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Laupahoehoe Beach Park on Hawaii's Big Island is renowned for intense surf action, with waves crashing violently into lava towers on the shore almost non-stop. Most people come to see this, have a picnic, and then leave not knowing that one of the largest and most magnificent banyan trees in Hawaii is in the park, hidden well away from the water among other trees.
The tree is almost 200 feet in diameter with a canopy that extends almost to the ground in all directions like a vast umbrella. Unlike many banyans, there are no outlying tree trunks holding the massive limbs up. It is all but impossible to take a photograph that pleasingly captures its massive extent and complexity.
As with many such subjects, it's sometimes best to focus on a portion of the scene that captures the essence, and let the viewer's imagination fill in the rest. That was my approach here and I took many images, trying to balance emphasis between the snake-like trunks, limbs in all directions, and the delicate filigree of leaves in the canopy. The textures dominate here, so a black and white presentation seemed appropriate from the start. The ultra-wide angle lens accentuates the looming quality of the tree very well.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor