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!
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 😉
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.
Much thanks and enjoy!
It had been years…many, since I had last taken a camera to shoot the Waimea Pier. The chance came up after a camping trip to Polihale on the west side of Kauai. On the way back home it was late enough in the day that we decided to stop by and catch a sunset at the pier. Having a few ideas already in my mind I set to work experimenting with different compositions. Running from standing on the pier to underneath it, trying to work as quickly as possible with the dwindling light. Comical I’m sure to watch. My goal for this session were long exposures so each time I set a shot and clicked I was waiting anywhere from 30-60s. Doesnt make for quick work.
As the sun was dropping I managed to get off this exposure under the pier and was quite happy with the dance of light around the pillars and base. The funny thing is that even making sure my horizon was level, the pier is not straight! Looks like someone needed a protractor when building this one 😉
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?
Ok…couldnt resist taking that Pearl Jam line. But it’s appropriate. 🙂 Wanted to make a quick blog post and share a little before and after, only separated by about 6 years. So as we learn as artists (read: humans) our tastes evolve, our skills evolve, even computers evolve. I know when I first really started shooting seriously that one of my main problems was that I couldnt get the photograph to look how I wanted/experienced. Fast forward 6 years and a lot has changed. The last time I touched this photo was probably about that long ago. Lightroom, which I predominately use, has updated drastically as well as my techniques. That being said here is an image I took in Nov 2008 at sunrise along the east side of Kaua’i. There’s actually some I still like in the old edit but the new image, albeit edited fairly quickly, has a more refined feeling to it (at least I believe). Both are true to the scene however give a different feel to the sunrise.
Much thanks and hope you enjoyed this jog down memory lane 😛
“A New Day” (unreleased….and probably will be forever)
“Beyond Venus” (unreleased)
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.
Maui offering up some more magic!
“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!
Had the opportunity yesterday (6/5/14) to go photograph one of my favorite spots on the island. One that I havent really visited much in the recent past. The sky that afternoon was a bit hazy but overcast with high clouds. Without seeing much of the horizon I made a comment to a fellow visiting photog
Of course the bottom line gives it away. After climbing down the trail, a trail that has been much degraded in the last few years. By which I mean slopey dirt/mud and the crux at the end where the ropes are in bad need of some maintenance to say the least). I dropped my bag in my desired location and walked around a little scouting for future projects. The sky being very suspect. As I got back to my bag and wasted some time (read: playing hearts), I poked my head around the rock and the sun was lighting up a tiny section of cloud on the horizon. Gave me some hope. As the sun set the glow stayed…then started to grow…that is when I sent the text. Over the next 10 minutes or so the color crept over the sky causing everything to glow as I giddly laughed to myself….chance of epic. Of course the hike back up to the car still was ahead of me…but we all know up is always easier 🙂
Recently had the chance to spend a few days on Maui for the first time in about 3.5 years. Probably a bit too long…and with many projects to shoot and still discover, it was a great time. Had the benefit of a great friend/tour guide and some unexpected surprises. Needless to say I have a lot of work to do over there 🙂
This particular image was at the end. Which is usually a great place to start. Camping in the back of the truck the night before, 4am is never a good time for an alarm. Making the drive, finding the pull over and then hiking down in the dark is always exciting, especially to a place unseen (by me) before. As we got down to our intended location I looked across the pool and saw where I really wanted to be. Next step, figuring out how to get over there. Climbing up the rocks, through the forest and then finally figuring out the path we arrived on this ledge. There is a place in my heart for sea stacks (and similar formations) and this spot had me quite happy. Then the waiting for the sun. As it breached the horizon there was about 5 min of good light, then back in to the clouds, then the rain…and more rain. Sometimes having a good friend along pays off in that finally as the sky started to explode with crazy, I had an handy umbrella holder and was able to rattle off a number of shots trying for different water motion. The rest of the morning continued with off and on rain. But finally getting some dramatic light (it has been a while for me), had me in good spirits.
Then of course…was that long, windy drive back to the airport…. 🙂