Keahole Point

  • Big Island Sunset

    Photograph of a Big Island sunset from the edge of a large blow hole along the Keahole Point coastline.


    This point along the Keahole coastline is made up of black rock that outstretches toward the ocean and ends as a cliff. A long jagged 50′ sliver cut in the rock allows the ocean surges to flow in and out, filling the void with a beautiful light blue color. There are so many places to setup to photograph this scene, but they all come with the harsh challenge of merging the bright sunlight with the dark rock. This shot is not a typical composition that I would normally pick, but the lines from the land bridge through the reflected water path to the sun really caught my eye. I shot a few images to capture the movement of the water the way I wanted as well as a few bracketed shots  for the shadows and lights. All combined in Photoshop for an image that shows a Big Island sunset.

    © Christopher Johnson

  • Two Fifteen

    I visited this location two days in a row when the sunset had some promise. The first day was disappointing when the sun popped under the clouds as a dull glowing ball surrounded by the colorless grey haze, blocking any chance of color and light. I was successful when I shot while the sun was high, but during the finale the absence of light pushed my shutter speed too slow. While I wan’t going to compromise any more on aperture and ISO I packed up. However, the next day I was graced with the appearance of the sun. Again I watched as the sun faded behind the low lying haze that trapped the sunlight from under lighting the belly of the clouds, but I was happy to witness some color on the horizon.
    My goal with this shot, against this sunset, was to capture the color and texture of the seaweed with a 1 second shutter. The surf was high and I didn’t want to risk a tight ground shot, so instead, I framed a glimpse of the foreground.
    © Christopher Johnson

  • On Location

    My wife had taken a picture of me while I photographed a large hole in the Keahole Point coastline. For over 3 years I have been visiting this, and many other, blow holes along the coastline, but I never really understood how big they actually were until now. Seeing an image of me standing on the edge with the water completely drained may have me second guess my approach the next time I re-visit any one of the six blow holes I frequent, but I hope not.

    The next image is the shot I took from this location. I think it’s cool to see these images together.


    © Christopher Johnson


  • Keahole Sunset

    A wide photograph to show the character of the Keahole shoreline.


    Being too busy to go out and shoot is no fun and that is where I have been for most of 2015. Today I was able to retreat to the beach and noticed the calm ocean. It was then I slated a time to shoot the sunset. When the ocean is calm and the tide is low, the seaweed is more prevalent and I knew exactly where to go. A spot I haven’t been to in a while just north of Kailua Kona where the shoreline has a unique character to what we think Hawaii should look like.

    This location, unlike the others, is more violent when the waves surge in and out of the large holes in the rocky shoreline. Extra caution is needed when setting up. I setup on a high rock that was away from sudden splashes and wave surges, although from the image it doesn’t seem like I was, but I was.
    The sunset seemed to come together at the right moment. I shot several frames, but this is the one that brought the entire scene together… Enjoy!

    © Christopher Johnson

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  • Pathway To The Sun

    This location on the Keahole Point coastline has been the most difficult to photograph. The range from highlights to shadows is extremely steep because of the dark lava rocks of the foreground against the direct sunlight. In order to achieve somewhat of a balanced shot I stacked two 0.9 RND filters together, but even with that I had some adjustments in Lightroom.
    Even though I like the dramatic feel of this shot, I still don’t feel like I got the shot I wanted.

    © Christopher Johnson

  • Keahole Point Sunset

    As a last minute decision to go photograph the sunset, I went to a different location only to see another photographer set up right where I intended to go. Now racing against the sunset I had to retreat to a more familiar location. The slightly overcast sky was beginning to fill with beautiful warm oranges as I setup. Then came two huge waves that slightly soaked me and splashed my filter making me spend precious time cleaning. Shooting this coastline is always an adventure, which is why I enjoy it so much.

    © Christopher Johnson

  • Low Tide at Keahole Point

    I love photographing at low tide and low surf. I am able to get closer to these otherwise dangerous locations to capture the life and subtle details that make them unique. It also allows me to slow down, make my adjustments, and frame up the shot without the speedy setup, continuous lens cleaning, or being forced to retreat from a rogue wave. 
    I setup within a couple feet from the mouth of this hole in the rocky shelf and focused my attention on the decorations of seaweed. Even though the sunset wasn’t glorious like I anticipated it to be, I enjoy this shot for it’s calming and inviting qualities.

    © Christopher Johnson

  • Four Second Flow

    The Keahole coastline never ceases to amaze me with it’s complete uniqueness and hidden gems.