I haven’t posted any photographs from North America yet to TrekEarth because most of my travel to the US and Canada was done in the days before I converted to digital, and the physical condition of my negatives and transparencies from that era is not very good (having deteriorated from years of storage in tropical heat and humidity). However I was in Hawaii for a conference last year and had some hours to spare before my evening flight from Honolulu back to Malaysia, so on my departure day I got up very early and took an early morning flight on Hawaiian Airlines over to Lihue on Kauai so that I could take a helicopter flight over the rugged Na Pali coast. This was something that I had always wanted to do, and I hoped to come back with dozens of fabulous photographs. I was to be disappointed though.
I had booked the helicopter flight the day before I left, but when I got to Lihue and walked into the helicopter company’s offices, they seemed surprised to see me saying: “You’re very early”. I found out that they had sent a message to my hotel in Honolulu to say that my booking had been rescheduled to later in the day (at least that’s what they claimed because I never received it). So there had been no need to get up so early after all, and then to rub salt into the wound they said: “But we’re actually not sure if your flight will be going – it all depends on the wind”. It was quite a windy day, and it did get stronger, but eventually they decided to let us fly.
Before boarding the helicopter I was told I could not take my camera case or extra lenses – only one camera because of weight restrictions. So I decided to fit the 24-120mm lens to my D100 body hoping I could get away without a wider angle lens. I asked if I could have a front seat for photography but was told that seat allocation was done by weight, and was handed a boarding pass with only a number on, which I subsequently found out was a back seat, but at least it was next to a window. That seemed to be a good ‘second best’ seat (better than the two large men who were squeezed in the middle at the back with no window) but when I started to review my photographs in flight, I found they were all spoilt with reflections from the window (see workshop for example).
This picture of the Na Pali coast was about the only one that wasn’t completely spoilt with reflections because I was able to crop them away from the left hand side of the frame. I wasn’t sure whether to post this composition in this ‘vertical panoramic’ format or a more conventional vertical format by cropping the bottom third away. I decided on the former as I thought the shadows in the bottom of the frame were interesting, but I have posted a more conventional crop to the workshop – so you can be the judge.
PP: Cropped, minor adjustments to levels, curves, contrast and saturation, then USM and removed some noise with NeatImage.
Critiques | Translate
RGatward (20086) 2006-02-05 5:13
Ineresting extreme portarit format for this. Original idea which focusses our attention on the dramatic coast.
Rossignol (2289) 2006-02-05 5:40
This is a great shot depicting the rugged and dramatic coast of Hawaii. I like the portrait format you've used, unusually for a landscape shot, which accentuates the perspective, and the long DOF.
markstaples (15670) 2006-02-05 6:20
This is a nicely cropped shot - the crop adds to the dramatic effect. Nice natural colours, nice textures. Thanks for sharing.
gaby (19819) 2006-02-05 10:24
David bonsoir - very interesting note and splendid shot - the perspective and the shadows in the foreground are wonderful - well done
kensimage (8565) 2006-02-05 12:01
In every photographer's life there are such days! I think you salvaged the one very good shot here--the unusual framing works fine for this landscape, and you definitely want to include the shadow at the bottom. Perhaps there's a slight oversharpening halo where earth meets sky, but hardly noticeable.
Better luck next time! Regards, Ken.
riclopes (35577) 2006-02-06 2:59
What a very good description note about all the dificulties you had. I loved it!
Although this anusual 'panoramic vertical' format is not a very pleasant one, I agree with you - the shadows in the bottom add a very good interest and the crop in ws is not so nice. This very early morning light gave wonderful shadows on the mountains and after all I like this result. I also like very much the one with the reflections - kind of an artistic one...
Good work and thanks a lot for sharing,
capthaddock (28790) 2006-02-06 10:20
Hi David - window glare is indeed an annoying beast in aereals, but at least you got one good one, the "jurassic" coast looks beautiful
ktanska (29451) 2006-02-07 3:38
Great point of view! I wish I had such a chance some day. I like vertical panoramas, they just don't fit well to computer screens. And what a collection of green tones.
This picture also wakes one more question: Is there any place where you have not visited?
WorldGuru (176) 2006-02-12 7:19
Good effort! I hate it when expectations don't measure up...;-( I guess that is why I try hard not to have any... But, if you are human, that is easier said than done...;-)
Sounds like this was simply a typical heli tour for the masses... What would have been neat was if you could have chartered a little H500 (like what TC flew in Magnum PI) with the doors off with an accommodating pilot. In 1980 that would have went for about $450us/hr. I don't have a clue what today's cost would be.
Thanks for the pic and the story!
PJE (20758) 2006-02-12 20:27
David I love the way you cropped this one like this. This coast line is gorgous to behold and I am glad you managed to get a good shot considering all you had to do to capture this photo. I love the black sand beaches in Hawaii. I have been to the Big Island twice and Maui. Its always a treat to visit these islands. Excellent shot!
vinicio (23423) 2006-02-13 16:25
Excellent close view David, good colors and compo, well done, compliments.
rabdelnoor (3423) 2006-02-18 20:52
Great shot of the Hawai coast from your privileged position. It is nice you cropped it in a portrait position, enhancing the dinamism of the picture. Beautiful colours and contrast.
elmec (12210) 2006-02-19 12:34
Very nice shot!
I like the rocks and the shadows on the water!
Stepan (27210) 2006-02-24 15:57
Interesting and effective framing for such a purpose and compo. I like your idea and the way you managed it.
lotis (132) 2006-03-02 15:36
Great view. And you're quite good at writing notes too! I think that the colors on the lower part of the photo are a bit too dark, and a bit too pale on the upper part...I know I sound picky, but somewhere in the middle, like for example, in the middle of the photo!, would be nice.
Definately a great shot
Thanks for sharing
alainh (33205) 2006-03-05 13:17
you make here the good crop !
the shadows are playing with the lights.
a very nice capture
have a good week
samrat_roy1 (701) 2006-05-01 5:55
another great shot. i understand the difficulties that you have faced while taking the shot, but i belive a wider version of the pic would have done more justice to your effrot.
thanks for sharing.
ccooper (840) 2006-08-30 16:57
A helicopter ride over the Na Pali coast can be breathtaking, especially if you have a great seat and slightly disappointing if you don't. Been there, done that. I like the color saturation and slight misty look. Well captured.
- Copyright: David Astley (banyanman) (7789)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2004-01-21
- Categories: Nature
- Camera: Nikon D100, Nikkor AF-S 24-120/3.5-5.6G ED, UV
- Exposure: f/10.0, 1/320 seconds
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Date Submitted: 2006-02-05 5:07
- Favorites: 1 [view]