Sunday, 8 November 2009

Puna's ocean and sky

Having a few hours to spare this weekend I thought I'd take the chance to experiment a little with my camera. After the trip to Monterey I really liked the idea of slowing down the movement of water using long exposures, it worked quite well in Monterey in the pre-dawn sky and wanted to try something similar nearer to home. Not always being an early riser I used an ND filter to reduce the light in the pictures above and below and waited for the sun to set in the last two.

I'm sure the pictures could be improved and I'm still not that great when it comes to composition, that's something I'm working on. Anyway, the above picture was taken from my favourite place on the island, the wonderful drive along the coast between Isaac Hale Beach Park (in Pohoiki Bay) and Kalapana. It's such a beautiful road and now the whales are coming back for the winter I'm sure I'll be down there a lot more in the next few months!

Same place, but zoomed in a little with an ND filter - I was trying to smooth out the waves on the rocks.

Much nearer home this evening - the coastline of Hawaiian Paradise Park at the end of Paradise Drive. This is another of my favourite whale watching spots although so far I don't think the whales have reached this side of the island yet. It won't be long though.

Same place but taken on Saturday evening. I don't think it's as nice a shot as the one above, but I really liked the way the red clouds changed the colour of the water. Both these last two used pretty long exposures in an attempt to make the water look interesting - both are blends of 2, 4 and 8 second exposures. Click on the pictures if you want to see larger versions.

Maybe this year I'll actually be able to photograph some whales - I tried last year but never had much luck.


Andrew Cooper said...

No faulting your technique! I have used the the slow shutter speed for streams, but not for ocean waves, something I am going to have to try after seeing your shots. Have a new camera in hand and have to make more excuses to get out and use it. Hamakua coast drive? Surf at Kiholo Bay?

Whales are tough. Anything from a distance usually lacks any interest. You have to get close, either physically or with a long lens. This summer I had a couple opportunities that resulted in great photos. Once a whale came right in among the crowd of fishing boats trolling the shore, surfacing within feet of our boat. Another time we were surprised when a piece of floating debris we were about to pass by turned out to be a sleeping whale. We drifted past it with the engine in idle, close enough to look down on it from the bow and see the outline under water.

Zuzana said...

You might not like this, but your pictures have a spiritual feel to them, almost like biblical images. I LOVE them.
Make sure to do publish that book.;)

Anonymous said...

These remind me of oil paintings Tom. Good stuff keep experimenting and having fun. I love your stuff!

Tom said...

All, thanks for the compliments, much appreciated!

Andrew - What I've been doing is taking a few long exposures and then typically blending them togther (using photomatix - if you have an edu account you can get it quite cheaply - not sure what they use at Keck). The results look really nice! Using different exposure times also allows the option of HDR (same software) but I've been going off that option for a while now.

Incidentally, I reckon Laupahoehoe at sunrise would be spectacular. I haven't got round to trying that yet.

And all I want is one decent whale shot. I haven't got any!

Protege - you're the first person to describe my pictures as spiritual! Maybe that's why we have so many weird little newage groups and retreats here!

Blake - you can definitely get an oil-painting look at the HPP coastline around sunset, I think it's just the interesting and unusual colours combined with long exposures which blur the water and trees. You need a tripod though!