Tag Archives: Hanalei Valley

Kauai Through a Tilt-Shift Lens

Hanalei Valley Lookout, Kauai, Hawaii (tilt-shift)Hanalei Valley Lookout; Canon 45mm TS-E, ISO 400, 1/3200 sec, f2.8

I’d hesitate to say I’m “into gear.” I’d rather read a personal finance blog than the Digital Photography Magazine Buyer’s Guide. In writing, gear is just not interesting.

Where things get interesting for me is when gear enables new techniques. Last year, I used BorrowLenses.com to rent a 200mm prime lens and a 24mm tilt-shift for Holy Week in Mexico. To have two new weapons in my bag made the week’s imagery 100% better. The 200mm allowed for more intimate candid shots during the processions, while the tilt-shift opened up hundreds of doors of creativity for my cityscape and architecture. It was like shooting in a third and fourth dimension.

For Kauai, I once again rented two lenses: this time, a 24mm–105mm zoom lens (a must for the helicopter tour) and a 45mm tilt-shift lens. Once again, the tilt-shift rocked.

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The Moment: Hanalei Valley, Kauai – 8am

We are in Kauai right now, and it … is … awesome. So far, I’ve photographed sunrise from ‘Anini Beach, lunch at Hanalei Juice & Taro Company, Haena Beach Park, the Kilauea Farmer’s Market (where I ran into a college friend who is now a farmer on this island), and this morning, sunrise on Kalihiwai Bay and morning over the magnificent taro fields of Hanalei.

I’ve always touted that I am not a beach person (as if its something that distinguishes me), and so far, that is only holding up true in one sense, and that’s my favorite two places on this island (at least in the first 48 hours). One, is a bend in the highway between Princeville and Kilauea, where massive, ornate, flat-branched trees rise up over a curve in the highway, and transport the driver to a whole different place, like Japan, China, Taiwan, or the end of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. It is startling and devastatingly beautiful.

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