Koki Beach Sunrise 1

Koki Beach Sunrise 1, Hana Coast, Maui, Hawaii

Happy New Year! It's been almost 4 weeks since my last blog post. Why should I feel so guilty? I needed a break from my online-self and took time off to visit Hawaii with my family. We spent the first week of our trip in the incredibly laid-back town of Hana on the east coast of Maui. This is the fourth time that I have been to Hana, and third time with my family. We rented 2 different homes during our week-long stay. The first was conveniently on Hana Bay, but rustic and gave us bedbugs. The second was just south of town right across from the field that lead down to the majestic Waioka Pool. Everyone in my family agrees that swimming in the pool was the highlight of our memorable trip.

While this was primarily a family vacation where I ignored the internet while taking my daughters swimming and buying them shave-ice, I woke up before them each morning in order to photograph the sunrise. Putting on my swim shorts and a tank top while leaving my sandals at home was not a bad way to start each day. The sweet smell of rotting guavas filled the air as I departed for the short drive to my photography objectives. Since Hana is quiet and remote, I had my choice of the fantastic beaches all to myself. One of my favorites is modest but rugged Koki Beach. This spectacular setting has a tumultuous wave break against the beach backed by a photogenic hill composed of crimson cinders. I attempted to shoot this fantastic scene several mornings during my visit. I was particularly enamored with the lava rocks on the right side of the beach that the waves occasionally washed over. I took some chances with my camera and tripod by setting them up in this surf zone, but knew that the waves draining through these rocks would complete the image I was after. Creating an image like this where moving water becomes an integral part of the picture requires being able to pre-visualize the composition. Of course, the sunrise light and billowing clouds complete the dramatic scene which I consider one of my best photographs from the entire trip. I created this image using my Canon 5DmkII, Canon 17-40mm f4 lens at 20mm, and Singh-Ray 3-stop Hard Graduated Neutral Density filter on my very wet tripod. It is a single exposure that required minimal processing using Aperture 3.

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    Jan-Thank you!

    Scott-In a perfect world, I agree that those trees would not be there, but what is a perfect world? They only slightly draw the eye away from the hill. Photography is all about compromise. No matter how close we come, no image is ever perfect as there is always room for improvement.

    I see the trees as a little bit of a distraction – and a little bit of an “extra treat” – my eye seems to flow from the moving water to the brilliant bluff with the pink clouds above – then I notice the interesting trees, and I see them as adding, not subtracting from the total.

    I am pleased to encounter a sunrise person – I, too draw much inspiration from sunrises and photographing them is an ever-changing delight.

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