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.

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The Sydney Opera House from the Park Hyatt

Down Under

I just returned from the most wonderful trip to Sydney, Australia! I also just celebrated my 40th birthday so I wanted to go someplace special that I had been putting off. I fly quite a bit, so I also had a wonderful surplus of Airline Miles to book a 1st class award ticket so logically Australia fit the bill! I had the wonderful fortune to get to stay right across form the Sydney Opera House at the Park Hyatt Sydney! The team at Hyatt is generally fantastic, but everyone at the Park Hyatt Sydney went out of their way to make my stay special.

Good Lines

I think I took 2000 photos of the Opera House alone. It’s not too often that a piece of architecture is SO spectacular you can just keep taking photos of the same thing and keep getting something different! Did you know the entire surface of of the exterior is actually cream and white tiles? I didn’t until I stated researching the trip. Don’t worry, there are plenty of detail shots in all those photos I took!

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Coral on Nusa Dua Beach in Bali

Battered Coral

This coral on Nusa Dua Beach in Bali, Indonesia reminded me of my life. It was beaten down, nearly warn smooth, but I found it beautiful. There is beauty in simplicity. There is an elegance that comes with age. I spent my time in Bali sitting on the beach, relaxing and being pampered. It’s something I never do. Never. Something I should do more. This “something” the coral seem to know instinctively and I always seem to forget. Though the sea throws you about, the salt water and sand polish away everything you are, eventually you come up for air…and lay in the sun.

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Remembering You

Beauty and Tragedy

One of my favorite things about Hawaii is the freedom. It exists deeply in the place. All of the beaches are public and free for everyone to enjoy. Often access to these places are difficult and people tend to look the other way when you go someplace you shouldn’t. Signs give warning, but often these are ignored on the islands.

I love this section of cliff in Oahu. I have been several times…I like to sit and take it all in. I also know this is a place of tragedy. The ocean below is treacherous and a fall from the cliffs would be all too easy. There are a few memorials like this and I have always put off processing them, but I think perhaps the danger, the beauty, the harsh reality of this place is what draws me to it and to ignore the tragedy is to ignore part of the freedom that live gives.

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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!

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Lonely Contemplation on an Oahu Hawaii Cliff

Diverse Landscape

One of the main reasons I love Hawaii is the diverse landscape. This location is actually very dangerous and there are many places you could easily fall into the ocean! It an extremely wealthy part of Oahu and I couldn’t help but think the whole time if you wanted an ocean fortress that was not susceptible to normal beach problems…this would be an ideal location. I was struck by this woman sitting all by her self, it seemed someone else thought this a good place to be alone with your thoughts.

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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.

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The Na Pali Coastline of Kauai, Hawaii

The Pull of Hawaii

Kauai isn’t like the other Hawaiian islands I have visited. There is a wildness here, evermore so than on Maui, my closest reference. This was my first time visiting Kauai and it absolutely will not be my last. Every time I go to the islands, I can feel that seductive pull that traps people and never lets go. Something about the place makes me want to be there, it’s more than the beautiful weather and landscape, I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I will keep exploring the feeling.

Quiet Isolation

To me Hawaii is synonymous with hiking. There are places in Hawaii that are incredibly over-crowded, but part of the islands magic seems to be the ability to lose yourself with incredible ease. I found this magic on the Phiea Trail. At the trails head, dozens of people were gawking at this incredible view. I took this photo and kept on walking, climbing over rough terrain and in 10 minutes…silence.

I was alone on the trail with the wind and the ocean and the trees. Occasionally I would come across a fellow hiker, we would nod or say hello, but their footsteps and mine someone were an invasion of the peace. Rapidly, the magic would take over again as the other hiker would fade into my distance and I into theirs. I would once again find myself alone enveloped by the power of nature.

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Wild Flowers on the Shores of Oahu

Incredible Diversity

One of the things I absolutely love about Hawaii is its incredible diversity. It is a CRAZY melting pot of people from all over the world who seek paradise, but I am talking about the landscape. From rocky shores to sandy beaches (and every color imaginable), from forests to mountains, from tundra to big city speed, Hawaii seemingly has it ALL! On a hike to the western tip of Oahu and Ka’Ena Point where I found a cool/weird lighthouse beacon I noticed there wild flowers along the shore. They reminded me of the wild flowers that grow on the fields of Missouri, despite the roar of the Pacific Ocean in the background.

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Footprints in the Sand of Honokalani Black Sand Beach in Maui, Hawaii

Footprints in the Sand

Maui was the first Hawaiian island Pamela and I visited. We went before I started traveling heavily and it’s still easily one of my favorite places on Earth. Looking back, many of my favorite places have been one’s I discovered with Pamela. I love exploring on my own. I think it is a basal need for me, but when you share your journey with the right partner, it makes life better.

This particular beach in Maui, Honokalani Black Sand Beach is located near the town of Hana in the Wainapanapa State Park. We took the road to Hana that day and found this gem towards the end of a day of magical Hawaiian wonder. Easily, this beach was our favorite part, not only of the Road to Hana drive, but our entire trip! This place was pure joy the day we visited. Like footprints in the sand, so too are our lives. Enjoy those moments of bliss no matter if you find them on a black sand beach half-way around the globe or if they materialize in your own backyard.

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 23 July, 2012
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Location: 20° 47.3383′ 0″ N 156° 0.2118′ 0″ W
  • Shutter speed: 1/3200s
  • Title: Footprints on Honokalani Black Sand Beach in Maui, Hawaii