Hilo, Hawaii is the wettest city in the United States. While the frequent rain requires a bit of planning before venturing out with a camera, any inconvenience is more than compensated by the area's abundance of plummeting waterfalls, verdant jungles, and flowering foliage. I chose this image as my first post following my just completed week-long trip exploring Hawaii's Big Island because it so accurately conveys the island's ubiquitous beauty. I'm not kidding when I say scenes like this are almost routine.
Gorgeous scenery or not, as far as I'm concerned, Hawaii has the best weather in the world. For someone who disdains cold (I think snow is a great thing to visit), I'm fortunate to be California born and raised. Our dry summers, snow-free winters, and year-round warmth were made to order for my baseball playing proclivities, but since my Major League aspirations were dashed years ago I've found myself secretly jealous of the dynamic weather the rest of the world seems to enjoy. If only I could have California's beauty and warmth and Oklahoma's (or Iowa's, or Ohio's, or New Jersey's, or wherever's) dramatic skies.
Then I met Hawaii. Year-round warmth, daily (or so it seems) rain and blue sky, rainbows, shafting sunlight, towering cumulus, colorful sunsets--pretty much any sky a photographer could ask for. Oh yeah, and some pretty amazing scenery too.
My original interest in the Big Island was the volcanoes, which are every bit as spectacular as I'd imagined. My July visit with Don Smith focused more on the current Kilauea eruption, with trips to photograph the bubbling summit caldera and the advancing lava along Highway 130 near Pahoa. But I'm a sucker for lush scenery and saw enough of the tropical beauty surrounding Hilo to know I wanted to return. So return I did, this time to scout locations for my September 2011 workshop.
I made a token visit to Kilauea (the highlight being a non-photographic stroll through an amazing lava tube in Volcanoes National Park). The rest of my time on the Big Island was spent exploring the saturated south and east slopes of Mauna Kea, where bougainvillea and hibiscus grow wild and there are so many waterfalls that (as far as I could tell) they don't even bother to name them all. I also found the most amazing (sorry if all this sounds like hyperbole but I'm running out of adjectives) botanical garden, where I'm convinced I could (no hyperbole) conduct an entire four-day workshop without leaving the grounds.
But anyway, I'm home now, ramping up for my fall workshops and wondering when I'll have time to get to all my Hawaii images. Fall is my favorite season for photography, but I'm afraid I'm going to get photographic whiplash bouncing between my California fall and Hawaii lush images. But life's good.
* Website: Eloquent Images
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