Sunrise Sunset, Hawaiian Style

Okay, so I’m REALLY behind on my photo editing. I try to keep up to date with important photo shoots, but that often means that my less important photos fall into my backlog for later processing. Here is a set of images I shot in Kauai in 2013. Like I said, I am very behind!

Clouds billow over the water at sunset, Kauai, Hawaii
Clouds billow over the water at sunset, Kauai, Hawaii

Often when I’m shooting landscapes, I create images that has a foreground, middle ground and background, to create depth and lead the viewers eye into the frame. However when I was in Hawaii, I found myself simplifying ocean images into nothing but clouds, colors and water. These images are really all about the colors and texture of the clouds, and most are shot with longer lenses.

Pastels color the northern sky at sunrise, Kauai, Hawaii
Pastels color the northern sky at sunrise, Kauai, Hawaii

While I was there, I had a mixture of dramatic sunrises and sunsets. As I was situated on the north shore of the island most of the time, I had similar side-lighting on each end of the day.

Clouds billow over the water at sunset, Kauai, Hawaii
Clouds billow over the water at sunset, Kauai, Hawaii

However, sunrise gave me the most dramatic clouds and lighting. When shooting into the rising sun, I used silhouetted tree tops to give a sense of scale.

Dramatic shadows play across the thick clouds at sunrise, Kauai, Hawaii
Dramatic shadows play across the thick clouds at sunrise, Kauai, Hawaii
Palm trees are silhouetted by sunrise clouds, Kauai, Hawaii.
Palm trees are silhouetted by sunrise clouds, Kauai, Hawaii.

And when appropriate, I included a bit of shoreline to the east and west, depending on sunrise or sunset.

Clouds to the east light up over Kauai's north shore at sunrise
Clouds to the east light up over Kauai’s north shore at sunrise
The sun sets behind the northern cliffs of the Napali coast, Hanalei Bay, Kauai
The sun sets behind the northern cliffs of the Napali coast, Hanalei Bay, Kauai

Overall, the colors and lighting of the Kauai sea were spectacular enough to hold their own without a strong foreground. When seen together, they paint a picture of the drama that can play out between light, clouds and ocean.