Did you know that you could ski in Hawaii?! As we reached the summit of Mauna Kea I was certainly thankful for the extra layers I had packed especially for this trip. Although there’s no snow up here outside of winter, the temperature was enough to set my teeth chattering.
At a height of 13,803 feet it was a very different environment to the one we had left behind on the beach a few hours earlier. Given the elevation there was a chance of altitude sickness, so I didn’t want to exert myself any more than necessary. I left my tripod behind and set about shooting the sunset.
The white structures are two of the many telescopes at the summit, which is one of the best places in the world for looking out into the universe. Poking through the clouds on the horizon is the Haleakala volcano on the island of Maui, about 80 miles from this spot!
Have you seen a sunset from above the clouds? Maybe you’ve visited Mauna Kea? Let’s start a conversation!
Being at the summit of Mauna Kea on the Big Island is the most otherworldly experience I’ve had. It didn’t matter which direction I looked, it felt like another planet. This is the creatively named Canada-France-Hawaii telescope, leaving little to the imagination.
Other partners include Brazil, Taiwan and China, who will also have scheduled time with the telescope. There is actually nobody in these things! They are all controlled remotely and we were told you can view delayed imaging online, although I can’t remember where.
I used Topaz DeNoise to reduce the noise in this image, shot handheld at ISO 1600. The rest of the processing was done in Lightroom. I was going for the “Mars” effect, which is really how I felt looking out at this scene. A most incredible place!
Where’s the most otherworldly place you’ve been? Maybe you know more about these telescopes?! I’d love to hear from you.