sunset

  • Kamokuna At Night

    Photographing the Kamokuna Lava Ocean Entry at Night

     

    On December 31st there was a drastic change to the shoreline at the Kamokuna ocean entry. The lower shelf that the lava once gradually flowed over before entering into the ocean as well as part of an old lookout point fell into the ocean. Somewhere around 17 acres of land suddenly disappeared. I had to go see it and so as a last minute plan we headed over. I couldn’t believe the amount of roadblocks we encountered on the way. Dead car battery, flat bike tires, missing headlamps, and an accident that closed the road for 30min. While sitting in traffic I turned to my wife and said. “I don’t think we’re gonna make it in time.” At that point we considered abandoning the mission, but to our surprise the road opened up and we were on our way. Lucky it did because I don’t know when we would be able to get back over there.

    The trail was light with people, so we were able to ride with ease without having to worry about everyone and made it with plenty of daylight to spare. When we came prior to the collapse, in August of 2016, the road went on further and we were able to get close to the lava. Close enough where we were able to see a lot of action with our naked eyes. Now the new lookout puts us several hundreds of yards away. The action is harder to see without binoculars or zoom lenses. With the amount of smoke billowing off of the entry even seeing the lava is difficult. A gust of wind would swoop in and push the smoke where we would get a glimpse of the large lava river draining into the ocean. It was impressive to see even with the great distance.

    My family walked around and explored all the viewing areas while I found a spot I liked and didn’t move from that spot the entire time we were there. With the small crowds of people I wanted to make sure that I had a front row spot where I didn’t need to worry about someone moving in front of me. Even still I had the occasional tourist think I was their husband and stand next to me while telling me about how they nearly fell down in the dark. I would slowly look up and watch them get flustered with embarrassment and walk away. Strangely enough it happened more than once.

    My lens of choice was the 300mm telephoto for the distance. It was windy, so I needed to weigh the tripod down with my bag and crank down all the setting nobs. I also used a cable release and waited for the wind to die down before taking the shots in order to reduce camera shake. Any slight movement while fully zoomed in will move the composition a couple feet.

    It was at night that the lava glowed and showed life with a lot of small explosions. I decided to capture the night sky with my wide angle before leaving. I took 8 to 10 – 30 second shots while my kids grew impatient. They were definitely ready to start the long bike ride back and get something to eat.

    As I stepped off my bike at the car I was relieved the bike ride was over. Any longer and the extra hard, value engineered, cheap ass seat would have to be surgically removed from me. It has been a couple weeks since then, but I swear I walk differently now. We had fun.

    © Christopher Johnson

     

    View more lava images – http://www.fromhereonin.com/volcanic-activity/

  • Kailiili Sunset

    Fallen tree along the Maui coastline

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    This is the second time that I visited this location along the Kaliliili coastline of Maui. The long stretch of coastline that runs along the ocean side highway on the way to Lahaina there is a small section of old fallen Kiawe trees that stretch out into the ocean. The black sand of the beach slightly covers the lower branches and they reach out into the air making it look like they are independent of the fallen tree.

    I originally setup further away from the tree to get more of the tree into the photograph, however, the tree flattened out the flow of the scene. Instead I began to work on several different perspectives as well as different trees close by, but I wasn’t feeling that creative spark. As a last minute composition I decided to move extremely close to the tree I started with in order to express the organic detail as it moved into the ocean. At this point the sunset was at a close and I was graced with an orange glow of light along the trunk of the tree.

    After capturing this shot I continued to shoot the ocean with long exposures and experiment with other compositions, but this was the favorite.
    © Christopher Johnson

    Purchase a print by visiting my RedBubble page.

  • Stormy Kona

    A panoramic view of dark stormy clouds under-lit by a Hawaiian sunset off the shoreline of Kailua Kona, Hawaii.

     

    © Christopher Johnson

  • Lyman Sunset

    Sunset at a popular surf spot along Ali’i drive in Kailua Kona. This is my second visit to shooting this landscape and I was happy to have a gorgeous cloudy sunset to work with.

     

    © Christopher Johnson

  • Tomorrow

    The last minute retreat to the ocean to watch the earth roll away from the sun. I was looking for a composition when I found inspiration from my daughter. Setting up for the classic seascape shot, I looked back to witness my daughter tucked behind the tree branches taking pictures with my phone. Afterwards I retreated back to where she was sitting, bored with my compositions, to suddenly understand the amazing scenery she was seeing all along.

    The wind was blowing steady and I wanted the branches to be sharp with the water and clouds blurry from their movement. Moments like these call for multiple shots for future use. I shot a high shutter, large aperture shot of the branches to keep them sharp as well as a slow shutter, small aperture for the water and clouds for movement. Back at the dark room, which is in my very bright computer… I blended them together to create the best of the sunset to which I credit my daughter Makayla.

     

    © Christopher Johnson

  • Hawaii

    Golden sunset shines through the beautiful silhouetted palm trees during sunset

     

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    On my way down to the shoreline of Kailua Kona to view the sunset I was taken back by the beauty of the palm trees silhouetted against the vibrant Hawaiian sunset.

    © Christopher Johnson

  • Noio Point Arch

    Photograph of a sea arch along the western Hawaii coastline during sunset

    Sunlight streams through the large opening of a sea arch off of Noio Point along the Kailua Kona coastline.

    See the aerial version I shot with a DJI Spark drone, ‘Sea Arch Aerial‘.

    © Christopher Johnson

    Available backlit from Big Naked Wall. Check out the website and see the cool things they are doing for artwork with their interchangeable prints on backlit frames.

  • The Death Of Yesterday

    A storm was about to sweep through Kailua Kona and I had just enough time to make it to the shoreline and compose a few shots before being forced to pack up and retreat.

     

    @ 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.
    Enjoy…
    © 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

     

  • Keauhou Sunset

    The landscape of Keauhou is like nothing I have ever seen before. It’s almost as if I am on another planet.

    I found a crack in a large rock formation where the ocean waves would surge in and out. I wanted to capture this small vantage point of the Hawaiian sunset as a sliver of light through the dramatic rocks of Keauhou. The most difficult part was exposure. Keeping the highlights and shadows balanced. I completely under exposed all shots, but with the amazing range of the Sony A7, I was able to retain the detail in the shadows while developing the RAW file.

  • Failure to Focus

    After 3 months of not shooting anything I was pretty rusty that I forgot one of the most fundamental steps in photography.

    On November 22, I ventured out to a hidden spot in Kohanaiki with hopes of a great sunset shot. Earlier this year this spot was brought to my attention and on my first trip noticed the sun set just right of the spot that I thought would be the sweet spot. The two rocks converged just below the ocean, leaving a small triangle where I would have the sun set on my next trip. This was my next trip.

    In the rush to make it to the location in time I hurried to assemble my camera and get into the surging water to compose the shot. Now setting up the tripod I noticed I was a month too late because the sun was now setting too far to the left. In attempts to make the composition work I was getting into a rough surging area and with the on shore winds the sea spray was covering the filter. Needless to say I was getting frustrated. Instead I retreated back to explore the composition at my original location, 10 feet back.

    With the hurrying, attempting to set up, and then the filter cleaning I forgot to perform one fundamental step… focus! How could I forget to focus the camera? It wasn’t until I shifted locations to another area 50 feet away that I began to realize I hadn’t been focusing. It didn’t even dawn on me right away. I continued to shoot a few frames when I began to kick myself. “Well it’s nice to be out shooting and enjoying the sunset.” I told myself.

    After I had loaded the images into Lightoom, I was pleasantly surprised that this time I got off with a warning. The majority of my images were in focus and that with very little post processing I had come home with a handful of nice images.

    Cheers to f22!

  • Kohanaiki ‘S’ Curve

    I had a great time shooting at a new location with Mark Rogers for this sunset. This spot is so complex with so many compositional possibilities. I can’t wait to see what images Mark came up with.

    My first impression of this location is a view through the passage toward a large hole in the reef. I wanted to capture the colorful seaweed with the strings of water as it flows gently through them while the sun colors up the clouds above. I think that with this composition in the winter the sun may be in the opening above the ocean, so I look forward to that possibility.

    This photograph of the beautiful Hawaiian scenery can be purchased as a fine art print for home or office or licensed for usage.

    Please contact me for more information.

  • Ku’uali’i Sunset

    On the edge of the Ku’uali’i fishpond amongst the grass, I enjoyed the rare calm winds during this sunset.

  • 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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