Last time in this series we where on Hawaii. And as it is a bit far away we stay there for another "Story behind the Image". But we do change the island for this episode, we are going north on the beautiful island of Maui. Thanks to the climate and the volcanic ground there are growing all kind of amazing plants, including bamboo. It seems that you don't have to travel to Kyoto to capture some nice bamboo-forest images. Read further how I shot this one on Maui.
The island of Maui is located north of Big Island and, together with its neighbor-islands, the second youngest of all eight. The south-part of the island is dominated by the old volcano Haleakala, an 3'055m high mountain your able to drive from up to in about an hour. Up there it's a completely different landscape, vast and without vegetation. That looks totally different on the coast. On the base of Haleakala, in the south of the island, lies the small town of Hana and a bit further south the Seven Sacred Pools at Ohe'o.
This few waterfalls are part of the Haleakala National Park. A trail lead to another waterfall, much higher and a bit more hidden: Waimoku Falls. The trail is called Pipiwai Trail and is about 3,2 kilometers in length (one way) from the parking lot to the falls. You wander trough a diversity of landscapes in those 3 kilometers, pass an absolut huge tree, wander trough rainforests and obviously trough a bamboo forest. An absolutely recommendable hike of your there, I promise you won't be disappointed.
Please take in consideration that you enter an National Parc and need to pay an entrance-fee. This is relatively small and helps the parc to protect this beautiful nature. You also can save yourself some money by purchasing the annual-pass for all three hawaiian national parcs. It's valid for two persons and cost just a little more than an single entrance for two adults. If you plan to visit at least on other parc, this is a steal!
HOW THE IMAGE WAS SHOT
We had our hotel in the nice town of Lahaina, which lies nearly on the opposite side of the island to Hana. This meant we had a long drive ahead of us to reach our goal. To come to Hana, there's only one way. From Kahului, the main town in Maui, its a astonishing 103 kilometers. But thats not the point, on this distance you have 54 bridges - most of them singel-laned, and around 600 (!) curves. It sounds as dizzy as it is, but the good thing was: the nature around is breathtaking beautiful, you practically cruising trough a rainforest with a view on the ocean. And the speed limits lies between 15 and 30 miles an hour. All in all it takes you some time to come to Hana, so we arrived around midday.
We put on our hiking-boots and started on the Pipiwai Trail. Our goal was the Waimoku Fall, but we where actually more looking forward to the bamboo forest which we reached after around 1,5 kilometers. Entering this forest was an expirience for itself. Thanks to almost no people on the trail, it was quite and the only sound we heared was the bamboo dancing in the wind. After shooting the obvious images with the trail leading trough the forest (a image is attached further down) I was looking for some other compositions. For this, I took a step outside the trail and entered the forest.
I usually shoot with a Canon 5D Mark 3 on holidays. But my trusty and beloved camera had a small incident a few day earlier as my tripod fell and the camera landed in a small river. So my main-camera was drying out in the hotel (after a week it worked fine - ruged as hell, this thing) and I had only my small Canon EOS M10 mirror-less camera with the EF-M 15-45mm 1:3.5-6.3-lens with me. With the sentence "The best camera is the one you have with you" in mind I tried to get the best out of it.
I opted for an view up, to show a different view to the forest. I took one of the bamboo as the main subject, leading your eye from the bottom left corner into the center of the image, into the canopy of the forest. By taking the exact position I was able to add the sun into the frame which balances the image well. If you shoot the sun with an open aperture, it tend to be just a blown-out circle. To make sure, you get a nice so called sun-star, make sure to close the aperture to at least f/16 (or more, depending on the lens). That will on the other hand cost you some sharpness and causes some vignetting to the edge of the image. But most of the time it's worth to accept this for a sun-star.
I dialed my camera to an aperture of f/18, a shutter speed of 1/25 of a second and ISO 800 with a focal-length of 15mm (24mm on a full-frame-camera) and came up with this shot:
The waterfall at the end was way less impressive than the bamboo forest for me. But the landscape was rather nice and worth the hike. But with 600 curves and 54 bridges ahead for the return way, we had to go back way to early. But not without taking some other pictures of which I like to show you some:
If you like this picture or one of the others in the gallery, I have good news: It's available as print! If your interested please send me an e-mail (address on the bottom of this post). Other Prints are also available in my Online-Shop.
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