Well…that was fun. Had a last minute private workshop client last Friday 3/31 and just so happened to coincide with a massive 25-30′ WNW swell. While waves that size are common in the winter, a swell of that size this time of year is relatively rarer. What this means is that the sun is in a completely different part of the sky than usual toward sunset. Knowing this we went down to a favorite spot but decided that it wasnt safe to go any farther so hung out on the rocks and shot a bunch of impact and abstracts. Being that the sun is far enough north the late afternoon light doesnt get blocked by Mt. Makana. This is what I was excited for. This particular capture was just after I pulled out my longer lens and looked up to see this monstrosity stand up headed toward the rocks. With the strong back-lighting I fired a few shots in hope of capturing the elusive beast…The Kraken.
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
“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!