Tis that time of year and with it comes a very special image! This photograph, Kalalau Love, was actually taken way back in 2009 and not released until now! On this particular adventure I was with some friends on my first trip down this ridge. While the hike isn’t very long it makes up for that in exposure and sheer beauty. Arriving at the ‘end’ there is one last section that it is possible to cross…not for the faint of heart. Years later this was captured during the filming of aFeinberg – The Documentary. The point in question is in the first section.
On this first time I was even more timid and couldn’t bring myself to do this section with my camera backpack on. So after reaching the other side my friend let me borrow his camera (good friend!). As the clouds danced below us a brief opening in the clouds allowed me to see what was below…Kalalau Beach. Not only was the revelation truly stunning but the opening in the clouds was seemingly in the shape of a heart! Only nature could be so cheeky. Needless to say this started my love affair with this particular vista. 🙂
We are proud to offer this special image in a VERY Limited Edition of only 50 prints. 5 Artist Proofs will also be available.
Heading out on a Koke’e adventure our goal for the day was the Kilohana Overlook. As is too many times, when we arrived it was completely socked in. We enjoyed the hike and shot some detail work along the way. Arriving back at the car it was decided to head to the Kalalau Overlook for sunset since it’s always so epic from up there. Cresting the top we were greeted to an amazing view. This time with the addition of the large NW swell rolling in to the coast. From about 4,000 feet up you can see the swell lines way out to the horizon. So much energy being directed at our coasts and yet, from this height, looking so smooth and playful. The twilight light was perfect as I set out with my long lens to capture some detail and abstract work. This one image in particular I feel gives a good sense of that scene that day.
We are very excited to release 2 new images from the archives!
“Wai’oli By Moonlight”
Limited Edition of 150.
Artist Proof of 15.
This was taken at the end of a very long, productive afternoon/evening of shooting. It started with a planned shoot at Ke’e Beach for low tide at sunset to capture reflections of the Na Pali Coast. As the sun eventually set the full moon rose and I captured “Equilibrium”. And then stayed as day turned to night. Eventually packing up and heading back toward home (Princeville) I came through Hanalei and the church with the moonlight was awesome. Even being exhausted and hungry I knew I needed to pull over and shoot more. After a number of experiments I settled on this composition taken from across the street standing on top of my car. Well worth the extra hunger.
Limited Edition of 100.
Artist Proof of 10.
Taken May 2013. Spending waaay too much time at Ke’e Beach trying to catch waves this was just another day on the rocks. With the splashes not aligning I turned to the incoming waves and caught this perfect moment at sunset.
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 🙂
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 on Kauai’s west side is still on of the more amazing things I’ve ever seen (even after all the travel I’ve been lucky enough to do). Not only is it so colorful and different than the rest of Kauai but it is also hides plenty of secrets in its many side canyons. Having not explored much in the 8 years I’ve been on island (not proud of that), I had the opportunity to go camp up in the mountains in a 4wd access area. The plan was to get up late afternoon and hike out to an overlook and then back to camp to work on some fire spinning photography. Of course we were a bit tardy getting up to our hike spot but still managed to get there before the sun had completely set. However, without any good cloud cover the real show would be the seductive twilight light. There is something magical in that transition between light and dark. Where colors shift and the camera becomes a window in to being able to view what nature is offering us. Getting down to the overlook was an adventure that a goat would be proud of, but standing (securely) photographing this amazing view is why I was here. As the light dwindled I got the holler from above to start our trek back to the car before all light had faded and off we went. Back at camp, as the night went on the mist and light rain came in toward the end of dinner I was wondering if we would be able to get to try our fire spinning experiments. And as luck would have it nature decided to bless us with clear skies for a couple of hours around midnight. Hiking down these falls in the dark and with all our gear (and after some good solid campfire time) made it all the more interesting. Once down we were bathed in bright moonlight and a surreal hollywoodesque type landscape. Then the fun began…. 🙂
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
“Haupu & Naupaka”
Epic clouds that briefly were above Haupu Mtn during our 2015 Workshop as seen from Mahaulepu. It was SUPER windy this day which doesnt come across as much unless you see the choppy ocean. The small naupaka was hanging tight along the rocky coastline.
Day 1. Actually not even more than a couple of hours after meeting our Workshop clients we found ourselves at the first stop of the 6 days we were to take exploring and photographing the island. Given that the waves were up that day, and Ke’e Beach the destination, we made a pit stop over at Lumahai just past Hanalei. I knew from pictures and reports that the beach and shifted tremendously over the winter. Massive westerly swells pushed sand 20′ deeper than I’ve seen in places before, ever. Of course I was the only one to know (or possibly care, ha) but I knew that unique possibilities would be there.
Getting down I was blown away. Rocks that people normally jump off of in to the ocean were filled all the way up to with sand. Crazy! Walking up this little pool was hanging out enticing us so we set up and watched the surf. Occasionally the waves would wash over the rock to the right and cascade in to the pool. Which I thought was the shot I was after with them. Getting everyone squared away and set up I was poking around to see what was left. What you cant see in this photograph are the two tripods to either side of me 🙂
As we sat biding our time, watching the clouds move by, waves come and go the sun disappeared. And all the golden light we had was gone. Knowing we needed to get to Ke’e for sunset time was starting to run out. The ehu kai (sea spray) was hanging around as well as winds were fairly light, thus allowing it to collect along the beach and treeline. Magically, a beam of light opened up and illuminated the mist far down the beach! Woah! I was able to get a few exposures off and then it was gone. 60s of light. That’s all there was for this image. Amazing! Quickly packing up we were off to our second location of the workshop. What a way to start the week 🙂
Processing this photograph I really wanted to show off the awesome curves which drew me to the scene in the first place. After editing the color version I had a feeling that the simplicity of a black and white might make more of an impact to the effect I was after. Converting it I was stoked to see the result but both images have their merits. So instead of posting one…I present you both!
Note: For cleanliness some footprints were removed from the scene.