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The Big Island of Hawaii is a study in natural diversity, with (at least) 8 climate zones spanning rainforests, cattle ranches, beaches, active volcanoes, and two nearly 14000 foot peaks. If you spend time on the west side, as we do, you must enjoy vast lava fields and a dry climate since you will experience these features daily. You must also enjoy sunsets since these will capture your attention each day as well. Fortunately, there is almost no end of interesting locations to view a sunset.
I most enjoy sunsets accompanied by intense surf action, but that is for another post. I set out this day to explore a trail leading to cliffs that I felt might provide a good canvas for a sunset shot. The point we ultimately reached is adjacent to world-renowned Hapuna Beach, a great photo subject in its own right. But we ignored that scene and moved about the point as the sun dropped looking for the right composition of sun, ocean, and cliffs wrapping around a small bay.
The ocean was relatively calm and I tried a range of long exposures with neutral density filters looking for the right level of "calm". As the sun neared the horizon, the foreground light diminished and the challenge of retaining good detail on the rocks without overexposing the sun became significant. A gradient filter helped as did the long exposure.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor