Over the years, I have visited the Hawaiian Tropical Gardens on the big island of Hawaii four times. Located near Hilo, it gets around 160 inches of rain a year. It is a tropical RAIN forest. Every visit has been on a brilliantly bright day, no clouds and no rain. This visit I was hoping for at least a cloud cover to help darken the gardens like it typically is … no such luck!
Onomea Falls is one of the special beautiful places in the garden that I enjoy most. My intent was to create an image of the falls in a dark setting as it typically is in. It was dark, but bright hot spots from open spots the canopy were located all around the area. I was not going to leave disappointed again. I took my time, worked my way around the area, played with filters and exposures and left with something I could work with. Back at home I combined images to reduce the hot spots and keep the shadow details. I converted to B&W (as was my intent when I took the images) and did a little selective dodging and burning.
Waves peacefully swirl
Against protruding cliffs,
Inspire wonder inside me.
This is a long exposure perspective of Molokai’s high cliffs shown in my previous post. My workshop associates were all around me. I was totally engulfed in the moment and scene in front of me. I felt completely alone with Mother Molokai’s wonderful gift. I long to go back.
Warm, calm, relaxed
Eyes first close, then slowly open
A new perspective appears
I set up to photograph the sun setting over the horizon. I anxiously waited as the sun descended slowly. Every so often I would shoot a set of exposures for a HDR combination later. I started to relax and just enjoy the scene. Then the idea came to take a long exposure. This resultant image best depicts the peaceful feeling I had watching the sunset.
Part of what intrigues me with Black and White long exposure photography is the ability to really work with tones to create different moods. I shot this image underexposed to present a deep calm mood. In post-processing a dodged the sky slightly around the center sea stack and burned the corners of the frame slightly.
On one of our workshop days we went down to Bandon beach early in the morning. The fog covered many of the sea stacks. Gradually the fog lifted and I was able to get this exposure. My intent was to create a mood of a misty morning filled with gentle soft light, an awakening of the Indian maiden in the sea.
I just finished a workshop on the Oregon Coast with John Barclay and Cole Thompson. I walked away with a new set of tools: Long exposure photography and B&W processing. But what was more important, I reconfirmed why I photograph. I do it for myself. I do not do it for others. If someone happens to like an image I create, I will give it to them as a gift. That satisfies me.
I feel the same way about my website posts. I do it for myself. I record some of my thoughts at the time. If someone is interested in what I do, I share the site with them. I do not expect comments.
The above image was one of the last ones I took before heading back home. I made a side trip to Cape Perpetua and Thor’s Well. I finished taking images on the shore and packed up my gear. Right before I got to the top of the hill, I Iooked up and saw fog coming in. I stopped in my tracks and got my camera back out. This was the first long exposure I took. The wind picked up quickly and the fog started coming in rapidly. Below is my next image. How quickly things change! These images were taken 3 minutes apart, both with 2 minute exposures.
This image is another perspective from my long exposure practice exercise. This time the focus was to highlight the sky and the smooth tide. I used dodging and burning in the sky, dodging on the sea stack and water. I am looking forward to an upcoming workshop on the Oregon Coast with John Barclay and Cole Thompson. It should be enlightening.
I took a special trip to the Washington Coast to experiment and practice long exposure photography. My first day of practice resulted in a disappointing set of images with many, many, pure white and pure black frames. I am thankful tor digital photography! I knew the steps I needed to take. However, my excitement took over and I made multiple mistakes. Toward the end I started to engrain the process into my sequence of shooting. The next morning, I slowed down and did much better. This image is from that morning. I have a lot more of experimenting and practicing to do.