On Living and Dying

Constant Struggle

I miss the sea.

I find a certain solace just being near her. I often just sit and think. Ultimately this leads me to wonder about birth, life and death. I consider the island, born of the conflict of fire and water, made solid into land. The ocean though, does not forget and slowly begins reclaiming the land to its watery depths.

This was once a solid piece of land. The ocean began eating it away, leaving a spike of land that eventually collapsed. Slowly, the ocean will completely devour this too and return it to where it started. The circle is all around if only you wish to see.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/5
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 26 May, 2015
  • Focal length: 24mm
  • ISO: 1250
  • Shutter speed: 1/6400s
  • Title: On Living and Dying

High Atop the Awa’awapuhi Trail, Kauai, Hawaii

Big Hiking Payoff

There are so many spectacular hikes in Hawaii. The Awa’awapuhi Trail in Kauai is probably my favorite BIG payoff. The hike itself if moderate and the scenery along the way is a bit…well meh, but the end of the trail will make your jaw fall to the ground. It is a truly breathtaking sight.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 25 May, 2015
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter speed: 1/640s
  • Title: High Atop the Awa’awapuhi Trail, Kauai, Hawaii

Perfect Beaches in Kauai

Finding Your Place

It’s no secret that I LOVE Hawaii. It’s not the sun exactly, or the beach, it’s not beautiful people or some island style. It is all of these things, but rolled together and a calm that you rarely see on the mainland. This beach in Kauai is one of my perfect spots. Both times I have come here were early and I had the place all to myself. I don’t think it’s probably every really busy, but I love the way the forest grove shades my pale skin from the strong Hawaiian sun. I can sit here and think, be with myself, be with the ocean. In the world, it is one of my perfect spots just to be.

Photo Technical Info

On the Beach in Kauai

Crazy Sunset Tones

I have been experimenting again. I almost didn’t share this photo. It seemed too extreme to me when I processes it. I have been playing with some of Trey’s Lightroom Presets. They are surprisingly fun and I love deconstructing them to find new techniques in Lightroom!

Pro Tip…never use any preset on its default values, but rather as a starting point (wedding photographers, feel free to ignore that completely).

Photo Technical Info

End of the Awa’awapuhi Trail, Kauai, Hawaii

Extraordinary Beauty

There are places in this world that have taken by breath from me. Na Pali coast is one. I started as I often do with a great hiking guide on the Awa’awapuhi Trail from Unreal Hawaii (I can’t tell you how much I appreciate these guys). The trail was a bit wet (expected) and slightly uneventful, but fantastic exercise.

I can’t describe how high I am taking this photo, or how close to the edge I was hiking out on the ridge line. The photo does no justice to nature’s splendor, but I wanted you to see what I can convey.

As a side bit of trivia, this photo is the 400th I have processes for the blog!

Photo Technical Info

A Dead Tree by the Ocean

For the Love of Hawaii

People have stated to notice the frequency of my visits to Hawaii. I go maybe two or three times a year. It’s an easy trip that I often get upgraded on, but there is something more than the 8000 or so miles I earn. Hawaii pulls me back. The Hawaiian islands are paradise, but not for the reason’s people are sold. I was talking with an old friend this weekend and I think we felt similarly. Its not the sun, or the beaches, or the joy of temporary vacation. It is the ease at which everything operates in Hawaii. There is a calm there that is infectious and calm is perhaps the thing we need the most these days.

Speaking to Trees

This is one of my favorite trees in the world. It, for now, sits alone on a beach in Kauai. It can’t speak any longer. It is dead. But it still stands as a monument to itself. A beacon on a cliff that will likely fall into the ocean soon as well. This tree seems to me to encapsulate the spirit of this place. All around is life and death, air, earth, fire and water all in their rawest forms, constantly battling for supremacy. Somehow even in death, this tree speaks to me. I need to go back to hear more of its message, before it vanishes, returning to the sea.

Photo Technical Info

A Girl Looking Off the Top of Sleeping Giant, Kauai

Kauai the Beautiful

The hike to the top of Sleeping Giant (Nounou Mountain) in Kauai isn’t the most arduous hike, but the view at the end if rewarding, if you dare disobey the signs warning of the immanent fall to your death (always heed warning signs!). When I reached the Giant’s chin, there was a small group occupying the top. This girl stayed here looking out at the expanse of Kauai for a long time. I cant say I blame her. Kauai is one of the most beautiful places in the world, there is a beauty, a majesty in all of Hawaii that is palpable. That sub-current is one of the reason’s I think people get “caught” by the Hawaiian Islands and leave their lives on the mainland. The pull is just TOO powerful. I am constantly feeling that pull myself. Even though I know I should go other places (there are so many places to go), I time and time again am pulled to Hawaii, to sit, to stare out, to lose myself in wonder.

Photo Technical Info

Beautiful Sunrise Kauai, Hawaii

Beautiful Sunrises

When I go places I end up being torn between sunrise and breakfast. Some of the most beautiful light is at sunrise and sunset. The secret is the hoards come for sunset, but sunrise is almost mine alone. The problem is that I get free breakfast at my hotel, but its time period conflicts with my capture of sunrise. Too often I get out early, but get caught up in photographing sunrise to make it back in time for breakfast! I always attempt to find balance in my trips, sometime the beauty of a place can easily makes me forget to eat, and too often I am so lost in the beauty, I don’t mind.

Photo Technical Info

Kauai Sunrise

One morning I followed the beach around away from the resort on Kauai and found this wonderful beach to watch sunrise. I met a WONDERFUL character who was here fishing and also photographing sunrise. We chatted about life and his feelings of Kauai and Oahu and discovered his family lives in Missouri…but that is perhaps another story (ask me sometime).

After parting with my new friend, I photographed a bit longer. I was so enamored with the sky, I forgot the importance of elemental balance, the ocean was all but too kind to remind me it too is a powerful force. I ended up completely soaked on my right side. I just got off this photo before yanking my camera to safety!

Photo Technical Info

Sunset on a Lava Rock Beach, Kauai, Hawaii

After Glow

After the sun sets with its magical rays and the light starts to fade, some photographers pack it in. The sunset watching crowd, all the time complaining that the people and their electronics don’t really SEE the sunset behind those gadgets, start to wander home. I tend to stay around and see what’s left very often there is a surprising calm or a last burst of light that makes your trip. Maybe that’s another of those good life mottos, stick around you never know what you will find.

Photo Technical Info