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!
Last Wednesday I had just gotten back to Maui and headed up to Paia to play some ultimate. The weather in the eastern Islands had been stormy for a couple of days with damaging flooding occurring on Maui the day prior. While the sky was nice enough there were storm clouds further down the coast but weren’t tracking any further to the west. As the sun set we noticed a couple of the clouds starting popping off some awesome lightning. Standing there watching this awesome spectacle I decided to run back to the car and grab my gear and hurry to the beach to try and catch some. These kinds of conditions are VERY rare in Hawaii and standing out there with the ocean running up watching this show was special. To add to the surreal part of the scene the full moon had just rising and was lighting everything up as well! Not a bad way to start this trip!
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!
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!
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 😉
It’s been pretty difficult to put in to words the amount of emotions and feelings that are all mixing around inside me so without further ado I am over joyed to announce; This 1,422 sq ft space will not only feature the Hawai’i portfolio but images from all of the travels will start to be released; update New York in Autumn, southern Utah slot canyons, Yosemite….
I am truly humbled to be able to announce this today and thank you all so much for your support and encouragement and so excited to have you along for the ride. More details about the opening will be shared in the coming weeks. Buckle up!
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.
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.