I have announced an “immersive” photo workshop that will be held in San Francisco this summer, August 10th and 11th, 2013. San Francisco is one of my favorite places to photograph, and I am excited for this unique opportunity to work with 2-3 participants during an exciting photography-filled weekend. We will focus our efforts on the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge, dramatic cityscape images, city night images, and more. More information is HERE.
For the past 6 months or more, I have been putting myself out there quite a lot and working with people individually in personalized photography workshops here at my home base of Maui. I’ve gotta say, after years of dealing primarily with people in relation to selling artwork, I am really enjoying working with earlier-on-the-path photographers and passing on my knowledge, thoughts, perspectives and skills. I never really pre-visualized myself as a “teacher”, but I’m diggin’ it! So much so, that I am taking my act on the road. I am excited to announce a 3-day intensive workshop for the passionate photographer in my ol’ stomping grounds of La Jolla California. I spent 4 years there shooting essentially a three mile stretch of coast, which resulted in a big turn of direction in my work, leading to more personal and expressive images – many of which became award winners. Anyways, I am stoked! I can’t wait to head back there, after over 3 years of being away, and working with a small group of 4-6 people and passing on some important skills and perspectives. If you are interested, or if you know someone who may be, you can check out the details HERE.
THE BEING BEHIND Big Island, Hawaii 2013
It has been on my wishlist for quite a long time to view and photograph the lava flowing into the ocean on Hawaii’s Big Island, but for the past few years, the flow has not really been doing much. A couple of months ago, it finally broke through and is now providing surface activity and ocean entry where visitors can get close and witness this amazing spectacle. From the National Park side, it is a 6-8 mile hike each way across lava fields, which pretty much rules that option out. From the Kalapana side, it is approximately 2 miles hike each way, but this side is private property and there is a certain amount of state and landowner control, preventing people from simply walking in on their own to view the lava. So what is one to do? Here on Maui, I heard through the “coconut wireless” about a travel company called Poke-A-Stick Tours, that took people out to the lava. I called and spoke with Cheryl, owner/guide/host extraordinaire, and planned a couple of days with her afternoon sunset hikes out to the lava flow.
NEW EARTH Big Island, Hawaii 2013
It’s 4:30am. Crazy to think that I’ve already been awake for over an hour – not that I’m thinking, and not that I’m really awake! But here I am, at Isaac Hale State Park on the Big Island of Hawaii with 20 other walking zombies that look a lot like sleepy tourists, all anxious and curious by the adventure that awaits us.
Captain Shane Turpin and crew of two pull up alongside our gathered group of sleepwalkers in a big truck, towing an awkward looking passenger boat hitched on a trailer. After some curt dialogue about the what-and-what-not’s to our impending trip, we climb a ladder and board the boat. The driver then drives us down to the boat ramp, backs us in to the water, and before we know it, we are free from the trailer and moving out past the breakers into the dark sea.
I have my pack full of camera gear with two layers of water resistant protection at my feet. I’m wearing a fleece and and a raincoat, which keeps me warm in the surprisingly cool morning and does well enough keeping me dry against the waves that are continuously splashing and blowing into the boat and in my face. My shorts are soaked. I feel like a Navy Seal going out on a special night mission, but keep getting pulled back to reality by the chitter-chatter of over-talkative tourists. Isn’t O-dark-early a time for quiet? I wonder to myself, curious as to how some people can never be still and silent.
45 minutes-to-an-hour later, we arrive at our destination – New Earth, in the form of hot molten lava flowing steadily into the Pacific Ocean, splendidly steaming and smoking and wonderfully beautiful. Captain Shane maneuvers the boat with effortless ease, to within yards of the lava. I feel the radiance on my face and legs, and within minutes, the glowing heat dries my wet shorts. The lava meets the sea at a number of different spots along a 1/4 mile stretch of coast. In some spots, the thick fiery substance slowly drops into the water, and in other spots it’s gushing, as if it is being pumped out of the earth. It is totally awesome to view this spectacle in the dark of night!
As wonderful as it is to the eyes, attempting to photograph hot molten lava in the dark of night from a moving boat in a rough sea, is completely futile. I practice patience and wait for the light of a coming sunrise to illuminate the scene while enjoying the moment – which to my delight, has proven to be so powerful of a scene that it has rendered some silence from the tourists. Amen!
Before too long, the light of day takes over the darkness and I am able to start working with the camera. The Captain slowly runs the boat parallel to the coast so the passengers on one side are able to view and photograph, then turns back the other way allowing the others the spectacular view. With this method, you are face to face with the amazing sight, or looking out to sea and the setting of a crescent moon. During the 5-minute periods of looking out to sea, I review my images and quickly adjust my settings to better capture this dynamic scene. In the end, there’s probably not more than 10 minutes of optimal light to shoot images while being face to face with the lava.
One aspect of concern is that half-a-dozen times, we are completely immersed in the gaseous fumes spewing out of the planet. Just 2 days ago, I was told by a guide while hiking into the lava flow on foot, “Don’t breathe that smoke and gas – it will kill you.” I also remember reading online in my research that it is very dangerous to breathe. Apparently, I am the only one on this boat that has been told this or read this in my research! The Captain obviously does not seem concerned, and every time we are immersed in smoke and gas, I am the only one aboard that responds by burying my face and eyes into a relatively protective cocoon I’ve formed inside my fleece and raincoat. On the occasion I peer out, my eyes burn and I quickly burrow back into my cocoon. These periods are fleeting, maybe 30-45 seconds at a time, and it’s easy enough to cover up, but it still leaves me wondering, how harmful is this? If not for me on this one-time experience, then for the Captain and his crew who do this multiple times daily?
Morning has broken, the sweet light is fading, and we make our final pass by the lava before heading back to our starting point. The seas are a little rougher now, but no one seems to mind much, buzzed with the high of a spectacular experience freshly emblazoned in heart and mind. To see Mother Nature creating more land, New Earth, right in front of my eyes…what an insanely incredible experience!
The photo workshop side of my business is growing all of the time and Maui Photo Expeditions has been a lot of fun so far. I am looking to expand some trips outside of Maui and would love to get over to the Big Island more, so will be actively planning group trips over there. In the meantime, if you are visiting the Big Island of Hawaii and would like to discuss a personalized one-on-one workshop like I provide here on Maui, please Contact Me. I am happy to island-hop over! See details to my Maui Photo Expeditions HERE.
TIMES SQUARE New York City, New York
I’m excited to say I’m tuning out. Turning the auto-responder In-the-Field ON with my email, and generally tuning to “travel mode”…starting now.
Becca and I are heading to New York City and plan on eating, walking and photographing our way through a week in the city. Yep….that’s the type of places we like to go while living in Maui.
Last time there for only 24 hours, I was pleased to make Times Square, an eight-minute exposure made early in the morning. I used a Pentax 67 and shot it on Fuji Velvia 100 and only made one exposure, so very stoked I figured the exposure correctly. Using 10-stop nd filters is one thing with a digi, but when you’re using film, it’s a different animal. I love how the passing cars and pedestrians all disappear with the time.
What I’ve read online makes me think NYC has become much more strict regarding tripods, so we’ll see what I can get this time around. I plan on attempting to be very sneaky with the tripod. As backup, I’ll have a beanpod and a Gorillapod – neither of which I have ever used. Will report back.
I’ll be posting to Instagram (scottreither) with iPhone pics along the way.
ABLAZE Maui, Hawaii
Here on Maui, we have had our fair share of amazing sunsets over the past few months, but it seems I’ve been in a bit of a shooting-slump and have watched most of them without camera in hand. It’s tough to watch stunning sweet light form in the sky without being out in a position to try and capture it photographically. The stirring inside murmurs to itself, “should be out shooting…could be getting a great shot…who couldn’t make this light work well…Wow! this light is friggin’ epic!…why aren’t I out shooting!?“ Continue reading
I was heading out 4 or 5 nights a week into the dark cool evenings of the La Jolla night and photographing with little or no light. On this particular occasion, I was heading down the street and saw three divers having just loaded on all of their wetsuit and scuba gear, heading for the water’s edge. I was curious to see what I might be able to capture. Continue reading
Outdoor Photographer’s inaugural The American Landscape Photo Contest 2012 selected from over 10,000 individual images, and I am pleased to announce that I was awarded with an Honorable Mention for the above photograph LIGHT FALLS. Additionally, this image was voted People’s Choice Winner. Many thanks to those who voted! Continue reading
It seems nearly every time I go out shooting, I find myself in a stunning location at the magic hour to enjoy the clouds passing by and the sounds of the ocean, and if I’m lucky, the chance to get a sweet shot in my camera. Continue reading
As much as I’d like to be a great graphic designer, and as much as I may try to be at times, my attempts often fall short of my expectations. A year or two back, I had asked my talented-graphic-design-artist-cousin to assist me with some design work, but ended up feeling bad that she was spending all of this time working for free, and I was being a difficult client who didn’t really know what he wanted.
Recently, while working on a new avenue to my photography business – workshops, I had been having much trouble getting to a happy-place with the logo, and frustrated that I was spending so much time on it. I don’t recall what sparked a Google search, or if I was just avoiding the agony of not coming up with a cool logo, but somehow I stumbled upon 99 Designs. This is a very cool online service where you can submit a project, and sit back and watch a number of talented graphic designers compete to win your selection. With a money-back guarantee, and in my frustration of not achieving logo-success on my own, I quickly signed up and submitted my project – Maui Photo Expeditions.
Over the following week, I watched as more and more entries were submitted. It was really a very enjoyable process and with a number different designers, and therefore styles, being presented, it was easy to really hone in on what I liked, what was working and what was not. In the end, I chose this design and am quite happy with it. The designer even gave me a number of color variations, symbol options, and text variation too! Earth Photo Expeditions, for when I go global!
So, if you need some graphic design help and you don’t want to be an annoying bother to your friendly cousin, then you might want to consider these guys.
If you’re a photographer and planning a trip to Maui and want to get together for an adventure, contact me and lets discuss a photography workshop for you. You can go straight to the Maui Photo Expeditions page here.