• Pololu Black Sand Beach Rocks

    Dramatic photograph of a cluster of stones found along the black sand beach of Pololu Valley.

    I needed to drop off some metal prints at the Ackerman Galleries in Hawi and decided to make a day out of the long drive. Hiking into Pololu Valley is one of my favorite things to do on the island… not to mention I needed the exercise. Without the push to get out of the house I may have just stayed home all day to later form into a slug.

    During the past several weeks I have been reviewing a lot of older images that I wanted to re-work with new techniques I have learned over the last few years. One of the images I stumbled upon was a composition of 2 stones on the black sand beach of Pololu with the green sand trail left behind it from the surf. The only issue was the upper portion of the image was out of focus. At that moment I wanted to get back down to the valley to study the stones and sand as it mingled with the surf in-order to correct the oversight in the older image.

    Down in the valley the stones were dispersed across the beach in hundreds of different patterns and I was studying them for the perfect composition. It took me a while before I settled on this cluster of stones, but then I suddenly realized that they dramatically shift after every wave that passes by when one stones I was looking at suddenly dissapeared. I placed my tripod over the stones and aimed the camera nearly straight down and exposed for a few seconds at 22 aperture. Then a wave came in and my tripod sunk into the sand, stones moved around, and the sand texture shifted making me reset focus and composition. It was a quick complicated dance I learned after a few steps that lasted nearly an hour.

    The trip was relaxing, fun, and memorable.

    © Christopher Johnson

  • Sand Harbor, Frosted Rocks

    On a last-minute decision to visit this extraordinary location of Lake Tahoe, I was pleasantly surprised to find these beautiful rocks speckling the water. Even though I grew up on the south shore of Lake Tahoe and was well aware of the landscape surrounding Sand Harbor, I was awe-struck. I found myself bounding over the large rounded boulders in search for compositions, which it seemed  that every where I looked was something to photograph. I felt like I was at a playground for adults.

    This shot was in a hard to reach location where I had to jump and slide down rocks. Getting there was tough… getting out was even tougher. At points I thought I was going to go swimming. Luckily I didn’t.

    Without a tripod I used by camera bag for support and used a timer on the camera to avoid blurring when I depressed the shutter. Then to even out the exposure I had a 0.6 ND Graduated filter which I hand-held in front of the lens. Final touches in Lightroom.