• This black sand beach is created by erosion, not new lava flows like most of them on this island.
  • I waited for a bit of reflection here.
  • I eventually got soaked but it was warm. But the usually 'grippy' lava can become unexpectedly slippery so watch out!
  • The bright sun came bursting through so I let it be overexposed here.
  • Love this detail !! - jeffiebrown

Pololu Morning #1b - Big Island Hawaii

Newer Older

I just returned from a 2-week trip to the Big Island of Hawaii with so many new favorite
photos that it will take a while to sort them out! So here is one from Yesterday morning to get started. A very destructive new lava flow has inspired park officials to aggressively keep people many hundreds of meters from lava flows, so I got no lava pictures... just so you know. No HDR.

Free wallpaper for over 100 of my images in 6 different screen sizes is now available!

See the 1200 pixel version!

Settings etc.:

Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 17-40L @29
1/4-second exposure @F9
LEE soft ND grad (100x150mm - 4x6in) 0.9 + 0.9
Lee foundation kit filter holder with Lee 77mm adapter ring
No polarizer.
ISO 100
RAW file processed with Capture One by Phase One
TIFF file processed with Photoshop
Small Slik Sprint mini II tripod
Manfrotto pistol-grip ball head

---------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------
The Story
---------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------

I just returned to San Francisco last night and it seems impossible that I saw this view just yesterday morning my time just 3 hours before my flight. I could not resist one more pre-dawn hike into this scenic valley.

The Big Island has a wide variety of climate zones and geological regions. Lava flows create lots of new land and those areas are rough and new. Areas like this valley are on the older side where the volcanos are extinct and the land is being sculpted into fantastic forms. The almost 14,000-foot (4200m) Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea volcanoes create rain forest upwind and barren deserts downwind. And they can exist just 4 miles apart! The beaches vary from black sand, to white, golden, red and even green. It is a photographer's paradise, but it is big and you have to do your research to find the best spots.

To get here, you must get up well before sunrise (it is not a sunset beach), drive to the tourist pullout and hike down a 400-foot trail in the dark to get here in time for sunrise. It is not a difficult hike but it is slippery and one mistake and your day is ruined! Also, this is a great place to spend the day, far away from civilization. I'll write more about this valley in future uploads.

The map shows the exact location.

Other stuff

My pictures are featured on the front page of the newly redesigned
The state Gov. of California website
. Have a look! It is Flash with my pics cut into layers for a 3-d slideshow. If you are into building apps, the State has opened up lots of data to the public, so check it out!


Google Earth

Simply the best way to scout out locations that there is. You can see sun angles and pre-visualize light under lots of different conditions. Sometimes you can actually pre-compose your shots! This has saved me many thousands of vertical feet of climbing by avoiding spots with blocked views etc.

Satellite imagery (choose 'National' for a local US region or use your fave website)

Tide charting and preditions: (chose your area in US, other countries have similar websites)

Wave Heights (I choose 'North Pacific from Global')
Or Here:

Photos of every inch of the California coastline from a small plane. Excellent for close in detailed views.



Sai Achanta, Tommaso Renzi, and 745 other people added this photo to their favorites.

View 20 more comments

  1. yudha nh 54 months ago | reply


  2. Chaia01 54 months ago | reply

    omg gorgous

  3. anna.hawaii 54 months ago | reply

    so beautiful, i know what this place looks like and you made it look lovely..though that took some dedication to be down there at sunrise!

  4. Eye for emotion 53 months ago | reply

    Really stunning!!

  5. stephen staples 53 months ago | reply

    Patrick you have some great sets stunning work

  6. ashnick24 53 months ago | reply

    This is a gorgeous picture. It looks like something that belongs in a fantasy world, very magical.

  7. SymoneGreene 53 months ago | reply

    Beautiful! To get just one shot like this would be so fufilling.

  8. trapezemike 52 months ago | reply

    Silky smooth !!!!

  9. Alex Staniforth: Wildlife/Nature Photography 50 months ago | reply

    Probably the best landscape shot I've ever seen!

  10. spicros78 50 months ago | reply

    great capture-awesome photo!

  11. Chicken Fry 50 months ago | reply

    Beautiful shot!
    Great shot!!
    You are invited to post this wonderful photo in:
    Waterdrop 1
    The Magical World of Photography!

    We currently have a sunrise Competition it would be great to see you enter!!


  12. BrettVerboom 49 months ago | reply

    This is downright gorgeous, great shot, keep up the awesome work!

  13. Photo--Graphy [deleted] 46 months ago | reply

    Great capture

  14. valentino * 44 months ago | reply

    bella fotografia

  15. ☼Sol.Digital☼ [deleted] 31 months ago | reply

    Great photo!
    Awesome job!
    Have a wonderful weekend!!!

    ____Wonderful image !____
    Thanks so much for the sharing - P 1 / A 2
    Thanks for accept the invite!
    It is a pleasure to have you in our group!

    _This is stunning capture !_
    __Thanks for the sharing__

  16. despoina_m7 20 months ago | reply

    pefrcet capture!amazing colors and detail,too!congratsulations!!

  17. Jorge Moliner Vinaceite 12 months ago | reply

    Tienes galería en FLICKR.
    Quieres colaborar con WoodpaintinG. Las fotografias son remuneradas. jorgemolinerwoodpainting.blogspot.com.es/
    Envia una solicitud a woodpainting@yahoo.es y revisaré tú galería de FLICKR.
    Entra en mi galeria y donde veas esta fotografía añadela a tus favoritos y así podré localizarte mejor.

    You have a gallery on FLICKR.
    You want to collaborate with WoodpaintinG. The photographs are paid. jorgemolinerwoodpainting.blogspot.com.es/
    Sends a request to woodpainting@yahoo.es and you will review FLICKR Gallery.
    Enter my Gallery and where you see this photo Radiostation to your Favorites and thus will be able to locate you better.

keyboard shortcuts: previous photo next photo L view in light box F favorite < scroll film strip left > scroll film strip right ? show all shortcuts