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?
Admittedly I do not get out to shoot as much as I once did. While my production has slowed a bit the ideas that I have had and still come up with do not cease. On Monday night I had the opportunity to actually attempt one of these such ideas that could probably date back 1-2 years. After leaving aFeinberg Gallery Poipu I got in to my car after catching a quick bite, and while tired, the sky had actually cleared up from the rainy weather we had had over the last couple of days. Seeing as that I had my gear in the car the only thing left was to head out and give it a go.
For those not familiar with the area this is Spouting Horn. A hugely popular attraction during the day, especially in the summer months when the south swell is more predominant. The ocean gets forced through an old lava tube and sprays upwards like a geyser. Pretty spectacularly at times. Of course venturing down is never recommended. I spend a LOT of my time around the ocean photographing and have a healthy respect for what it can do. Then add in the night time aspect and all the more creepy. Especially since that as the horn spouts there is a huge whistling sound. But this startling noise comes from about 30yards away from the water! Watching one direction…noise from another. After watching for a number of minutes I decide we’re good to go and grab the gear. I carefully make my way to where my approximate shot is and watch the ocean some more. Getting accustomed to the sound and pattern of the waves. Then the tricky part. Composing, focusing and shooting in the dark.
Now one of the things that I had not realized when visualizing this image was that there were street lights all around, thus bathing the area in artificial light. Rats, was my first thought. I had wanted it dark so that I could light paint the scene together. I took a test shot to see if I had my composition down and the result was pretty crazy! The whole ground was glowing bright red….like a dragon’s lair. And, as predicted…the milky way BLAZING off the horizon up in to the sky. Now the next part; figure out a way to capture the splash properly. Over the next hour or so I spent rattling off 25 second exposures and playing with different lighting…all while waiting for the right wave to send the spray shooting upwards (but not getting blown too much to block the milky way!).
Finally, toward the end, and getting fairly tired, I decided to call it. Hoping that at least one of the shots I had captured would work out. After all it took me almost 2 years to even attempt this…and the wait was worth it :0