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Discussion in 'Special Sessions, Events, and Tour Announcements' started by Harry, Aug 25, 2005.
I'm going to Hawaii next month to the Big Island. Does anyone have any favorite places to shoot?
We went on a trip to the BI for a couple of weeks last year. Here is the best guide book that you can get.
Hawaii - The Big Island Revealed
Andrew Doughty & Harriett Friedman
This book will give you all the information you need for the trip including some good photograhic sites.
We stayed in Kailua-Kona the whole time and did some daytrips out of Kailua-Kona to the Volcano National Park, a bunch of secluded beaches, Kohala coast etc.. Some of the sites that we visited and really recommend are :
White Sand Beach (we stayed here)
Waikoloa/Mauna Lani Resorts/Beaches
Luau @ Royal Kona Resort
Pu'uhonua o Honaunau (Awesome for sunsets)
Black Sand Beach/Volcano National Park
Saddle Road (requires a 4WD truck but not too bad) etc...
The guide that I mentioned will give you information on all these spots. A helicopter tour would also be great. Check with the providers as some fly helicopters with the door removed for better photography. We did the Blue Hawaiian Tours trip which was about a couple of hours and really good.
Hope this helps. Have a great trip.
Thanks for the info. I went out and bought "Big Island Revealed" last night. It looks every bit as good as their book on Maui.
We have quite a few things scheduled while we are over there. We will be taking the Blue Hawaiian 2 hour tour of the island and volcano, as well as visiting the volcano. We also have a dolphin encounter scheduled.
I plan on shooting beaches, waterfalls, sunsets, and the volcano while we are there. These are all things folks from Kansas don't get to see too much of. I was a little bit disappointed with the sunsets in Hawaii when we visited earlier. I think that I have seen more spectacular sunsets in Florida.
I will be taking my D2H along with my 17-35, 28-105, and 27-200 lenses.
Again, thanks for the info.
Best Wishes, Harry
Green Gecko Coffee
Harry, you might want to check out the coffee while you're there. My friend Mike, who's a Nikon photographer, has a farm on the Big Island where he grows this coffee.
Thank you Virginia,
One of the things we intend to do is visit a coffee plantation. We'll keep Green Gecko in mind while we are there.
Hi Harry -
I'll try to control my jealousy as I write this. :wink: I'm sure the book that was recommended to you will provide more ideas than you have time, but there are two places that I recommend above all others because they give you a vivid impression of the power of our planet and our place in the universe.
First, make sure you see Kilauea, which has been spewing lava now for over twenty years. At times there are some real fireworks. When my wife and I were there, it was relatively quiet but still incredible. One way to get a great view is by helicopter flying over the areas where the crust has broken and you can look right down at flowing lava. The copter will also take you to see where the underground flow reaches the sea and you'll see red hot lava hitting blue water and creating clouds of streams. The later view is also spectacular at dusk and night, when the clouds of steam start turning bright orange/red as the sky darkens. The Park folks won't let you closer than about three miles because the solidified lava as you approach closer occasionally breaks off into the sea. I've seen incredible pictures taken by people who have ignored the warnings and walked very close to the lava. Personally I wouldn't risk this. But seeing the collision of fire and water even from a couple of miles away is spectacular. So is knowing that you will be standing on ground that didn't exist 10,000 years ago.
The other "must do" is drive to the top of Mauna Kea where the Kecks and other telescopes are. It's a pretty long drive, and they make you stop for an hour at a park station at about 8000 feet for acclimation on the way up, so make sure you plan your trip time properly. A tour of one of the Kecks is pretty amazing, as is the view from 14,000 feet. One caveat - the altitude didn't bother me, but my wife got severe headaches up there. Plan to stop at the park station of the way down for sunset and a few hours after that, so take sandwiches and water. The sunset can be beautiful, but the real spectacle starts as the sky darkens. There are always a couple of real scientists from the observatories there with a small but pretty powerful and computer controlled telescope. Even before the sun sets they will start pointing out individual stars that are bright enough to be seen early. Planets will fall into this category as well. I'll never forget when a guide pointed out Jupiter and with 8x42 binoculars I was able to clearly see the four largest moons. As it gets really dark the sky will literally overwhelm you. Even if you've been at high altitudes before, the weather/wind conditions on a mountain in the middle of the Pacific can't be matched by anything except the Andes. The milky way goes from horizon to horizon and darned near looks solid it contains so many stars you can see, and the rest of the sky is filled with stars. The guides will line up stars, nebulae and other cool things in their scope for you to look at. I am fascinated by all of science but especially cosmology, and I'm not a religious person. But looking at that sky and knowing that I was looking at billions of stars and back billions of years was an awe-inspiring and very spiritual experience.
Sorry for such a long message. I love birds and wildlife and plants and protozoa, and they too are awe-inspiring when you think about the creation and evolution of life. But they are nature writ small. The volcano, and especially the view of the universe, is nature writ large that you will never forget.
Thank you for the large volume of input. First of all I want to say that I wouldn't have gotten the response that I have from the DPR site. I really feel comfortable here. Much, much more friendliness with none of the backbiting.
We have a 2hr flight scheduled on the BI as well as an all day tour. I just can't see coming from Kansas to Hawaii without seeing Kilauea. It is something that I have always dreamed of seeing. I want to get the total fix while I am there.
I'm not sure about the stars. My wife isn't really turned on by that so we'll have to see.
We have plenty of things scheduled during our 11 day stay. We are trying to do something about every other day while we are there. snorleling, dolphins, etc.
What kind of equipment did you take with you? I have the D2H, D100, 17-35,
60mm macro, 28-105, 70-300, and 70-200 VR. I will probably take my laptop and get a monopod also. I am curious about which lenses you used the most while you were there. I use my 28-105 primarily as my walkabout lens, but I'm open on the rest. I'm not real crazy about hauling all of my equipment with me if I don't have to, but I don't want to kick myself later if I come up short handed. The one thing that I really want is to come up with the best pictures that I can of Kilauea. If you or anyone else have anything additional to offer, please don't be shy.
Hi Harry -
Don't tell anyone this, but I was shooting Minolta when I went to the Big Island and only carried a walkabout lens like your 28-105. It actually covered a lot of what I wanted to do at that point. From your present kit I would take the 17-35 to do justice to the huge expanses of the Big Island, the 28-105 when you want to travel light, and the 70-200VR when you want to stretch out a bit. For me the VR is worth more than the extra length of the 70-300. I would be a couple of Kenko extension tubes to cover the macro world very cheaply, and a T-17 to stretch the 70-200VR into a modest bird lens. I haven't tried the D100 so I rally can't comment on it, but my D2h took beautiful images. (I've since switched to the D2x and use the D2h as a backup). I suggest you take both bodies so you don't get stuck if you have a problem with one of them. And take the laptop because you need the storage and you won't be able to resist peeking every night. I don't know about the tripod because all your glass can be handheld easily. Maybe if you want to squeeze the last little bit of sharpness out of the17-35. If you do get a tripod, take a look at the Really Right Stuff site to see their suggested replacement for a ballhead.
Hope this helps,
Sorry for the late reply. I went out and picked up a monopod over the weekend. It should lighten my load. I will probably leave my 70-300 at home and take the rest of the lenses. If I have space I will include my D-100 body. I intend to bring my laptop and video camera also. I should be able to shoot raw and jpg and download at night without using up all of my storage. It would be a shame to have a camera die on me and not have a back up.
I keep telling myself I am going on vacation to go on vacation and bringing back nice pictures is better than going to Hawaii solely for the purpose of taking pictures. I want to enjoy myself before old age sets in and I become incapable of being as active as I would like. Bringing back a nice portfolio will provide enjoyment and memories for years to come. I will let you know how things went when I return.
Harry just saw this. What's your route ?? If your making a stop at LAX, I would love to come by and just say Hi !!!
If you get near Hilo, you can rent a helicopter with the doors removed for a 45 minute tour of the volcanos, waterfalls and where the lava meets the ocean. You get great shots without the doors and it's one heck of a ride! Hilo's the only place on the island that will do it though (it's like $25 extra but sooo worth it).
Here's a shot from when I did it in April:
Have a great time!
We're flying out this Sat from Kansas City to Denver, from Denver to La, and from La to the Big Island. Unfortunately, all of our change overs are less than one hour. In essence we will be getting off one plane and getting on another. I am thinking that this will be a good thing getting up and moving about.
We have 2 volcano tours scheduled, one from the air, and one from the ground, a snorkle trip, and a dolphin encounter scheduled. I'm itching to go but I still have to pack my bags and finish updating my laptop. I'll write about my experiences when I return.
We are taking a 2hr tour of the whole island from Kona. I really hope I can come up with something half that spectacular. The last time I took a helicopter tour I ended up sitting in the middle of the back seat. I hope this doesn't happen again. what lens did you use from the air and how high up were you? How did you feel when you flew over Kiluea?
Too Bad was hoping we could hook up in person even if just for lunch or such. However have a great time enjoy and try to relax :smile:
Will be looking forward to your return and images!!! You lucky You :biggrin:
What lenses did you take with you on your flight? I'm still thinking of things to do over there. I just printed out a list of 365 things to do on the Big Island.