Monday, December 24, 2018

The beauty of the island of Kauai

After photographing the wedding on Maui, my wife and I flew to the island of Kauai for a much needed 4 days of vacation. It has been a really long time since I have been on Kauai and I was excited to get back.

We landed on Sunday afternoon, went to the hotel and basically just relaxed for the day. After working all weekend, it was nice to just kick back, have a couple of Mai Tai drinks and do nothing.

The next day, we woke up to high winds and rain. Not exactly what you would want in Hawaii, but we decided to get out and make the most of our time on the island. We walked down to breakfast, and I brought my camera gear and tripod with me. A gentlemen who was sitting near us, saw the tripod and told us that he was on the island to take photos as well. He and I started talking photos and sharing ideas of where we wanted to shoot. He told us about a grove of rainbow eucalyptus tress that were nearby, and my wife and I thought that would be a good place to visit. After finishing our breakfast we headed out.

It didn't take too long to drive to the trees, but as soon as we parked and I went to get out of the car, the rain started dumping down. I jumped back in the car and waited it out. As is usually the case in Kauai, 5 minutes later and it stopped raining. The good news is that the wetness of the trees helped bring out even more color in the bark.

Amongst the rainbow eucalyptus trees, there was plenty of other foliage. I really loved the patterns of moss growing on this one tree, which was nicely nestled with all these ferns.

We walked around the trees and took a lot of photos. Me with the Canon 100-400mm lens mounted on my Canon 5D Mark IV and my wife with her iPhone. The colors in the bark were just amazing!

As we were driving down the road back towards the hotel, we saw this grove of trees on a nearby monastery property. After waiting for the rain to subside once again, we got out and roamed in this area. I was shooting photos of the tree trunks when this rooster came nearby. I said to my wife "I need this rooster to go dead center in my photo" and sure enough, he did just that!

I switched to the Canon 24-105mm lens and got low to the tree roots to get this shot.

Since we were right by the monastery, we decided to walk around and check it out. This is the view from the back of the monastery. Not too shabby.

Also on the same road, we stopped by these waterfalls. Using the low light from the rainy day, I set my ISO to 50 and my aperture to f/36 to give me a slow shutter speed of 1/4 second. I wanted to capture the motion of the water and also to capture the nearby branches blowing in the wind.

For the second half of the day, we drove around the Poipu area of the island. It is in this area where you can find the water spout. Again, I used the muted light to get a slow shutter speed for the blow of the water.

The next morning, we woke up to overcast skies once again, but signs that we might see sunlight. From our balcony, we watched these windsurfers going back and forth in the ocean. I took some photos at high speed but then kept with the slow shutter theme of the trip and started shooting images at 1/6th of a second. I panned along with this guy until I got a sharp image.

We decided to spend the day driving up North, towards the town of Princeville. Along the drive, we diverted off to some side roads and found some beautiful views, like these converging orange and yellow flowered trees.

The sun was starting to come out and the light was just too perfect on this tree not to stop and take some photos.

Right by the tree (in the previous photo), there was this grove of trees all in row. I liked the way that this one "random tree" existed in front of the order of the others.

Eventually, we made our way up to the Kilauea Lighthouse, and the sun finally came out!

This lighthouse is more than 100 years old.

We were walking along the pathway on Kilauea Point, admiring the views when I spotted this butterfly. My wife was admiring the great markings on the outside of the wings, so I worked hard to capture an image with both the top and underside of the wings in the photo. It still amazes me how well the newer Canon 100-400mm lens can focus almost at macro distances.

The next day we drive to some other water falls on the island. This particular one is famous for being featured on the old show "Fantasy Island".

Kauai is well known for the amount of wild roosters and hens that roam the island. The tourists see them as a great photo opportunity, but the locals are not too thrilled with them. I saw this one hop up on a rock, with a killer view of the valley below. It was too good a pose not to photograph.

This rooster climbed up on a tree stump and started crowing. I think it was jealous that I spent so much time photographing it's buddy and was crying for attention. 

On our second to last day on the island, I took a helicopter ride with the doors off, and captured some really cool aerial shots, but that blog is coming next. 

I took this last photo on the morning that we flew home. We woke up to see the sun rising amongst the clouds. It was a beautiful view to start our last couple of hours in Hawaii.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nestled amidst the cerulean expanse of the ocean, the island beckons with its untamed beauty and serene tranquility. Here, time seems to stand still, as the gentle rustle of palm trees harmonizes with the soothing melody of crashing waves. Every grain of sand tells a story of ancient seafarers and mystical legends, whispered by the winds that dance across the landscape. From hidden coves to towering cliffs, each corner of this island is a canvas painted with nature's finest hues. It's a sanctuary for weary souls, a haven where worries dissipate like morning mist, and where the only currency is the priceless gift of solitude. Welcome to paradise, where the spirit of adventure awaits around every bend.