Top 10 of 2013 … number 2.

130806_WaimeaPier-004970-Edit_blog“Sunset Pier”
Arca Swiss rm3di, IQ180 Back, Rodenstock 70mm HR
2 Seconds at f/16, iso 35

I had a hard time deciding between 2nd and 3rd this year. As I mentioned, putting an order to the images is  difficult yet is the most beneficial part of the process in trying to improve my skill and art. I felt I did a better job “technically” with the image “Winter at Mesa Arch”. I also feel that image is compositionally strong as well as being a little different look at a major iconic location.  To me that image also invokes a nice emotional response, communicating the  feel of the warm glow of the rising sun contrasted against the obviously cold conditions. I think everyone in their lifetime experiences the feeling of a warm sun when they are uncomfortably cold. “Winter at Mesa Arch” stirs memories of that feeling when I view it.

But seascapes are my favorite, and this particular seascape just seems to have an ethereal quality about it that makes you want to be there.  For me the emotional response is about as good as it gets. The slightly longer exposure time than I usually use softens the waves yet they are still there, a mist hanging in the air gives the image a “soft focus” appeal often sought after by portrait photographers.  So basically emotion and personal preference won out.

This pier is located far from the main tourist areas on the island of Kauai in the small town of Waimea. Known mostly as the gateway to one of Kauai’s many treasured spots, Waimea Canyon (often referred to as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific), the town itself is overlooked by tourists as they pass through it on their way to and from the canyon. I’m not sure how I heard about this pier, but after washing out trying to shoot the pier in Hanalei on the north side (just too many people), I decided to see if this pier had anything to offer.

The town sees very few tourists so the beach is pretty quiet.  The pier has a nice look to it, and there is enough surf action to get some interesting motion in the waves, something you don’t get as often with Hanalei because it’s in a large cove.  Being summer the sun sets quite a ways to the north of the pier.  For a while it looked like it wasn’t going to work and I was worried the sun was too far north.  After shooting the location once I now think a nice shot could be available most of year as the sun moves to the left, ending up somewhere over the distant island of Niihau (commonly known as the forbidden island) in the winter months.

The pier itself is also very interesting to shoot straight down.  I didn’t get a great shot from this angle, my 23mm wasn’t quite wide enough, and it was too dark by the time I tried shooting from this angle  to do a stitch to get the pano composition I was after, so I did a little post processing work to stretch out the two sides to get the long pano aspect ratio I was after.  I did this more to see if I liked the composition, not really trying to create an image for sale or display(thus no title). I’ll definitely head back to this spot and try to capture this same feeling without the photoshop work. Given the right conditions and clouds,  I think some great skies at sunset are even possible from this angle even though it faces almost due south.

130806_WaimeaPier-004990-Edit_blogArca Swiss rm3di with Rodenstock 23mm HR
60 seconds at f/22, iso 35

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