Continuing with the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, here's an image of the garden's Onomea Fall. My wife and I circumnavigated the grounds in a more or less counterclockwise direction, making the fall just about the last thing we saw before leaving. Since we were already pretty overwhelmed by the lush beauty of the garden, adding a waterfall seemed almost unfair.
In this composition I excluded the top half of the fall because it was too hot (patches of direct sunlight) to photograph without losing the shadows that are so important to this scene. Given the amount of rain this area receives, I suspect that sunlight here is more the exception than the rule, but it was just my misfortune to be there on a fairly sunny afternoon. If the garden hadn't been about to close I'd have waited for the inevitable shadows; instead I just made do with what I had (no HDR for me, thank you very much). Nevertheless, waiting for the light to cooperate allowed me to connect with the scene and find a composition I might have otherwise missed. Instead of making the image all about the fall, I decided to move back and emphasize the tropical setting with a vertical composition that features the verdant jungle foliage, placing the fall more in the background.
This might be a good opportunity to remind everybody that while many photographers feel obligated to include the entire fall (or tree, or whatever), there is no rule that says "shoot the waterfall from top-to-bottom." Sometimes the most effective images highlight the most compelling aspect of a scene, leaving the rest to the imagination. (I wrote about this in a recent post featuring Akaka Fall.)
If you think the green is intense in this image, try to imagine being there in person. In California we have vivid green hills in the winter and spring, and pockets of year-round ubiquitous green (I'm thinking about our coastal redwood forests, like Muir Woods). But in a rainforest, like so much of the Big Island is, the green is both acute and relentless, and always seems to have been turned up a notch beyond what you believe possible.
* Website: Eloquent Images
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