For our last night on Hawaii’s Big Island we stayed on the Kona coast, and just like so many other nights in Hawaii it offered up a fantastic sunset. Despite the signs warning people away I spent a while exploring the rocks outside the Sheraton hotel looking for some interesting foreground to shoot.
The boat you can see out to the right is not there for the sunset, but to serve as a base for people snorkelling and scuba diving to see the Manta Rays that are very common in this part of the world. Unfortunately we didn’t have a chance to experience it this time around.
The Manta Rays have been ‘trained’ to associate light with plankton, so after dark they are attracted to the torches that tour guides shine under the water. I just need to become a certified diver so that I can get down there and take some photos!
You may have noticed I’ve been away for a while! Over the last six months I’ve been struggling to find the right balance between a new job, learning French, and keeping up with photography. I tend to throw myself into new things 100% with complete disregard for anything else, which can be both a blessing and a curse. I’m sure at least one other person out there also has this problem?! Starting today I’m planning to resume posting here once a week. I hope I haven’t lost too many readers along the way!
I normally like to enjoy sunset and blue hour in a relaxed frame of mind, maybe picking one or two spots to set up the tripod and then just taking it easy for a while. But in Singapore my time was limited.
The hot, sticky humidity didn’t hold me back as I rushed around trying to get as many angles as possible in the one full evening I had set aside for photography. A thunderstorm approaching just out of shot was also great motivation to be quick on my feet!
This was one of the last shots I took of Singapore’s skyline before deciding it might be wise to find some cover before it was too late. There were still plenty of people around Marina Bay at the time, I’m guessing a lot of them got very wet that evening!
After an hour-long drive to the port we arrived to find that our first attempt at seeing the Na Pali coast by boat was cancelled! The sea can get very choppy around the island of Kauai, and due to poor weather conditions we just couldn’t go out.
Fortunately we managed to re-book at the last minute through a different tour company for our last day on the island. To say I had my fingers crossed for good weather would be a huge understatement!
After our misfortune earlier in the week, we were lucky enough to experience incredible conditions when we finally made it out onto the water. I was able to keep my camera out for the majority of the trip without worrying about any spray at all!
As I walked back to our room at the Andaz Maui resort I turned around to take one last look at the Hawaiian sunset. The blue hour was just beginning, and what a sight! I’d just spent an hour shooting at the beach, but I couldn’t resist setting up my tripod one more time to capture this scene across the pool.
I often find the best light comes after the sun has set, and this evening was no exception. As always I exposed this shot for the highlights, expecting to have more success recovering the dark areas of the sky in post-processing.
Unfortunately as I brought up those shadows in Lightroom a huge amount of ugly noise was revealed. Using a combination of Topaz DeNoise and Lightroom I had to do a fair bit of work to balance the noise reduction against loss of detail in the image. It’s a bit of a black art and I still feel like an apprentice!
I just couldn’t resist this famous composition of the Helix Bridge and Marina Bay Sands while visiting Singapore at the weekend. Fortunately it was coupled with a fantastic sunset which lit up the clouds something special.
This viewing platform on the Helix Bridge is definitely one of the most well known spots for photography around Marina Bay. I had three other people setting up tripods around me when I took this shot! But it can be tricky to get a sharp image because the bridge bounces up and down as people walk across.
All of the architecture around the Marina Bay area of Singapore is a bit otherworldly. I often felt like I was walking through something from a sci-fi novel. This bridge looks like it could have been lifted straight from an alien spaceship!
You’ll find lava rocks and tide pools like this all around the coast of Hawaii’s Big Island. It must be one of the easiest places in the world to find good foreground interest for shots of the ocean!
Before we left for our vacation I did some research on Google Maps satellite view to see what I could find within walking distance of the hotels we were staying in. This shot was taken a two minute walk from the Fairmont Orchid hotel in Waikoloa as we experienced our first Hawaiian sunset.
I knew in advance there would be some nice lava rock around here, but I had no idea about the tide pools! The reflection captures some clouds that aren’t in the shot, and hopefully leads you to wonder what else might be out there if you could just look around outside the frame.
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!