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Pololu Morning #1b - Big Island Hawaii | by PatrickSmithPhotography
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Pololu Morning #1b - Big Island Hawaii

I just returned from a 2-week trip to the Big Island of Hawaii with so many new favorite

photos that it will take a while to sort them out! So here is one from Yesterday morning to get started. A very destructive new lava flow has inspired park officials to aggressively keep people many hundreds of meters from lava flows, so I got no lava pictures... just so you know. No HDR.


Free wallpaper for over 100 of my images in 6 different screen sizes is now available!


See the 1200 pixel version!





Settings etc.:



Canon 5D Mark II

Canon 17-40L @29

1/4-second exposure @F9

LEE soft ND grad (100x150mm - 4x6in) 0.9 + 0.9

Lee foundation kit filter holder with Lee 77mm adapter ring

No polarizer.

ISO 100

RAW file processed with Capture One by Phase One

TIFF file processed with Photoshop

Small Slik Sprint mini II tripod

Manfrotto pistol-grip ball head



The Story



I just returned to San Francisco last night and it seems impossible that I saw this view just yesterday morning my time just 3 hours before my flight. I could not resist one more pre-dawn hike into this scenic valley.


The Big Island has a wide variety of climate zones and geological regions. Lava flows create lots of new land and those areas are rough and new. Areas like this valley are on the older side where the volcanos are extinct and the land is being sculpted into fantastic forms. The almost 14,000-foot (4200m) Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea volcanoes create rain forest upwind and barren deserts downwind. And they can exist just 4 miles apart! The beaches vary from black sand, to white, golden, red and even green. It is a photographer's paradise, but it is big and you have to do your research to find the best spots.


To get here, you must get up well before sunrise (it is not a sunset beach), drive to the tourist pullout and hike down a 400-foot trail in the dark to get here in time for sunrise. It is not a difficult hike but it is slippery and one mistake and your day is ruined! Also, this is a great place to spend the day, far away from civilization. I'll write more about this valley in future uploads.



The map shows the exact location.



Other stuff



My pictures are featured on the front page of the newly redesigned

The state Gov. of California website. Have a look! It is Flash with my pics cut into layers for a 3-d slideshow. If you are into building apps, the State has opened up lots of data to the public, so check it out!






Google Earth


Simply the best way to scout out locations that there is. You can see sun angles and pre-visualize light under lots of different conditions. Sometimes you can actually pre-compose your shots! This has saved me many thousands of vertical feet of climbing by avoiding spots with blocked views etc.


Satellite imagery (choose 'National' for a local US region or use your fave website)


Tide charting and preditions: (chose your area in US, other countries have similar websites)


Wave Heights (I choose 'North Pacific from Global')

Or Here:


Photos of every inch of the California coastline from a small plane. Excellent for close in detailed views.




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Taken on August 3, 2010