chasing sunsets

bwboatAndrew has a beautiful image of a Kona sunset over at A Darker View, and it got me thinking about my time this weekend Kona-side. A friend of ours was arriving from UK for a visit and we drove over to pick her up (she was flying into Kona airport). Given the late arrival of the flight, we decided to spend the weekend there.

We got lucky at the Keauhou Beach Resort Hotel, getting a really good kama’aina deal on a room with an ocean view. So late in the afternoon, I set up the camera on a tripod on the balcony and watched the sun slowly set. The vog was thick that day and there wasn’t a range of dramatic colours in the sky.

keauhousunset1You can see the hazy nature of the atmosphere in the image above. And note that the Sun is still quite high, yet it was still possible to get an exposure with such saturated colour. I was experimenting with a polarizer, using it to accentuate the way the Sun’s reflection was streaking across the ocean.

keauhousunset2I zoomed into the shoreline as I was attracted to the lines and forms that the Sun was causing by reflecting its light off the waves as they broke on the lava. I like the way in the image above the composition is split into thirds.

In the meantime, the Sun continued its decent. I then noticed in the distance a boat that seemed to be chasing the Sun. I made some mental guesstimations and added some hunch to the mix and ‘concluded’ that the timing was going to be perfect. At the speed the boat was sailing it would cross in front of the Sun, from my perspective, just as the Sun was more or less touching the horizon. Well, that’s going to make a stunning picture, I thought. So I waited, and the closer the boat got the more confident I became with my “calculations”. But then, to my dismay, the Sun started to “set” about two-inches above the horizon (guesstimated, again, by counting fingers held out at arms length). The vog was obviously getting thicker through a line-of-sight effect as the Sun got closer to the horizon such that it “set” behind this layer before it reached the horizon. Soon enough, the Sun just disappeared, with no real clouds in the sky… Hence the picture above, at the top of the post, is an image of the boat sailing into a setting Sun sans a setting Sun! I actually don’t mind the way it turned out.

I’ll just throw in this last image below of a 60-second night time exposure of the Royal Palm trees on the grounds of the hotel. In the background is a heiau which is being excavated and restored.



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