then, headed around traffic (because of construction) saw the mountains as the storm broke and was able to quickly get to a friends place with an epic view.
Needless to say this is a lot of water coming down Wai’ale’ale (and Kawakini-left falls). The mist is forming in a small valley that a small (usually) river rolls through. The massive water flow helped create its own clouds that would drift up.
Now, for those photogs out there. I learned another HUGE lesson today…again. I had changed my camera to shoot sRAW for the time-lapse and forgot to change it back in the excitement of this photo. ALWAYS check your settings. Alas the maximum print size for this image will be highly truncated.  Lesson learned!

Dozens of waterfalls pour down Wai'ale'ale after a severe rainstorm
“Tears Of Joy” (unreleased)

Sound The Horns

 
Spouting Horn is always a fun place to shoot…and a bit tricky.  Getting down to the rocks requires a bit of sneaking and a lot of precautions.  Ending up as a statistic is never on my agenda.  Working around the ocean for so long I always take my time to make sure I’m safe where I want to be and have a way out if need be.
 
This shot in general has been on the to do list for a while.  And knowing myself I’m going to keep trying it.  As usual the elements need to align to get the perfect conditions and they were pretty close (at least to what I have in my mind) this night 🙂  But then again…isn’ the fun in trying?
 
Enjoy!
aF

Spouting Horn illuminated at sunset
“Sound The Horns”

 

Wai’oli By Moonlight

 
The Wai’oli Hui`ia Church is iconic on Kaua’i.  Standing by itself toward the end of Hanalei on the road it’s one of those places that just begs to be photographed.  And it gets its fair share.  One can usually see people pulled over snapping photos throughout the day.   On this particular Friday night in February 2010 I had spent sunset out at Ke’e Beach (see: Sun’s Retreat) catching a very tranquil end of day.  Clear, calm.  Perfect winter day.  On the way back the itch got a hold of me and I pulled over myself to see what I could do in the full moonlight.
 
One of the difficulties of photographing the church is getting a proper angle on it.  Because of various obstacles this becomes challenging.  Plus now it was night and had to balance all the light sources being throw at me.  Recalling correctly I spent the better part of an hour trying all different options.  On this particular capture I very well might have been standing on the roof of my car across the street.   In the end the mix of moonlight, Church light, star light and street light all combined to make a perfect little scene in Hanalei that night!
 
Enjoy!
aF
 

Waioli Church in Hanalei under moonlight and clear skies
“Wai’oli By Moonlight”

A Tale Of Two Falls

“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 🙂
 
Much thanks!
aF
 

Dramatic light and a waterfalls photographed from behind.
“A Tale Of Two Falls”