From sea level to the top of Haleakala volcano at 10,000 feet, I literally covered the highs and the lows this week in my photography.
Monday morning I found myself in Haleakala National Park with my buddy Jonny Hooks. We spent time in Hosmer Grove trying our hand at capturing some native Hawaiian birds, and failing most of the time. I love making mistakes, because it really teaches me what doesn’t work along the way to finding out what does work. The māmane plants were in bloom, and we were fortunate to see some ‘alauahio and ‘i’iwi birds among the blossoms searching for food.
As we were heading back towards the car, we were lucky enough to have two nēnē geese land at the campground and wander around for a bit. I was lying on my belly trying to get a few shots, and the nene walked right by me (too close for my zoom lens to focus) as if I wasn’t there, before they went on their merry way.
We left Hosmer Grove and drove up to the summit of Haleakala, then descended, on foot, into the crater along sliding sands trail (keonehe’ehe’e) for a bit before we hiked back out to the car. While down on the trail we were able to catch some of the magnificent colors and vistas below, before the clouds rolled in from either side.
On Friday, after I finished work, Emily drove down the hill and we met for a sunset shoot (before we attended a birthday party in the area). I was trying to find a different perspective for the sunset, but in the end, I was happiest with the more conservative shots.
To end the week, Sunday morning (before dawn), Emily and I drove out to Lahaina to take a whale watch tour. Makai Adventures, out of slip 16 in Lahaina Harbor, offers a 6:45am whale watch, so we decided to be adventurous and try it. The Pacific lived up to its name and was peaceful, like a lake. We spent two hours scanning the horizon for humpback whale activity, but I only came away with a few shots I was happy with. There were no breaches or pectoral slaps, but the whales seemed active enough…just not ready to have their pictures taken. It was encouraging to see so many whales in the water. They have been visiting Maui longer than most of us have.