This photo was taken on the last day of my last trip to Hawaii, how amazingly clear is the water? It was a really special day as I’ve been to Hawaii quite a few times but this was only the second time my wife had been there with me and her first trip there with me was almost 10yrs ago.
We spent six days together investigating little bays like this all over the island of Kauai and just jumping into the water whenever we could. The trip finished all too quickly as they do but we got to see and shoot so much during that time.
I cant wait to get back there again!
I headed out on Friday evening to let Mother Nature show me what she’s got. Little did I know that less than 15M away were two other fantastic landscape photographers, True North Mark and Tristan Jud were just on the otherside of the reef shooting the same sunset.
Its a small world. The best colour actually happened just before sunset, it seemed like the sun literally burst into a deep orange just before it ducked below the horizon. Sensational and a great way to end the day.
Did you all have a great weekend?
Perth sunsets can be absolutely amazing especially during summer where they often an intense bright red and last for ages. This was one of those sunsets that looked like it was never going to eventuate into anything but then surprised me by being one of the best I’d seen in years.
It just goes to show as always that if you aren’t there you won’t get the shot, so make sure you head out no matter what. I’m actually really surprised that no families were out on this evening. Normally on a evening like this I would expect to see families sitting on the grass with their fish and chips and the kids splashing in the water soaking up the last warm sunshine for the days. I guess no one else expected it to be an awesome evening either.
Where is your favourite part of the river?
Art like life is a reflection on the amount of effort we put into it. The more effort we put into our art the better we get at it. Its quite often that simple!
I’d been shooting for six months and was wondering just why I wasn’t getting the sorts of photographs that others were getting. It was consuming me, why wasn’t I able to consistently capture great sunsets and sunrises?
Fortunately, I had my first light bulb moment soon after. It came to me via a discussion with a fellow photographer, we’d both headed down to Dunsborough in Western Australia to attend a course by Christian Fletcher. I wanted to improve my seascape photography and the other photographer wanted to learn how to stitch larger images together.
Well, here comes the light bulb moment. It took me 2.5hrs to drive from Perth to Dunsborough whereas it took the other photographer 7hrs. I just laughed and asked if he walked down. Well the joke was on me, after the course I drove back up to my house and check out his website. It had stunning image after stunning image on it. I was totally blown away!
Finally, I realised that I needed to spend more time actually taking photos. The more photos I took the higher my chances of being in the right place at the right time increased. So since that moment I’ve dedicated as much time as possible chasing that illusive magic light and guess what? My images improved out of sight.
So…. art like life is a reflection on the amount of effort we put into it.
What was your light bulb moment?
In this amazing world I have two spiritual homes. One is here in Western Australia, at Injidup Beach down near Yallingup and the other is Lumahai Beach in Kaui and I just love to photograph both of them. They’re both very similar, very uncrowded wide open to ocean swells and to me they contain an element of spiritual healing. Both of them totally inspire me to concentrate on my seascape photography.
I can sit down at either one of these beaches and instantly my cares fade away and its just me and the ocean. In fact I have spent hours at both beaches just relaxing without even picking up the camera, which I think is important. The more time you can spend at a place and learn about its character and quirks the better photos you’ll manage to capture of it.
We should all have a place that inspires us and moves us, one that when we have a photographers block it reignites our passion for our art. One that we can easily close our eyes and see ourselves there, and feel the sand squishing between our toes, while the wind gently touches our face. If you learn about a places moods then its so much easier to notice all the finer details of the place that others will miss and you’ll start to capture photos of it, that others just don’t see.
So where is your favourite place to shoot? One that totally inspires you when other places don’t? One that is like visiting an age old friend who always brings a smile to your face. Let me know!
Weekly Photography Challenge::
Every week I try to set myself a photographic challenge to make sure I don’t become complacent with my photography. Something that will help me extend myself either with my camera, photoshop, business skills or artistic vision.
This week I’m going off to the State Art museum to look at landscape paintings from the late 1800s to study how the masters back then used light and detail to their advantage. These guys were amazing at ensuring your eye fell to exactly where they wanted it and in being able to tell a story with a single image. Its a lesson I’m sure many of us could and should learn.
What do you do to extend yourself?
I love this stunning beach, its in Kauai Hawaii, its called Lumahai Beach and I dedicate it to my amazing wife. Normally I travel alone but on this occasion she was standing right next to me witnessing this amazing sunset. This beach is special to me, its all about me and its what I’m all about. Solidarity in a pure moment with no distractions. You make my heart glow and bring a smile to my face, can’t ask for anymore and I certainly never will. Life is all about moments whether they are fleeting or not, both good and bad. The trick is to ensure there are more good moments than bad and its kind of hard not to be having a good moment when you’re surrounded by beauty like her and this.
Its no secret that I love Hawaii and travel there often. Its a magical place and if you’re willing to open your eyes and just let yourself go you’ll see so many photographic opportunities each and everyday. I was fortunate enough to have my amazing wife Melissa on this trip with me. We’d just share an amazing moment together off to the left of this photo and had started to head home when we saw this serene and beautiful scene if front of us.
I just love Hawaii, not only is it so picturesque but its also so peaceful and good for the soul.
Recently, I was asked to join a group of guys who wanted to go tanker surfing in the Gulf of Mexico. I’d seen some people do it in the Step into Liquid video years ago and thought it was cool then. I never thought I’d have a chance to participate so how could I resist? It was a tough trip with broken down planes and a long drive through the night to get from Austin to Galveston on time but we made it.
Was it worth the trip? You bet it was, check out the sunrise we were presented while we were on our way out to the channel 30mins prior to our first tanker surf! It was stunning and it was just a sign of things to come.
After the boys had a quick coffee to warm up a tanker came steaming past and it was time to hit the water with military precision as you typically don’t get a second chance to catch the waves. Capt James Fulbright would go charging up to the waves do a quick 180 and the boys would have to jump off and start paddling like mad to catch the waves, with all of us on the boat yelling at them to paddle harder. As you can see the conditions were amazing, absolutely no wind at all.
So what is tanker surfing? Its where you get to surf the wake created from a large ship typically like a tanker due to its hull shape and deep draft and you get to ride the wake for up to a couple of kilometers at a time. A 5 to 6min ride on one wave is quite common, and normally you need to use a longboard to accommodate the waves produced. For most people its an experience of a lifetime.
As its a straight wave its possible to get more than one surfer onto the waves. Here are two of the boys enjoying the ride.
The boys all sharing another tanker surfing wave. No competing for waves needed.
One of the guys with the wave all to himself. Its also a great angle to show you how the guys use the wake of the ship to surf.
Was it fun and exciting? Yes it was, and I’d do it all over again. Now to work on my photos from Hawaii that I took on the way home.
Its been an amazing and fantastic year! There was a trip to Hawaii in October and I have another planned in the next few weeks. I’ve had trips down in the Great Southern and up North and out East as well. Mostly by myself but also with some special people such as Paul Pichugin. Photography is a long and challenging journey and this year has certainly been challenging artistically. I’ve tried to push myself so much further than before and I think its starting to pay dividends.
I hope each and everyone of you have an amazing and most importantly safe holiday season and I look forward to catching up with you all in 2013 either out there on the beach or at one of my two exhibitions!