One Day in Kauai

The day started as any other Hawaiian day. The sky was cloudy at the northeast end of Kauai just as any other day of the last vacation. My first look out of the window at the clouds, palm trees, the ocean, beach, and mountains in the distance. Hey, there in the mountains something interesting was going on. The sun broke through the clouds and lit up one of the mountains in the ridge.

That was interesting. I setup my tripod in my hotel room, put my camera on, pointed it out of the window at the landscape outside and took a photo.

The fall weather in northeast Kauai is typically very unstable. In just a few minutes the light completely changed. I took another photo. The change itself had become interesting. Thus a day long project was born: the composition was framed and unchanged for the whole day but any time light changed I would take a photo.

Here is the final selection of the images from that day.

 

Photos for Meditation

I found certain photos to be great for meditation. I can stare at the for long time and think about something that I cannot remember anything of later. They are just so calming and simple.

Just Do It

Two things inspire me. I’m inspired by great images. But I’m inspired even more by people who go out and make images: no matter the conditions, no matter the mood, no matter anything. This persistence makes me do the same: go out and photograph.

Originally I wanted to write about going back to my old friend – Second Beach in Olympic National Park. When I went there a week ago I expected winter like conditions: overcast, heavy clouds. Instead it was summer like: sunny and clear sky. I’m not very fond of clear sky. It is a lot of empty blueness – boring.

Then I told myself: just do it. Take a camera and make the best images you can from the material you’re presented.

Fascination with Lofoten

I’ve spent 3 amazing days in Lofoten and I fell in love with it. It is a chain of islands in Norway above arctic circle connected by bridges and tunnels.

I had such a misconception from my childhood about life above arctic circle. I imagined Lofoten to be ice and snow, and rock not covered by ice and snow, devoid of life.

It turned to be something completely different. Lofoten was vibrant and lively with green grass, blue sky, sunshine, white sand beaches, emerald ocean and mild temperatures. It was not even nearly as cold as I imagined it. I found it hard to believe I was above arctic circle.

I wanted to stop and touch every tree, touch the grass, the sand and water. It was so far from what I expected that it felt surreal, science fiction. I had to touch it all to check that it was real and not a figment of my imagination.

Sitting in the car watching ripples of water run up and down while sandy beach made me feel like I’m in Hawaii. It was a bit colder than Hawaii when I was getting out of the car. 🙂

You know what was even more surreal? Having no night. It was a beginning of arctic summer, when the sun shines round the clock. It was surreal to hike at midnight and have daylight.

Driving thru the small towns at “night” felt eerie. It was bright as day but there were no people, no movement. It was like in science fiction or horror movies when you wake up one day and all the humanity is gone.

There is so much to photograph there: snow capped mountains, waterfalls, ocean, sandy beaches, rocky beaches, mountain rivers, green meadow, lakes, tiny islands. And best of all I could hike pretty much everywhere. There is very little private land. I spotted a waterfall up the mountain while driving, I just stopped where I could and went up. This was such an enjoyment to roam the land, to wonder around.

There was a payback for all that “night” travel as I was red eyed from lack of sleep but it was totally worth it. If you’ve never been above arctic circle in summer, make sure it is on your “bucket list”.

On the Other Side

I went to Olympic National Park again, just 3 weeks after last time. The last time it was all about visiting old friends. This time it was about making new.

I like the saying “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” by Marcel Proust. It has been my guide in photography for long time. But… sometimes we can let our mind rest and let legs do the work.

I did visit a place I had been to many times – Rialto Beach – but this time I walk past Hole in the Wall, further than I’ve ever been before. I was enjoying excitement of exploration, walking the ground I’ve never been to before, soaking in new landscapes.

That’s where I made this photo at twilight. It has some mysterious feel too it, strangely attracting the eye. I’m wondering if its mystery has anything to do with a you-know-which movie.

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Minimalizm

There was something new in the way I photographed Second Beach this last time which was different fro previous times. Many photographs are very minimalistic with vast open spaces of sky and ocean. I’m wondering if that an influence of Michael Kenna’s and John Paul Caponigro’s work.

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Many Faces of the Same Place

It is amazing how many different photos can be made in the same spot and of the same subject. Look at this photos for example. The same sea stack at Second Beach, just different atmospheric conditions, different light and different exposure.

And here is a couple of photos with a different angle:

Yet one more angle:

More photos of this place from my earlier trips can be found on my website: http:///www.vitphoto.com/?folio=Olympic.

Patience is a Virtue

Patience is a virtue for landscape photographer. Waiting for the right weather, for the right light takes indefinite amount of time.

In Olympics when it rains it pours. But it can stop as suddenly as it starts. This is my favorite time to photograph as I get great cloudy sky. All I need is a bit of patience.

On my second day of the last trip to Olympic Peninsula I woke up to a pouring rain. Well, what could I do about that? Nothing, really nothing. What I can do is to read a book or a magazine. And that’s what I did. I was sitting in a car in a pouring rain reading thru a recent issue of Lenswork. Once I was done with it I moved onto a photography book.

By the noon the rain stopped. I got out of the car put on my backpack and headed to Second Beach. I was rewarded with great skies. Just the kind I like.

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Black and White World

The first week of this September this year my family and friends went to Pacific Coast of Olympic Peninsula. We went to First Beach, Second Beach and Rialto Beach. We had a lot of fun. My son as always was heading numerous construction projects on the beaches or maintaining fire. And I as always used any time available to do some photography.

This time there were no breathtaking sunsets, no amazing colors but there were spectacular clouds, textures, reflections. Sounds like a good opportunity for black-and-white photography.

I’m mostly doing color photography nowadays but whenever I try converting some of my photos to black-and-white they still look great. Which leads me to thinking that color can add something to a photo but it cannot make a photo. The photo should be strong even without color. Color is just an icing on a cake.

Other times the color is weak, or unpleasant, or destructive. Like on this trip the color was boring, it was not adding anything to photographs. And sometimes it was unpleasant yellowish color on the clouds that I did not like. Thus I was completely focused on making black-and-white photography.

Rialto

Waterfalls is just one kind of moving water. Another one is ocean waves breaking on the coast.

Here are two photos at the same location – Rialto Beach in Olympic National Park. I like both of them. Each in its own way.

I like the first one for the wave breaking on the rock:

The second one for the nice S-curve that curves around the rock and leads to sea-stacks:

Which one do you like better?