Beautiful nature to brighten up the day
Beautiful nature to brighten up the day
Two of my Hawaii photos have been selected for magazine covers recently. The voyaging canoe was taken on the North Shore of Oahu, and the sunset at Anaeho’omalu on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Every February-March, my editor asks if I can once again update the Destination Hyatt books for the Maui, Kauai and Waikiki resorts. I look forward to this assignment because I’m a wordsmith, and it’s a chance for me to get creative, writing new sidebars, little-known facts, and intros for each of the resorts and the islands they inhabit. And that means I have to come up with new themes and ideas each year.
A few years ago, I wrote this one for Kauai. And since I just returned from six days on the Garden Isle, now seems like the perfect time to put words and photos together for a blog post. My husband calls this “flowery” writing, but I call it fitting for a garden island.
I hope you enjoy it, and if you have any Kauai experiences, do tell.
Kauai: The Magician
Abracadabra! Endless stretches of powdery-sand beaches strung together like jewels glittering gold in the sunlight. Throngs of red-footed boobies and other acrobatic sea birds soaring gracefully above the cliffs and lighthouse at Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. An impregnable mountain fortress known as Na Pali flaunting its steepled spires, sea arches, and isolated, idyllic pillows of sand.
When it comes to sleight of hand, Kauai is a master, transforming the raw lava of a once barren volcano into an emerald-robed Garden of Eden complete with groves of coconut palms and a smorgasbord of fruits: papaya, banana, breadfruit, guava, lychee, mango, passion fruit, and the tempting mountain apple.
Like pulling a rabbit out of its hat, the island reveals hidden gardens filled with colorful tropical flowers, the languid Wailua River and its ethereal Fern Grotto, waterfalls galore, a replica Grand Canyon known as Waimea, and towering Mount Wai‘ale‘ale—the wettest place on earth.
Once Kauai has mesmerized, resistance is futile. You’ll find yourself playing 18 holes on a world-class, cliff-top golf course, hiking into Waimea Canyon’s wilderness of pastel reds and yellows or along Na Pali’s carved-into-the-cliffside footpath, kayaking a rainforest river, sipping coffee made from the island’s homegrown beans, relaxing in a rejuvenating spa, visiting locations where movies such as Jurassic Park and South Pacific were filmed, exploring by horseback or astride an ATV, stretching out on a beach in the company of a Hawaiian monk seal or green sea turtle.
Kauai waves its magic wand and you gladly fall under its spell.
This week’s theme—solitary—really resonates with me. Although I love being around people and I’m usually the last one to leave a good party, I find myself needing a lot of alone time. Time to think. Perhaps that’s because I’m half photographer and half writer, and what’s a writer to do without time to think and record those thoughts? So I spend half my life being solitary, knowing that whenever I’m ready, the photographer half can come out to play.
What do you think of when you see this image? Has the boat left him adrift in the vast ocean?
It always feels good when one of my favorite images finds a second, third, etc. home. This shot became the cover of Hawaii magazine several years ago, and recently it was purchased by Alaska Airlines Magazine. So how did this image come to be in my portfolio? Some friends were in town and we all went to the Paradise Cove Luau, held amid the stunning scenery of Oahu’s southwestern shore. These three guys were getting ready for their roles in the imu ceremony (where the roast pig is removed from the imu, or ground oven), so I asked them to pose before the unearthing got underway. At first, they stood on the grass above the beach. “Can you go down on the beach?” I asked. Somewhat reluctantly they moved but they were still too far back, so I asked them to move closer to the water. “You want to get us wet, don’t you,” one joked. But photographers are thinking of one thing only—get the best shot. I knew they had to get back to work, so once they were in position I shot quickly: several frames, different compositions. And they didn’t get wet. When we were finished, one of them asked hopefully, “Are we going to be on a magazine cover?” As a matter of fact….yes, although I didn’t know it at the time. When I’m shooting for stock, it’s always a pleasant surprise to see where my pictures end up (one of them was printed on 75 ostrich eggs and given as gifts to clients of a South African public-relations agency). So a big mahalo (thank you) to my three models, wherever they are today. I hope to see them in print again someday.
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