Over the past few years, I've focused primarily on my B&W work. I was quite surprised how well the monochrome collection did in the gallery, especially with the amount of vibrant work exhibited. This motivated me to enter a few of my favorites into the 2018 Monochrome Awards. The winners will be announced later this year and will be published in the annual Monochrome Awards coffee table book. Additionally, I'm creating a limited run of matted print boxes using handcrafted using premium linens. The box includes six museum-grade archival matted prints from my Monochrome collection. Mats can be stored in the heirloom box or removed and framed for the wall. The albums will be available online by the end of August. The final six images chose for the collection will be announced at the same time.
I'll admit, while I do love B&W photography, living in a paradise where color is so abundant, I find myself shooting more color slide film than anything. Even when I travel, I will typically always shoot color, then convert later using Nik Silverfx. Not the purest way to do things, but when you have a brick and mortar store dependent on sales, ultimately you do what makes more sense for the business. I have tried the old version of the Leica Monochrom, but I've never been impressed with the M9 bodies. Well, when Leica announced they would release a new version based on the 240 bodies, I knew I would fall in love. Since my workhorse cameras are all film, it's nice to have a camera to travel with where I could see a few shots instantly.
If you're not up to speed on the technical jumbo, you can read what's going on in the camera on Leica's website. In simplest terms, Leica removed the color filter in front of the sensor, which means the camera only records luminance values. The quality and three-dimensional aesthetic of the files is nothing short of amazing, especially when using B+W red filters. Leica caters to photographers that believe less is more (not in terms of price, though.) The camera is extremely basic in terms of functions, which is one reason I love it. For all the shots below I used Leica's 16-18-21 lens. Typically, I don't shoot that wide, but this lens is crazy sharp from corner to corner. It's not the fastest lens, but I would never walk around with that lens in low light conditions. My initial thought after seeing the images on a larger screen, was the three dimensional look, they almost popped out of the screen. By no means am I a Leica expert, but I have shot a lot of Leica's in the past ten years, this is my favorite Leica to date (with the MP being a close second). Even on the small LCD screen, the images look stunning. You really can't replicate the quality of the files even when converting from a high resolution camera, something is always lost in the B&W conversion.
Now the real question, do I like the look more than my favorite B&W film stock? Yes! With landscape images anyways! I feel like landscape images don't need that extra grungy-ness that film adds, unless your name is Sebastio Salgado. Another impressive aspect is the high iso capabilities, which in the past, Leica's performs terribly in this area. I understand this camera is not for everyone and would be a hard purchase to justify for the everyday photographer. But if B&W is your specialty and you're an avid printer, add this camera to your arsenal! Currently, I'm picking a few images to print as platinum palladium prints so stay tuned. I believe that process will really give the three dimensional files justice.
While my career has allowed me to travel extensively, some of this year’s greatest adventures and discoveries came from unexpected places and surprisingly simple moments.
I realized a lifelong dream when I visited Switzerland this past June. One of my favorite afternoons was spent enjoying panoramic views of the Swiss Alps from a restaurant on Mt. Riggi. I made only a few photographs in the bright midday sun, but savored the witty banter between the staff and intimate ambience as inspiration for future creations.
This embodied a theme for 2016 - shoot less, process more. Aside from my trip to Switzerland, much of my time was consumed with remodeling my first home and training for triathlons. Over the course of 2016, I competed in four triathlons and eight races in total. My disciplined training regime left little time or energy for shooting, but I found it lent a new strength to my creative work flow. Each hour had value, every time block for creation had a purpose. While I couldn’t shoot as often, I found the discipline to sit down and begin scanning and processing long forgotten slides from years ago.
My motivation for processing these slides was also driven by the purchase of my first home – a four bedroom house overlooking expansive views of Kahala. It became a blank canvas for my creation, and I spent eight months stripping the house down to the basic framework and remodeling every detail from cabinets to coat hangers.
For the first time, I had a space where I felt inspired to hang my own work, and I was driven to create pieces that spoke to me on a personal level. As I processed a waterfall image I shot over three years ago in Iceland, a few sheep grazing along the cliffside caught my eye. In color they were barely noticeable, but when I converted the frame to black and white and dropped the exposure, the sheep found their feet as a striking accent. While much of my gallery features bright, cheerful photos, there was a compelling beauty in the dark mood this process evoked. It became one of my favorite images from the whole Iceland trip.
In turn, decorating my own walls allowed me to experience firsthand how an image could transform the environment and affect my mood. I was inspired by the new black and white processing, and began to expand my gallery images to embrace a complex spectrum of human emotions.
In the coming year, I’m looking forward to further developing this process with a new collection of black and white waterfall images. I’ll also be training for my first Ironman in April, and preparing to hopefully qualify for the Boston Marathon in 2018. My travels will take me through Montana and the East coast, and possibly even Antarctica.
I’m also planning a solo road trip to explore and get back to the roots where my photography all began. I’m excited to explore with fresh eyes, and let my shooting take a backseat to purposeful process and creation.
The kitchen the way it stood the first day I received the keys.
First day of demolition. First things first, removing the cancec ceiling!
Approximately one month into renovations. A new ceiling with recessed lights, new door, added vent hood and the quartz counters are about to be installed.
The original hardwood was in terrible shape. Since I have two dogs and live a very active lifestyle, I went with a lighter oak tone flooring that is very resilient to water, sand, and dirt.
Six months into renovations the big changes came. I busted out the back wall to open up to a 300 sqft lanai that overlooks Kahala. This wall will feature four, six-foot glass sliding doors.
My kitchen almost complete, just a few finishing touches needed.
My kitchen after eight months of renovations. I chose every detail very carefully. From the oil rubbed bronze pulls and handles, to the Greek Villa tone paint.
Even on stormy days, the view is beautiful.
Charles and Oliver love the lanai.
The Skogafoss waterfall in Iceland. Originally shot on color slide film, I converted it to B&W after noticing how much the sheep stood out on the cliff.
First olympic distance triathlon.
Xterra 10k Trail Run.
In June I made my first trip to Switzerland, photographing the swiss alps has always been a dream of mine. The flight is fairly easy from LAX, twelve hours non-stop. I flew Swiss-Air, which was like flying in a big swiss army knife. Every nook and cranny seemed to have a purpose.
Once I landed it Zurich, I had a short drive to Lucerne. After check in, this was my immediate view!
This is the view from my room at Hotel Schweizerhof. Since they opened in 1845, the original architecture and design have remained the same.
Another view from my room. Every morning I would sit on my little balcony, sip on expresso, and watch the morning commuters.
The morning after I arrived, I took a cable car to the top of Mt. Pilatus. You couldn't ask for a better view.
I couldn't help but notice how close this church was to the ledge!
If you look closely, you can see hiking trails. I can't wait to come back and hike around Switzerland.
My guide wanted to show me her friends house, her view was stunning!
The village of Vitznau sits at the base of Mt. Rigi with beautiful views of Lake Lucerne.
Instead of sitting in traffic back to Lucerne from Vitznau, I took the ferry back to the city.
Another lakeside Village on the way to Brienz.
Behind Geissback Falls.
Front view of Geissback Falls.
I visited a swiss family owned farm, the swiss love their dairy!
Everyday at 2:00PM the cows are free to roam.
A swiss farmer and his collie.
The chapel bridge in Lucerne.
Swans were a gift to Lucerne from Louis the Great.
Alpaca's on the way to visit the cheese man (as my guide called him).
The cheese man.
Arrived at the Villa d"Este in Lake Cuomo via train from Lucerne.
Villa d'Este was built in 1568 as the summer residence of Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio.
More marble at Villa D'Este
The grounds at Villa D'Este are perfectly manicured.
Villa D'Este Alfa Romero.
Tensions were high this week in Europe.
Private tour of La Scala Opera House.
Some of the original decor is still preserved.
Musicians getting ready for a German opera.
A Rolls-Royce used as a prop on the backstage of La Scala.
Thank you for following along with me on my travels. Twenty-sixteen will be another exciting year for me with new endeavors and adventures to new locations. I appreciate the continued support!
October was a huge milestone in my career. I had my first international exhibit in Tokyo. The exhibit was at the Fuji Film Photo Salon in Roppongi.
Fuji Film was very accommodating; I didn't have to lift a finger! Set up was a day before the exhibit and within one hour the exhibit was completely ready to go.
A shot of the interior of the booth. Hawaii was the theme for the exhibit, all of the images were taken on Fuji Film Velvia 50. The film is known for its superb vibrancy and clarity.
First Day of the Exhibit.
Even though I'm not fond of cities and night life, I found Roppongi quite enjoyable to walk around. The area had a very modern and clean aesthetic.
Like something out of the Jetson's!
Just a short walk from the exhibit was a fantastic little sushi bar inside the Ritz Carlton.
The Otoro was the best I've had, at $24.95 a piece it better be!
A shot of my Pumpkin cheesecake and ice latte, typical tourist.
Evening glow at the FujiFilm Square.
A common scene from my walk back to my hotel from Fuji Film Square.
Halfway through the week I needed to get out and do a little exploring. So I spent a few hours at the Mori Art Center.
An exhibit of drawings and paintings done by Vietnamese soldiers.
Thousands of photographs of families that were separated/killed during Vietnam.
You can visit the very top of Mori Art Center for panorama views of Tokyo.
One of my favorite places to go in Ginza for lunch, Kaika Teppanyaki!
Japanese A5 Waygu.
The lobster came to the grill halved and still alive.
Simple and tasty.
The last day of the exhibit I got a very special gift from the musician Koshi Inaba. He visited my gallery in Hawaii Kai and fell in love with a few of my pieces.
My only free day I ventured out of Tokyo and took the Shinkansen to Hakone.
With only 7 minutes to clean the train, these ladies are always hustling around.
After being in Tokyo for ten days, I greeted the small town with open arms.
This winding little road was something like the Road to Hana on Maui.
The escalator down to the Hakone Open Air Museum.
Fresh air and beautiful sculptures.
This made me feel like I was in the Amazon.
I was too old to play on the jungle gym, but that didn't stop me from taking photos of it.
Next stop was the Hakone Shrine. Unfortunately, I came five minutes after they closed.
The Hakone shrine is only a 5-minute walk to Lake Ashinoko and I was there just in time for sunset. Sugoi!
The fisherman is wrapping it up for the day, yes that's a pirate ship in the background.
A complete 360 from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo.
Completed the day with a very tasty bowl of ramen From Fu-Unji. This place was so popular, and it's only a few steps from the Shinjuku station.
On my last day, I went to the IMA Design Center in Roppongi. I highly suggest giving this place a look. One of the buyers visited my exhibit and was interested in carrying my book in the bookstore pictured below.
I could spend days in this store.
The bottom floor of IMA, I loved the look of the frosted plexiglass on this staircase.
The exhibit was a huge success. I would like to thank everybody that stopped by and all the amazing people that made the exhibit possible. I look forward to future exhibitions of my work in Japan and exploring more of the beautiful country. Thank you for the continued support.
February was a very productive month. My friends and I drove from Los Angeles to Washington in a 25ft RV. We stopped at some of the most iconic spots on the west coast for photography. Our adventure began in Malibu where we camped one night on a bluff along coast highway. At daybreak on the second day, we headed north up the coast to the famous Big Sur coast. After driving 250 miles, we found a nice bay to shoot during sunset. We woke up the next morning at our camp spot along the Big Sur River continuing north to Yosemite National Park.
We spent most of the day driving the scenic coast occasionally stopping to take some photos; the entire drive is full of "ooh ah" moments. Eventually, our route lead us more inland towards Yosemite. The drive into Yosemite Valley at night in a 25ft RV is no easy task. That night we pulled into our campsite eager to wake up at first light the next morning. The alarm went off around 6:00 AM, then we started our morning ritual, getting the coffee started, warming up the RV and prepping photo gear. When time rolls around to head out we lost the keys! As minutes roll by and light starts to peak over the granite, my heart sank a little. Is this really happening? We all asked ourselves. We looked for the keys for what seemed like hours, completely destroying the RV during the process. Finally, where did we find them? The cupholder.
With our blood pressure boiling, we set out to Cathedral Beach, one of the best spots for sunrise. The tip of El Capitan will catch the first rays of sunlight, casting a reflection on Merced River. After a short walk, we made it just in time to catch the sunrise. Unfortunately due to the drought, the river levels were less than impressive, we did get a nice pocket of reflections though. With our first location in the bag, we did some scouting after breakfast. One thing we had to consider in Yosemite Valley was some parts of the valley would never see sunlight due to the angle of the sun (for the time of the year). After discussing options for sunset, we decided on Tunnel View, made famous by Ansel Adams.
The view was magical. Sometimes tour buses pulling up every 10 minutes and tourist screaming in your ear can take the serenity out of locations. But Tunnel View has a way of grabbing your full attention, blocking any distractions around you. I can only imagine what the first photographers said to themselves when they discovered this place. We patiently waited for two hours for the sun to go down, gradually Half Dome and El Capitan disappeared into the shadows. It was a perfect bluebird day. That night was the only night we didn't have to drive far to camp, so we got back early, made a fire and called it a night.
The next morning we didn't have any problems finding the keys, but the sunrise was lackluster. The lack of clouds and storms made for very dull views, even from Sentinel Bridge. We were all satisfied though, being our first time in Yosemite just being there was enough. Our next stop was Redwood National Park in Eureka California, around 400 miles away.
Our campsite in Eureka was interesting, to say the least. Up until this point, our sites were in the woods. Our campsite in Eureka was behind a gas station and what looked like an abandoned Home Depot parking lot. But with our RV water tank running low and the grey tank getting full we had no choice but to book a site with full hookups. It turned out to be a nice refresher though; the facilities were clean, and we were able to catch up on dirty dishes. The next morning we left the lot before sunrise and headed up the coast to the Redwoods. We decided to do a short hike in the Lady Bird Johnson Grove, which is essentially a coliseum of redwoods. The short hike proved to be exactly what we needed after more than 1,500 miles logged so far. Continuing north to Tillamook we were finally starting to see glimpses of the Oregon Coast. I envisioned the coast to be dreary, foggy and grey. Well it turned out to be the complete opposite. It was a beautiful blue day, 70 degrees, and the water was crystal clear. Our excitement got the best of us, so we pulled off at the nearest beach to climb sea stacks.
Surprisingly we were ahead of schedule, so we took our time driving, stopping at some old thrift stores and grabbed a bite to eat. Face Rock Beach was our location for the sunset. The beach is huge, with dozens of sea stacks offshore. The tide was slowly receding giving us nice reflections in the hard sand. Sunset that night was one to remember, it lasted for hours and the colors were amazing.
Our last leg of the trip was the Olympic Peninsula, specifically the Hoh Rainforest. The Hoh is one of my favorite places in the world. Even in "dry" months the place is so vibrant and green. Walking through the forest is such a fresh feeling. The forest is also a great place to birdwatch or occasionally spot wildlife. After a few hours photographing the forest we drove along Crescent Lake scouting locations for sunrise the next day. Passing small gas stations, foggy lakes, and cafes, you feel like you're driving through a novel. Maymere Falls was the next location on the list. With only a 2 mile hike, we had plenty of time to shoot and find unique images; this is when a photographer produces their best work.
Marymere was our last location; Hurricane Ridge was closed, so we took our last day to relax and casually cross Port Angeles into Edmonds. Six RV parks, 2,200 miles and four national parks later we successfully concluded the road trip.
I would like to thank David Mchowell for donating the RV for the trip, and, of course, my friends Jody Kamisato, Rylen Yamamoto and Andrew Agcaoili for helping document the trip.
Thank you for the continued support.
First hand look into the mindset of photographer Andrew Mchowell. Andrew’s choice of camera equipment speaks greatly to his ethos on photography. Not merely content with the typical tools of the trade, Andrew has sought out the most innovative cameras to capture his world class imagery. For panoramic landscapes, Andrew shoots with the Linhof Technorama 617 IIIs. This German camera produces striking images that are captured on Velvia 50 film, giving vast landscapes unique textures. Additionally, Andrew shoots with the Hasselblad H4D-60, a Swedish medium format digital camera that features an incredible 60 Mpixel sensor. The Hasselblad is a technological masterpiece that offers superior image quality. - See more at: http://ainaimagery.com
Over my holiday break, I chartered an A star mono turbine helicopter for a photo flight over Bora Bora. The island is prized for their abundant reefs, copious gradations of blues and the majestic Mt. Otemanu. Experiencing the captivating island from the air left me speechless. From above you can spot stingrays in the shallow turquoise water, examine every vein of reef and admire each degree of electric blue Bora Bora has to offer. It was the most spectacular day for a shoot in the French Polynesia.
Location — French Polynesia
Aircraft — A-Star “Squirrel” AS350BA Mono Turbine
Andrew Is happy to announce the release of his first book “New Landscapes: A Spectrum of Photographs.” The release party will be February 7th, 2014, from 5:30PM-9:30PM at the Halekulani Garden Terrace. You will have a chance to purchase the book and have it personally signed at the event. Two editions of the book are available. The slipcase edition is numbered, signed and includes a linen bound slipcase (300 available at$99). The open edition is $69.99.
Join us for a great night of Hor d’oeuvres, wine, live music and photography.
Complimentary valet parking
Book signing will start at 6:45
To RSVP or for any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for the continued support!
October was not only a very exciting month for me, but it was also one of the most memorable because of my first trip to Africa.
My journey began in Livingston, a southern province of Zambia. The main attraction of Livingston is Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It is also a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage site. I was lucky enough to take a Huey military helicopter over the falls, with the doors off! Victoria Falls is the largest singular waterfall in the world and seeing it from the air was an amazing privilege.
From Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport I took a short 20 minute flight to my camp in Kruger National Park. The five days that I spent in Kruger was a dream come true. We have all seen dramatic close up photographs of wildlife in the pages of popular outdoor magazines. But my goal as a landscape photographer was to incorporate both wildlife and landscape, making my Linholf panorama camera the ideal tool. Kruger National Park is extremely lush, and not the dry and barren land that I was expecting. I would wake up everyday and enjoy my coffee on the lanai of the Singita Ebony Lodge and for my morning entertainment watch the monkeys try to steal pastries.
Everyday I had two game drives. One in the morning and the other in the evening. The drives were organized in to groups, with each having a driver and one tracker. Most of the drivers were also photographers so they were able to put me in perfect position. It was amazing to see how seamlessly they both worked together. It was quite obvious that they were experts in what they do and very connected to the land and the surroundings.
Seeing first hand the strength, size and power of elephants in their natural surroundings is something I think everyone needs to experience. Driving through the park it was impressive to see huge uprooted trees that the elephants excavated for food. By the way, elephants make horrible landscapers! The last drive was hands down my favorite. I was able to witness lions and their cubs feasting on a huge male Kudu that they just killed. The day before we saw the same impressive animal wandering the area. On this day however, it was killed without a care in the world. Such is the circle of life. In between breakfast the pack of lions wandered to a water hole where the morning light pitched a beautiful reflection of them in the water.
My visit to Africa was totally wild and amazing. Experiencing the animals of Kruger was truly a life changing experience. I am back on Hawaii now sorting through film and recalling memories of the things that I saw and the way that I felt. It is my sincere hope that I was able to successfully capture the relationship between wildlife and landscape in these photographs. Perhaps in doing so you too would be able to see and feel the same experiences.
Last month I fled Oahu on a quick trip over to Kauai. The oldest of the Hawaiian Islands, the Garden Isle is renowned for it’s spectacular North Shore, which is blessed with the most gorgeous bay in all of Hawaii, Hanalei Bay. To the west of Hanalei lies the Na Pali Coast, which is one of the most stunning natural environments that I have ever seen. With towering mountains, gorgeous beaches, and plenty of waterfalls, this is nature at its finest.
This trip was especially exciting since my work assignment was to shoot aerial photography of the Na Pali Coast. If you know me, you know that I love taking helicopter rides whenever I get the opportunity. What most people don’t realize is that I have a personal goal to start flight school on my 30th birthday to get my commercial helicopter pilot’s license. And since I am always getting requests from clients for aerial photography, I booked a flight with Mauna Loa Helicopters to try and get some work done.
Mauna Loa Helicopters took me out in a Robinson R-44 Raven II, a four-seat helicopter with no doors. I brought both my Linhof Technorama 617S III panoramic camera, as well as my Hasselblad H4D-60 to shoot with as we took off from the airport in Lihue. We flew North over the island to the Na Pali Coast where I took photographs for 20-minutes. I only had the opportunity to take 4 exposures with the Linhof since the pilot wouldn?t let me change film during the flight. The pilot was worried the film would fly out the door and into the propeller, which had me worried as well!
The film I was shooting with was Fuji Velvia 50, which is the de facto professional standard film for nature and landscape photography due to the quality of color and grain. However, the Velvia 50 is a really slow film. Coupled with the fact that I was shooting at a shutter speed of 1/60th (and from a moving aircraft), I?m not quite certain what the results will look like. But that’s kind of the fun of shooting film. Of course, I was also shooting with the Hasselblad. Coupled with 35-90mm lens and polarized filter, the Hasselblad easily captured the majestic nature of the Na Pali Coast on a perfect day with not a cloud in the sky.
Before the helicopter ride ended, the pilot flew us to Manawaiopuna Falls. Better known as Jurassic Falls from Steven Spielberg’s film, this 350 foot tall waterfall in Hanapepe Valley is quite spectacular, and was the perfect ending to an epic flight.
If you are interested in seeing the photographs from my helicopter shoot, I will be printing artist proofs in the beginning of April.
No, I’m not talking about the book that took the world by storm this past year, but rather the trip I took to the Maldives for Christmas. Comprised of 26 island atolls in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives is the lowest country on Earth at just 4 feet and 11 inches above sea level.
What the Maldives lack in elevation and size, the island nation more than makes up for in color. The Maldives are home to the most shades of blues I’ve ever seen. Nothing compares to it. It’s said that the human eye can see 52 different shades of blue, and if this is true, the Maldives are the one place where I have seen each variation.
Getting to the Maldives is no easy feat. After flying to LA, I hopped on an A380 and flew 18 hours straight to Singapore. It was the longest amount of time I’ve ever spent up in the air! From Singapore I flew to the city of Male, which is the capital of the Maldives. Male reminded me of Honolulu, except that it was much more densely packed than Hawaii’s capital. Nearly every conceivable inch of the island has been built on. It’s probably more like a miniature version of Hong Kong.
After arriving in Male, I flew by seaplane to the Four Seasons Resort at Landaa Giraavaru. Located on the Baa Atoll, which is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, it felt like I had arrived on Gilligan’s Island (albeit complete with a 5-star resort). Everyday I spent at the resort there was a different activity to try out. I went paddle boarding across the crystal blue lagoon water one day. Another day I took a dolphin tour since the Maldives have a large population of both bottleneck and spinner dolphins. I even got a chance to go sunset fishing. Fishing by hand line, I caught a grouper that the chef ended up grilling right on the beach!
One of the highlights of the trip was getting to sail over to a private island that the Four Seasons owns. The boat dropped its anchor a couple hundred meters from the island, and I got to snorkel over to a deserted island for lunch. I felt like Jacques Cousteau swimming through schools of tropical fish and some of the most gorgeous (and colorful) coral I’ve ever seen. The day got even better as I enjoyed a delicious lunch on the perfect white sand beach. I can safely say it was definitely one of the best days of my life!
I recently took a trip over to Europe and got to visit London and Madrid. London is where it is at! I love that place. While Londoner?s speak the same language, their slang seems to make their English a lot more witty and lyrical.
There were so many great things to see in London, from Westminster Abbey, the Tower Bridge, and getting to ride the London Eye (the huge ferris wheel on the banks of the River Thames). The highlight of London though was getting to walk around Buckingham Palace. Taking up an enormous two city blocks, the Palace is great for people watching. I particularly enjoyed getting to watch the changing of the guards at the Forecourt of Buckingham Palace. Truly.
London is proper brilliant to explore on foot, although it is always a good idea to bring a brolly (umbrella). There are just so many interesting buildings. So many gorgeous parks, filled with trees that have sprawling canopies. And getting to see all the red phone booths made it feel like I was in movie set in London.
While the food might not be the best (I did love the fish and chips), the people more than make up for their culture?s culinary shortcomings (a distinct lack of spices). Such friendly people. And even the pricks had good personalities!
While in England, I also went to visit Stonehenge. About a two hour drive from London, I have to say I was disappointed visiting Stonehenge. The disappointment primarily stems from the fact you can?t go up to the Stones anymore because people were writing graffiti on them. Who are these people?
As I mentioned at the beginning, I also visited Madrid. However, since Spain was in the middle of a monumental strike, my first foray to Espana was a bit of a disappointment. I?ll leave my thoughts on Spain unsaid. Still a fun trip, and as the English would say, I reckon I might just have become a well traveled chap by now.
Mahalo from Aina Imagery.
August was a big month for Aina Imagery. This past Thursday I attended the Nextworking mixer over at Aloha Tower. Hundreds of Honolulu professionals attended the event. Not only did I meet a bunch of interesting people, but Aina Imagery happened to be the event?s main sponsor. One of the highlights of the evening was seeing my images printed on waterproof postcards being used as drink coasters. Talk about functional artwork!
The biggest news I have for you is that after months of preparation, I finally hiked the Kalalau Trail on Kauai?s magnificent Na Pali coast. My friends and I started early on Friday morning, 5:30 am to be exact. We were a little bummed when we first began hiking since there was a steady, drizzling rain falling on us. However, as the day progressed, we were quite thankful for the showers as it kept the temperature nice and cool.
Traversing across countless switchbacks, we made quick progress along the 11 mile trail, stopping every 2 miles so I could take photographs from different vantage points. At the 5 mile mark, my friends and I stopped at a stream to filter water for the second half of our journey. On the advice of a friend who had hiked the trail before, we took off our shoes and soaked our feet in the cool mountain water for 45 minutes before resuming the trek. Feeling rejuvenated, we hiked the remaining 6 miles to our campsite at Kalalau Beach on just 3 liters of water.
One of the highlights of the hike occurred at the 7 through 9 mile mark where the trail darts in and out of a ridge-line. These spots afford hikers with an unencumbered view of the entire coastline, which happens to be one of the most dramatic landscape?s on the planet. Filled with natural arches and tons of waterfalls, it was surreal to be so high up in the mountains. From our vantage point, the waterfalls looked like streams falling off of cliffs.
We arrived at our campsite in just 7 hours, which is a pretty good time to hike 11 miles through steep mountains. Unfortunately, we ended up setting up camp in the rain. That first night I slept on the beach in my bivy. As I was setting it up, a sand crab scurried in unbeknownst to me. As I was attempting to go to sleep I heard scratching and turned on my phone?s flashlight. I was surprised to see the uninvited guest near my head. After giving the crab the boot, I slept quite soundly.
Saturday was spent exploring Honopu, the two adjoining beaches west of Kalalau. We walked over at lowtide with my Mamiya 645 Pro camera to get some shots, climb along the rocks, and to chill with some Hawaiian monk seals. Honopu is comprised of two beaches which are separated by a gigantic stone arch. The beach got it?s name from the sound the wind and waves make during the winter months. Trust me when I say that it is definitely one of the most gorgeous beaches in all of the Hawaiian Islands.
Instead of hiking back 11 miles, we decided to catch a boat ride back on Sunday with a man from Hanalei who charges locals $50. Money well spent! The ride back got me really excited about planning my next trip to Kauai. In the summer of 2013 we are going back to the Na Pali coast, only this time we are going to kayak it. I can?t wait!
Mahalo for the continued support