I spent a couple of nights out camping with family and friends this weekend at Kipahulu Campground on the South East Coast of Maui. This is the place to camp on the Hana side of the island, and also the access point to the Seven Sacred Pools and the enchanting Bamboo Forest. It’s an absolutely beautiful campground along an awesome and rugged coastline, but beware – it is often wet here. This is the wet side of the island so one has to be prepared with the right equipment and the right mindset. We all live in Lahaina where it doesn’t rain at all, so I think we were all kinda enjoying it, but the big blue tarp sure made it easier and more comfortable.
Kipahulu Campground. Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii
Inevitably, while working with long exposures, you are going to have elements included in the picture that you had not planned on. At the beginning of this work, I found it very frustrating and figured images were ruined if a person walked into the scene or a plane flew by, and oftentimes I would stop the exposure and wait for a clear scene. Many times, the clear scene doesn’t come and the light passes and you miss the shot, which with this mindset, leaves you going home flustered. The secret is to embrace it. Embrace being in the moment, outdoors, doing what you love. Magical things can happen when you allow it, and some of my favorite images have been from the tracks of planes, boats, or with ghostly figures of people entering into my composition. If, however, you want to avoid this look of the blurry peeps or passing cars, know this – the general rule of thumb is that something needs to be stationary for approximately 20% of the exposure to register. Therefore, the longer your exposure, the more likely you will have a clean image.
Although this image was quite a long exposure and over four minutes long, the people that are registering are all standing or sitting around, enjoying the sunset. If they had simply been walking by, you would not see any signs of them at all. In fact, there surely were some people that walked through and do not register in the picture. This was taken at La Jolla’s Windansea, a popular surf spot in Southern California, during an inland fire which caused for some ethereal sunsets along the coast.