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Haena Surf - Kauai, Hawaii | by PatrickSmithPhotography
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Haena Surf - Kauai, Hawaii

As the sun rose, a storm brings big surf to the north shore of the island of Kauai.


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Settings etc.:




1/30-second exposure @F8

LEE soft ND grad (100x150mm 0.9 + 0.6

Lee foundation kit filter holder with Lee 77mm adapter ring

Canon 5D

Canon 17-40L @ 22

ISO 50

RAW file processed with Capture One by Phase One

TIFF file processed with Photoshop



In the winter, large waves break in portions of Haena Beach that are not protected by the coral reef. This one is over 10 feet tall from its base. They can get even larger during large winter storms.


This was a rather tricky shot to get right because so many things were happening in a chaotic order. But I wanted to show all the best things happening at once. After every shot, I had to run, as I planted the tripod right in the path of the waves to get the closest view. Standing back on the dry part of the beach makes the action look distant, even if you zoom in. It is more dramatic to use a wide-angle and get close! These waves looked best just before the break, as the light penetrated through them. The sand glistened and moved for just a second before drying up, so timing was important. See my notes on the image.



See my profile for a link to my website where I have limited edition prints and less expensive open edition prints.



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Taken on November 19, 2006