As photographers, we often have "the shot" we want to get in our mind's eye before we get to a location. When we arrive, we discover we have so little control over so many factors. The only rational response is to be humbled by nature and to put aside expectations. I photographed Godafoss in Iceland in June of 2013 and there had been a lot of snow over the winter. It, of course, was all melting at this point and there were near-record amounts of water flowing over the falls, so they looked quite different from what I was expecting. The water level in the basin was so high that it was impossible to stand where needed to get "that shot". In such moments, a few deep breaths are always helpful in clearing our noggins of preconceived notions and allowing our eyes and our hearts to take over.
Waipi'o Valley sits five miles deep on the Big Island. It is known as the Valley of the Kings as it was once home to many of the early Hawaiian rulers. At this time, however, fewer than 100 people live here. Other than on "Main Street", there is no electricity. It is remote, wild, and gorgeously lush. The descent into the valley is something of a white-knuckle affair, but the rewards are incredible.
Hanalei Bay on Kauai's north shore may very well be the most beautiful bay in the world. This is where we swam while it poured rain, soaked in the gorgeous light at sunset and sunrise, and ate a fabulous meal at Tahiti Nui, a tiki restaurant in the town of Hanalei.
Photographs of Hawaii's amazing landscapes are to come, but today I share some images of Honolulu. The tall white high-rises make this city look perpetually 1965ish to my eyes. I kept expecting to catch sight of Steve McGarrett (Jack Lord's original Steve that is). The views at sunset from Waikiki beach and the mountain are spectacular. Situated between a volcano and the ocean, how could it be otherwise? The fireworks and parade were in celebration of Kamehameha Day. Kamehameha was the monarch who established the Kingdom of Hawaii by unifying the eight islands.