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Thread: Big Island - Hawaii

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    Administrator andy's Avatar
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    Big Island - Hawaii

    I'm heading to the Big Island in a few weeks - Any one have any suggestions for interesting shooting locations? Tips on getting close to the lava flows? We'll be staying on the Kona Kohala Coast.

    Thanks!

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Big Island - Hawaii

    South Point at sunrise! There's also the mini-versions of the Easter Island style rock tiki's --- I foget what they're called though.
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Senior Member Lisa's Avatar
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    Re: Big Island - Hawaii

    Unfortunately, it's a looong drive from the Kona coast to the interesting photo areas on the east side (volcanos & waterfalls). If you can manage it, though, Hawaii Volcanos National Park is really, really interesting. There are also some fine waterfalls nearish to Hilo, the best being Akaka Falls (which has its own little state park).

    The following park service web page has info on visiting active lava flows etc., but unfortunately there aren't any visitable sites right now (but check again just before your trip):

    http://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/lava2.htm

    I was lucky enough to be able to walk right up to a lava flow last time I was there (something like ten years ago), since it was flowing across one of the park roads. Helicopter tours might also get you near some interesting active lava flows.

    Lisa

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    Administrator andy's Avatar
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    Re: Big Island - Hawaii

    Lisa -

    Thanks for the info - that NPS site is very helpful. I'm guessing we'll end up having a nice vacation and try to capture the green flash as the sun disappears!

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    Re: Big Island - Hawaii

    Most all of the beaches are photogenic, but the entire state is covered by salt air so do make sure you give your lenses and camera a good wipe down and cleaning. For a good idea how gunked up things can get, look at the windshields of the cars on the island – granted, this is much more abuse then your camera will get, but still…

    Mauna Kea can be worth a sunrise/sunset image if you want to head up there. Compared to the "at sea level" temps, it will be cold up there - especially if you are just in shorts and an Aloha shirt and you get up there on a day with a touch of snow.

    There are a few different botanical gardens/parks scattered across the island that can be interesting for a few shots, but they are extra humid.

    Driving the Saddle road is something they advise against when you pick up your rental car. Main reasons are:
    - The road is in poor conditions in places (huge pot holes)
    - Single lane in places (total, not in each direction)
    - Little, if any, cell-phone coverage if you have a problem
    But shooting across the lava beds can be worth the effort if you want to get a feel for the expanse of lava flow the island is built on. Depending on the weather you can get a bit of drama as you shoot the approaching rainfall as it comes across the lava.

    South shore has the black sand beaches and during the Winter months (Dec ~ Feb) you have a decent chance of seeing some Sea Turtles. You can walk pretty close to them but they are endangered species and protected so be careful on that front. The black sand beaches can be pretty too.

    If you choose to take a coffee plantation stop, most of them are just tourist traps (heck tourism is the number one industry in the state, unless something changed since Statehood ) but you can get some vacation shots here or there at them. Same with what’s left of the sugar cane on the Hilo side of the island.

    There are a few different waterfalls on the island, rainbow falls is one of the easiest to get to – do watch the speed limits as you drive through towns – but the falls are temperamental and at times can be magnificent and other times look like someone left a garden hose running just out of site.

    Waipio valley can be nice if you want to hike some. Same can be said for the Volcano state park, but they have some places you can shoot without leaving the too far from the parking lot. I would, personally, avoid the sulfur vents – once that stuff gets in your sinus/mouth it sticks with you for a while – blech.

    -- M.

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    Member John Grow's Avatar
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    Re: Big Island - Hawaii

    I second the saddle road, I rented an all wheel drive just for that reason. But they still tell you that you can't drive on that road.

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    Re: Big Island - Hawaii

    Andy -- how was the trip?
    -- M.

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    Administrator andy's Avatar
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    Re: Big Island - Hawaii

    We had a great trip! The only photography I did was underwater. We went to Kealakekua Bay (perhaps better known as the site of the Captain Cook Monument) which is an underwater state park. I've been there four or five times over the last twenty years - the reef has recovered a lot in the last few years - the variety of fish is amazing. We also went snorkeling at night with Manta Rays, which was a new experience for me. They are just very cool animals - basically hollow wings. They are attracted to plankton which are attracted by bright lights. They swim loops are varying depths while we just float ont he surface. The ones near us were probably 5 or six feet across and came within a foot or so - there were much larger ones at greater depth - maybe 15-18 feet across. It's like a ballet.

    I put a few images in the Image Gallery - look uder my name in the Instructor section.

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    Re: Big Island - Hawaii

    Thanks - those look good. Where did you find the Manta Rays, was it at the Kealakekua Bay, or did you go do the dive tour from one of the hotels has setup?
    -- M.

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    Administrator andy's Avatar
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    Re: Big Island - Hawaii

    We went with a company called "Sea Paradise" located in Keauhou Bay. This type of viewing would be difficult to do on your own, as you need very bright lights in the water to attract the plankton. These guys were very well organized. it's a short trip - they anchored about 50 yards off shore, maybe 150 yards from the dock. There were some folks who paid more to scuba and see the rays from below - I didn't see any of their images, if any. There were about 4 scuba and 20 snorkelers on our trip (which was on Christmas night, so apparently the rays don't get holidays off). It got pretty chilly in the water after about 30 minutes, and they were good with hot chocolate and coffee on the boat. It was definitely something to see once.

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    Re: Big Island - Hawaii

    Thanks - there is a confrence I'm attending on the Big Island at the end of the month. I won't have much time to sight-see (but I spent a fair amout of my life on Ohau, and my uncle is on the Big Island, so I can get back for vacation most anytime) but was curious how you did it in case I wanted a dip one night.
    -- M.

  12. #12
    Peseecot73
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    Big Island Hawaii

    I have beenthere twice and it is an Island paradise. Not as populated as Wakiki, or the tourist stop like the other islands. But as someone who stayed for a short while---you must go

    I wanted to give a big shout out to my friends in Kona at Rooster Farms

    Oloha


    Lygeia

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