Surfs Up

When they say the surf is up, they really mean it. What made for wonderful surfing also made for some great wave photography on the North Shore of Kauai.

Another location that you should not journey to under high surf conditions or high tide is the rocky outreach north of Ke’ee Beach. Again, I undertook this location in hopes of getting some great high wave images, but not without first taking a hard look at the ocean state and weather.

When you look thru the lens and get all excited about the images, you lose any peripheral vision and become myopic. When working along the ocean it is critical to have a spotter observing the waves and watching your back; they are your shooting conscience and your safety net. Hats off to Kat and Roger for their help. Today we will be back to this site with even higher surf after we hike the Kulalau Trail, this time with Steve and Lori. Jim is lost in a sand trap somewhere and Barb well, only Barb knows where she is.

Happy shooting and be careful out there.

Shooting details: Hasselblad H6D50c, HCD 150mm, ISO 100, F/9.5 at 1/800 sec with B+W CP, 1.2 ND, RRS tripod and BH50 head.

#Hasselblad #RRS #Kauai #surf #waves

The Washing Machine - Kauai

This is a shooting location that I would not normally journey to during the winter months and I must admit, I knew of the dangers.  According to Tom’s Barefoot Tours, this place is way "off the charts" dangerous. By any reasonable standard, the statistics of deaths and near drownings at Queen's Bath qualifies this place as a "slaughter house."

To be safe and successful here, you must study just about everything dealing with the local environment.  Daylight hours, sun angle, surge, tide, wave height and frequency are to name but a few.  Two days ago, everything came together for us, including a nice cloud bank in the distance.  Yes, I had been watching this very closely including getting some personal counsel from one of the Life Guards at Hanalei.  So off four of us went, taking extra care to remain on the dry rocks.  Any wet rock, represented an opportunity for a wave hit.  Kauai has these crazy ‘sneaker waves’ that come out of nowhere and simply take lives.  Safety is a must when shooting here.

A 20-minute trek down a steep and slippery slope, passing two waterfalls along the way, led us to the headworks of the lava beach.  Another short scramble across the sharp lava rocks had us in position to study the ocean.  We concluded that only one area was safe to shoot from, and that was high above both baths (King and Queen).  The sun angle made King’s Bath a better choice.  After looking at the image, it is no wonder the locals refer to this area as the washing machine.

Shooting details:  Hasselblad H6D50c, 28mm HCD, ISO 200, f/9.5 @ 3 seconds.  Lee .9 ND HS (reversed to form a very hard line at the horizon), and Little Stopper.   Two captures, for two different focus points.  Processed in LR and PS.  Yep, I need to re-shoot this to tweak it just a bit.  Why the crazy settings?  I have found that flowing water really makes for nice patterns between 2.5 and 4 seconds.  Any longer and you risk starting to turn water into milky looking streams and losing details.  By managing my exposure via the use of NDs and ISO, I was able to hit my desired shutter speed mark.

Kauai - December 26, 2016

December 26, sunrise on the Kauai beach line near the small boat harbor.

Sometimes, capturing an image is all about first having a vision then knowing your camera and lighting conditions so you can create your vision.

Having previously scouted this area, I had in my mind what I wanted to go for. I knew that I would be shooting at an odd angle to the sun. I knew that I wanted a given shutter speed to get the water effect that I was after. I knew the depth of field that I needed to have given the location. So considering all of this, my f-stop and shutter speed are now somewhat fixed. All that remains to manage the scene is my ISO and ND filters.

Shooting details, Hasselblad H6D50c, HC100mm lens, ISO 100, f/11 at 4 seconds. Lee little stopper plus 0.6 ND hard grad from the top.

#Kauai #Hasselblad

Christmas Day Shooting

Nothing like waking up on the 25th and busting everything to get out of the door to meet sunrise. While on Kauai for the next three weeks, I promised myself that I would do what every it takes to get out and make one photo per day. So here is the photo of the day, Christmas Day.

Thanks Steve for showing me this hidden gem. I don't think I would have journeyed up the hill without seeing your iphone image.

Hasselblad H6D50c, 28mm, Lee 0,6 Soft ND, placed on the bottom, exposed for the white clouds in the upper area. ISO 100, f/8 at 1/25 sec.