Was up in Waimea Canyon a couple of weeks ago to celebrate a birthday. Luckily it landed on a day off and I was able to join in the fun. We hiked around the forest and then I brought them to one of my faovrite spots on Kaua’i for sunset. Getting down to this spot is a bit nerve wracking but worth it every time. I’ve been here on a number of occasionis and each time is incredible. As with my previous adventure here the light was doing some magical things. Before the sun dropped below the mountainside we had incredible beams in front of us.
As for the title…well Mark Twain famously DIDNT call Waimea Canyon the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”. But still makes for a good story 😉
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…. 🙂
Had some free time last week to get out and head up to Koke’e State Park and Waimea Canyon for some exploring. I absolutely love it up there in the mountains. The air is cooler and it’s like one is transported to a completely different place. Plus it’s absolutely gorgeous! Camping out the night before I was able to get a casual start to the day as it was more of a scouting mission to see some new trails. The Cliff trail…the goal. After taking a slight 😉 detour we made our way to the overlook and then beyond. Waimea Canyon always blows my mind. I sat out on the point for a while. Just enjoying the cool air and warm sun. Snapping some images as the light dappled across the scene. Now to return with some sunrise/sunset light 😉