Posted by: kerryl29 | October 1, 2019

Hawaii: Let’s Get It Started

So, Hawaii…as I write this, I’ve been back for five days, though it seems longer. somehow.  This post will serve as an introduction of sorts, for what is undoubtedly going to be a long string of entries covering the experience represented by this trip.  I have, to date, processed 43 images, a piddling sum.  I’ve barely scratched the surface (I doubt I’ve processed 10% of the would-be final total) and there are entire days–plural–worth of images that I haven’t even glanced at, let alone processed.

Evening Palm Trees, Wailea Point, Maui, Hawaii

Waipouli Beach Sunrise, Kauai, Hawaii

Prior to this trip I had been to Hawaii twice, but those two trips were 38 and 40 years ago, when I was in high school, and were family vacations.  I had a camera with me on both of those trips, but this was many, many years before I became truly serious about photography and, in any event, photography was not the point of those trips.  It most certainly was the point of this trip.

Waterfall Row, Pua’a Ka’a State Park, Hana Highway, Maui, Hawaii

Kilauea Lighthouse, Kilauea Point, Kauai, Hawaii

On this trip, I spent six full days (and bits of two others) on the island of Kauai and six full days (and bits of two others) on Maui.  I flew directly from Chicago to Honolulu (a flight of approximately 9 1/2 hours) then, after a brief layover, flew on to Lihue, Kauai (a flight of roughly 25 minutes).  A week later it was on to Maui, and a week after that it was back to Chicago, via Denver.  That return flight was a red eye–something virtually unavoidable when flying back to the eastern half of the continental United States from Hawaii, given the sheer length of the flight and the five-hour time difference between Hawaii and Chicago.

Kaho’olawe at Sunset from Polo Beach, Maui, Hawaii

Breaking Wave, Poipu Beach, Kauai, Hawaii

The photographs accompanying this entry are essentially a random selection, chosen mostly to provide a sense of the variety of subject matter viewed and captured on this trip.  One thing that is nearly universal is the presence of water in the frame.  There are certainly exceptions, but given the ubiquity of water in the Hawaiian landscape, I’d estimate that 80% of the images I captured reflect that fact.

South Maui and Molokini at Sunrise from Papawai Point, Maui, Hawaii

Kealia Beach Sunrise, Kauai, Hawaii

There were a number of challenges on this trip, more than I’m accustomed to dealing with.  This is a subject I’ll discuss at greater length in a future post because I think it ended up playing a major part in the overall experience and may (or may not) have impacted my photographic output.  I’ll let readers draw their own conclusions regarding any possible impact based on viewing the imagery that will be displayed throughout this series as well as reading my description of the hurdles that I attempted to overcome.

Lunch, Black Crowned Night Heron, Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge, Maui, Hawaii

Upper Ho’opi Falls Black & White, Kauai, Hawaii

I was up and out for sunrise and sunset every day; occasionally it fizzled, as it does everywhere, but most of the time it didn’t and sunrises and sunsets in Hawaii can be pretty spectacular, if my limited experience is any indication.  I also covered just about every square inch of both islands–at least those areas that were readily accessible by vehicle (and a fair number of spots that aren’t).

Shadowland, Haleakala Crater, Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii

Boat and the Island of Lanai from Ka’anapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii

There have been a few exceptions, but when I document these extended photo excursions I typically run through a day-by-day chronicling of the experience, buttressed by the occasional post written with a thematic approach in mind, and that will be the process I follow this time around.  On this trip, as much as or more than any other I’ve taken to date, I think the day-by-day structure will be helpful in lending a sense of what the overall experience was really like.

Haleakala Crater, Keonehe’ehe’e Trail, Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii

Kalalau Valley Rainbow, Pu’u o Kila Lookout, Koke’e State Park, Kauai, Hawaii

It may take me awhile to fully process the images from enough days to get very far into the chronological series of entries (after just a few more days I won’t be able to do any editing for several weeks as I’ll be away from my post processing computer for about three weeks), so I hope you’ll be patient.  I promise I’ll get there eventually.

‘Til next time…


  1. what camera and settings you kept for these magnificent captures

    • Thanks.

      For what it’s worth, the camera is the Nikon D800E. The settings…specifically, they vary widely depending on the individual image, but I shoot with manual exposure (I meter using the camera’s spot meter) and manual focus.

      • Thanks… You are a great photographer

        • Thanks very much for the kind words.

  2. Amazing shots, look forward to seeing more.

  3. Oh goodness!! I can’t WAIT to see more of these! 🙂 Wonderful, beautiful, amazing shots!

    • Thanks! There will be many, many more images from this trip in various entries over the coming weeks/months.

  4. These are a nice little tease for what is to come. The variety of subject matter and the colors are what really stand out for me.

    • Thanks, Ellen!

  5. Very beautiful photos, I really like your volcanic mountains, and waterfalls.

    • Thanks very much!

  6. Wonderful pictures here, Kerry. I was especially drawn to the image of the Kilauea Lighthouse. There’s a certain “vastness” to that image that I find very interesting. I look forward to seeing future installments here.

    • Thanks, Stan. I felt that, particularly given the sky conditions at the time I was at the lighthouse overlook, that putting the emphasis on the sea and sky was the way to go, which is where that feeling of “vastness” comes from.

  7. Beautiful.

  8. […] first day in Hawaii, I thought it might be useful to provide some background information about how this trip came about and ultimately developed.  My wife first proposed that I consider a trip to Hawaii late […]

  9. WOW wow wow! I can not get over how magnificent these shots are!! I think my favorite, though incredibly hard to choose, would have to be the lighthouse. My goodness that is gorgeous!

    • Thanks!

      I was told by a bus driver at the MacBryde Garden (part of the National Tropical Botanical Garden) that Kilauea Lighthouse is the single most visited spot on the entire island of Kauai.

      • How about that. I can see why. The view is just unbelievable! I was in awe when I saw your photo. Lighthouses are special anyhow but that one has a unique quality about it with its surrounding natural beauty.

  10. […] In what will be my final post of 2019 I want to make note of an anniversary that went uncommented upon when it occurred:  10 years of this blog’s existence.  The actual anniversary took place back in September, just as I was returning to the mainland from Hawaii. […]

  11. […] background on the Hana Highway.  As I mentioned in a previous post, this wasn’t my first time on Maui.  My family took week-long trips to Hawaii in 1978 and […]

  12. Reblogged this on Sarah's Attic Of Treasures and commented:
    Lot’s of Information. Beautiful photos.

  13. […] get back to the Hawaii chronology next time.  What follows is a public service […]

  14. […] in fact, done that almost every year beginning in 2010 (last year was an exception, in light of my September trip to Hawaii–not a place one should go if viewing fall color is the primary […]

  15. […] intangible piece of gear.  If my mindset is that I’m going to photograph waterfalls or tropical beaches or classic desert scenes…what am I going to overlook at those locations that I’ve […]

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