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Hanalei Bonfire - Kauai, Hawaii | by PatrickSmithPhotography
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Hanalei Bonfire - Kauai, Hawaii

The sun sets in Hanalei as the evening bonfire is lit. Single exposure, no HDR!


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Settings etc.:



41-second exposure @F8 with ND grads 0.9 + 0.6 angled from 9:30-3:30

Canon 5D (original mark I)

Canon 17-40L @ 18

LEE soft ND grad (100x150mm - 4x6in) 0.9

Lee foundation kit filter holder with Lee 77mm adapter ring

No polarizer.

ISO 50

RAW file processed with Capture One by Phase One

TIFF file processed with Photoshop

Small Slik Sprint mini II tripod

Manfrotto 322RC2 pistol-grip ball head



Hanalei is a small town on the north shore of the island of Kauai. It has a 3-mile wide perfect crescent of sandy shoreline with the rainiest mountains in the world right behind them. While it rains about 100 inches per year in Hanalei, it rains about 600 inches per year on Mt. Waialeale, about 5 miles behind the peak on the left.


Even with all of the rain, days are usually sunny in Hanalei with maybe 1-2 hours of rain mostly at night. The mountains in this image range from 3,000 to 5,000 feet in height. This shot can only be done with a medium tide and this effect only lasts for a few minutes before another wave moves in.


Here, I attempted to show one of the waterfalls in the reflection. It took about 15 minutes of fiddling around before I finally got it right. All these elements combine to create a thickness to the atmosphere that makes me feel like I'm right back on the beach every time I view this image.




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Taken on November 20, 2006