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.
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.
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.
I’ve mentioned this before: the sunset is not over until it is dark. The reverse applies to sunrise: the sunrise is not over until it is day light.
On my recent trip to Hawaii I went for sunrise to this spot that I had scouted ahead of time. I had to scramble thru the bushes in the dark with a flash light but what wouldn’t you do to get to a spot you like.
I started photographing even before sunrise to see if anything interesting comes out from that. Nothing interesting was coming out. Then the color showed up in the sky.
After a few images the light, the color disappeared. It looked like twilight again. I guess the cloud ran over and blocked sun light.
But I knew not to abandon my post. I simply sat and enjoyed the motions of waves back and forth, back and forth. Until the sun broke out in earnest.
Are you like me and take a camera equipment with you on a family vacation? And I don’t mean a small camera for family snapshots. I mean large tripod and backpack full of lenses, filters and big camera. Even if for a moment, even for a little bit I want to enjoy the new place thru a viewfinder.
I’ve just come back from a trip with my son to Hawaii. There is not mucch opportunity for photography with a 10 year old who does not like hiking. Fortunately, our hotel location in Kauai happened to be picturesque. I did not need to wonder far away for a sunrise, just sneak out of the hotel grounds.
There is an infinite number of ways to interpret that same scene, the same photo, the same subject. The interpretation very much depends on my emotional state.
My photographs are more a reflection of me than a capture of reality. This sounds cliché but it is true. I’m very much surprised but this myself.
Naturally my emotional state changes over time and images that used to speak to me seem to be silent now. The opposite is true. Sometimes I find gems in images long forgotten.
The changes of my emotions even change the way I interpret images in post processing. Look at these two images. The exact same scene the almost exact same photo.
First one is the image I captured. It is dark and grey. It is an image of depression, being lost with no way out.</p
Then the image after processing. When I process images I rarely have a plan; I’m exploring letting it take me wherever it wants to take me, looking for something that resonate with me. In this case I ended up with an image of hope.
I’m sitting in a hotel room in a hot hot Dubrovnik in Croatia but my thoughts are about cool Lofoten. Apparently heat and me don’t go together very well. My brain is boiling with a temperature close to 40C outside and I cannot put a single thought together. So, I spend middays in a hotel room with air conditioning and mornings and evenings in a pool or the sea.
Cool weather is much easier for me. It helps me think and be more creative. Cool weather such as in Lofoten. I remember its very unstable nature. It could change from rainy to sunny and back to rainy within an hour. That kind of change creates great sky and great light. I just need to be patient and watch for an opportunity, hunting for a great light and composition. All the images below were taken from the same spot on the same day but how different they are!
I remember when I planned my first trip I was very concerned about rainy forecast. On being there I understood that “rainy” weather is exactly what I need as it created drama and emotion.
Why do I think about Lofoten now? Because in a week I’m going there again. This time for longer and with a knowledge of places that can give me the best experience.