We have had a number of large swells this winter here in Hawaii that has produced waves up to 30 feet and beyond – mostly on the North and West facing shores. It sounds like the largest swell of the season is happening right now and waves are expected to get to over 40 feet! I’ve got Big Maui Surf on My Mind!
A few weeks ago I made my way to Ho’okipa Point at sunrise to shoot this series of photographs in this post. I assigned myself a mini-project so I sat down today, edited the images, developed them, and here they are!
I’ll be back out there tomorrow morning for the big surf – this time with a workshop participant. We are doing one of my one-on-one private 14 hour “immersive” workshops and beginning at O’Dark Early and working through the day, ending with some night photography.
We originally had different plans for the morning, but with this huge surf hitting the islands, we had to change our plans to include this. It’s not everyday you get to see 40+ foot surf! Ho’okipa on the North Shore is a great place to watch and photograph this awesome subject matter.
If you follow my work, you know these photographs are outside the box for me. They are mostly shot with a long lens (80-400mm), mostly hand-held, and mostly at higher ISO’s. That’s all outside the norm for me – but, standing in front of the big surf makes you want to capture it! Also, I like giving myself little projects. I need to do it more. It keeps my eye and skills sharp, while keeping inspired to do new and fresh work.
I did this mini-project for a number of reasons. First, I’m all fired up about the big surf right now and excited to go out and shoot it more tomorrow morning. Second, I want to motivate to do more blog posts, and show myself that it doesn’t have to be a long drawn out process – that I need to just do it. I have not posted nearly as much as I’d like the past couple of years, and I aim to change that this year.
As a final reason – I know many of my photography workshop participants express that they don’t want to spend hours and hours developing images on the computer, and I like to show them that they don’t have to. Dynamic and compelling photographs can be made, primarily in-the-field, with a little shaping of the clay, or developing, in the digital-darkroom.
Yes, most of the images that make their way into my collection – I am spending a lot of time on those. But, with this mini-project – I started with 217 frames that I shot over 90 minutes during sunrise. I spent 45 minutes today “editing” – plucking out the top 24 selects. From that 24, I decided I wanted to share a series of 9 photographs, and then proceeded to edit the 24 down to 9. I chose that number because I thought 9 like-images would present well on Instagram – simple as that.
Once the 9 images were selected, I spent about 2 1/2 hours developing them. Admittedly, I went through them quite quick – but, I didn’t use any presets and I individually developed each image. So, one take-away for you might be – it doesn’t need to take hours and hours of commitment, but it does require good decisions along the way. A take-away for me – a blog post doesn’t need to take hours and hours of commitment, but it does require good decisions along the way.
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