A Maui Cove

Over Land

Getting places in Maui often required a bit of legwork. The best places seemed to require a good deal of treacherous hiking and the Red Sand Beach was no exception. The think is, regardless of where you happen to look you get a wondrous view…the walk to this particular beach was no exception. After scaling down what by comparison was a rather small hillside (none the less deadly) we were greeted with this cove.

The Sunning Seal


It seems the best beaches in Maui require a bit of a hike. I am all for this honestly, you need exercise to look good in that bathing suit right? The Red Sand beach in Maui, Hawaii is another one of those places you should forget I am mentioning. Its hard to get to, dangerous…you shouldn’t go! Wow is it neat! It is really just a very small cove that is, well red. Its more of a fine gravel than a sand, but its so cool I didn’t really care.

Marine Life

The first thing I noticed was the red sand. The second, the nude sunbathers (why oh why are they always hippies). The third thing I noticed was this awesome seal sunbathing with everyone else. He was very still and I feared at first he might be dead. A product of the circle of life, but when the water would get to close, he would lively flop his way further onshore in irritation. He didn’t seem to mind the children on the beach or me getting close enough for a picture so I grabbed this shot.

The Lava Coast of Maui

Treacherous Beauty

In the pursuit of the soul of a place, Pamela and I will often not be terribly afraid to go off the beaten path (especially when visiting first world countries). This particular location in Western Maui (on Kahekili Highway around MM 16) is one of the views we had after hiking over considerably treacherous terrain looking for some natural ocean baths. These are natural “pool” formations in the lava that collect water that is then warmed by the sun and the black lava rock. Its quite an interesting and somewhat difficult place to get to but oh so worth it much like the Heart Shaped Rock.


This is a three shot bracket shot on a tripod (Despite the lady telling me emphatically while on our way down SHE wouldn’t try to get down there with all that camera gear. Of course she was also wearing flip flops (slippers in Hawaii) and carrying a small child…hmmmm.) (-2, 0, +2) combined in Photomatix, edited with a number of curves layers in Photoshop, enhanced with the Nik Suite and finished in Lightroom.

Heart Shaped Rock


Before taking our recent trip to Maui, I asked around on the Interwebs if people had any specific recommendations of places not to miss on the island. My friend Destination David suggested the Nakalele Blowhole. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into when we decided to go. First we happened to be in Kahului (which I always called the airport town) and we logically approached the blowhole from the east. This is apparently a road only people who LIVE on the road actually attempt to drive on. It was largely one lane, with VERY steep drop offs…I LOVED IT! The hike to the blowhole is steep, dangerous, likely to cause injury and oh so worth it (Don’t be like me…heed the signs and turn back from certain death).

Crazy Formations

The blowhole is a site we will surely explore in another post, but in this one I wanted to highlight an interesting heart shaped rock you will see if you turn around from being awed by the force of the blowhole. I have been unable to find information about whether this rock is a result of the awesome power of the ocean, or if someone purposefully carved this into the rock. I would love to know, so if you have some supportable documentation please post it below in the comments!

Volcanic Sunrise

Inferno in the Sky

It was the most glorious sunrise I have every witnessed. If you visit Maui, the Haleakalā National Park visit is at the top of my recommended list. It’s an extremely early trip. We were staying in Kihei, so it was about a two hour drive to the summit of the volcano. As we neared the time of sunrise, we continued to wind forever up, up the road. The sky continued to change ever more interesting colors and hues and I had a hard time not watching the specical, but rather keeping my eyes on the dangerous road.

Ranger Blocked

As we neared the top, a ranger stopped everyone saying the summit was full. Were were told we couldn’t go to the summit and instead would have to stop at the Kalahaku Overlook. I was terribly distraught by this at first, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The summit would have been terribly crowded and I would have been very restricted as to where I could put my tripod. At the overlook, no one seemed to care. I actually hiked way out to the rim of the volcano. This photo was at the very start of sunrise, from the official overlook. Get up even earlier then you think you need to, the sky changes wonderful colors WAY before the official sunrise time.


This is a three shot bracket (-2, 0, +2) combined in Photomatix. I then did some exposure blending in Photoshop to really bring back in the blackness of the sky. I love sky gradients where there is a change in light (or an absence in this case). I then used the Nik Suite to add contract and clarity, and perform sharpening. The final exits were done in Lightroom.

Ocean Kayaks in Maui

Colorful Ocean Vessels

One of “the shots” I wanted visiting Maui was one of a bunch of long boards lined up to dry. The only place I saw this was some dude’s (it had to be a dude) house along the Hana Highway who had made a fence out of old surf boards. I felt a bit funny stopping along the side of the busy road to take this photo so I “settled” for this shot. From a hotel in Kihei I found this little storage place where the kayaks stay at night. They were just oh so colorful and the early morning light was interesting to me. I hope you all enjoy!


This is a three shot bracket (-2, 0, +2) combined in photomatix, exported to photoshop, enhanced with the Nik Suite and finished in Lightroom.

Sunset in Maui


On the first day in Maui, we were treated to one of nature’s spectacular light shows. This is why I take pictures. Our first night was perhaps the best sunset of the week. From our vantage point in South Maui, you can see the western side of Maui to the right and the smaller island of Lana’i off in the distance to the left of the sunset. We happened to hit the beach our first day when the sun fell directly in between the two islands. Serendipity! Maui is a bit like Paris in that getting good photos is like shooting fish in a barrel. When beauty abounds how can you not succeed. I wonder if paradise becomes so commonplace for the general inhabitants of the islands that they don’t often stop and recognize how spectacular everything is around them…of course the same thing could be said of people in the Ozarks.


This is a 9 shot bracket (-3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3) combined in Photomatix. Edited in lightroom for some initial corrections, Photoshop, the Nik Suite, then back to Lightroom for finishup. Total processing time was around 2 hours.