So I was literally live blogging from Maui, but forgot to post it, so this may read a little weird, but we’re all good. Oh and I’ve been releasing photos to Instagram, so if you have Instagram and follow my blog, I’d love for you to connect with me on there. http://instagram.com/calgaryphotographer#
Landed in Maui! First day or so we just took it easy, beached it up, snorkeling, all that fun stuff, barely busted out the camera, although I did take a few macro shots around our place (which backs on to the beach!) The view from our place is ridiculous, we’ve been privy to some amazing sights including multiple humpback whales, sea turtles, and beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Here’s our view from our deck.
Last night though was one of my favorite photo moments ever, we found this spot not too far from where we’re staying, it was right off a beautiful golf course. When we first arrived the weather was taking a turn for the worse, which really just added an element of excitement. I’m not sure even my best photos will do justice to this location, something about being there in person, feeling the force of the waves, the wind gusting and the low ominous clouds over hanging made it so unbelievably awesome! The best part was that every 20 ft you could find a new look / scene. I am thinking once it is all said and done, I will probably come out with 3-5 new portfolio shots from that spot alone. I did some research and I think (as usual) the photo gods were smiling down on me, we found this place by pure luck and its actually a historic spot called dragons teeth, it’s where a low density volcanic lava flow (the last on the island) hit wind and water to cause the curving and shaping.
Taken from my Iphone – Expect some great images to come forth soon that I took while visiting this beautiful spot:
We visited Honolua bay, the place is incredible. Call me crazy, but most people go there for the world class snorkeling, I personally found the walk to the beach to be even more beautiful. The place has some of the biggest, most beautiful trees I have ever seen. To date I have already spent a solid hour photographing and exploring the area but plan a second visit before we leave as they’re so big and out of this world, expect to see many new shots from there!
Another Iphone shot, taken in Panorama mode
I am not gonna lie, sometimes photography requires one big commitment and that’s dedication. Does that make sense? Point being, you sometimes have to get up early, stay up late, or take longer in a location to capture a scene just right. We researched some amazing photo opportunities around Maui and found out that you can get to the top of a dormant volcano for a sunrise view ABOVE THE CLOUDS! So we woke up around 3am and headed out for an hour and a half car ride to the mountains, it was worth it, I personally had 50/50 expectations on the view, our chances of not having a bunch of clouds or there being no room to park! Everything turned out perfect, we got there in time, had an amazing view, and saw some incredible views . Check out these photos from my phone.
Probably should have just mentioned this from the beginning, but all shots on this blog post are from my Iphone.
The view after the sunset:
There are quite a few different whale watching tours, we did our due diligence and found out most tours are done on larger boats that are fairly slow and most of your time is spent just getting out into whale territory so we found a zodiac/raft boat that could haul ass and get us out there where the action is. We ended up chilling with five or six whales who were fighting to be the escort for a female, it was really neat, they didn’t breach, but we did catch two or three double breaches in the distance where the whales were almost head to tail out of the water! The season was still early so we didn’t get to experience ‘whale soup’ as some described, but we were still stoked on what we experienced!
We rented some stand up paddle boards, I brought out my Go Pro and we set off into the ocean, it was pretty tame, in no time we were paddling beside some huge sea turtles, it was so incredible, they would come to surface like a whale does and make a puffing / breathing sound, it was wicked, we ended up in Napili at a place called turtle city, we chilled in the bay there for quite a while, chilling with all the turtles, and soaking in the sun. The next day the surf was really high in our area, but we decided to go into turtle city with our snorkel gear and see what would happen! Maybe one of the most incredible things I have ever done. It was painful getting into the water as the waves were rough and we were battling some mean currents, my gf was not very comfortable in the water as it could get murky at times, so she headed back in, after taking her to the rocks to get out, and falling on my ass helping her, I went back out, nearly two minutes in I am swimming around checking out the reef and fish that were all around when all of a sudden I look up and there was a HUGE turtle, most likely the biggest I had seen all trip, and I noticed that the bigger turtles were far cooler about being near humans, they must be accustomed as we literally just chilled beside each other, he would occasionally go down to nibble on some food, but for the most part it was just him and I in this bay, floating and having a good time. Truly something I will never forget! On the topic of snorkeling, when we went to Honolua bay, we were swimming with Eels, blow fish, tons of other tropical fish, and even a reef shark!
Between mountains (volcanic craters) that feel like you are on mars, copious amounts of beautiful beaches, trees and green areas that make you feel like you have ended up with Alice in Wonderland and lush rain forests lies something really special in the Haleakala national park. We took a road trip to the park and went on a popular hike that ultimately leads you to a 400ft waterfall, but on the way you go through a semi short trek through a spectacular bamboo forest, it is beyond cool and something I am really grateful to have seen. I have a photo of one of the great banyan trees on the way up the hike, but be ready for some killer shots of the bamboo forests from below and above as well as the waterfall!
My girlfriends sister Amanda (who lives in Lethbridge) had a couple of friends in town, we had dinner with the Fongs a couple of nights, they were wonderful people and it was a pleasure meeting them,
One of Amanda’s friends from Lethbridge (Gene) used to live in Maui and just happened to be visiting at the same time as us, he was so hospitable, so welcoming, and genuinely a wicked, guy. He took us around upper Maui to some really cool secluded spots, gave us an absolute ton of local knowledge about Maui and even took us to a bar to party with the locals! I’ve only had time to edit a handful of shots from the trip, but one in particular on this leg is one of my favorite all time shots. I was shooting upstream, while a small rain storm hit us, it traveled ahead and I captured the rain coming down through glowing sun rays emerging through the trees. Stay tuned for more and some shots from my baby (Nikon D700).
Thanks for reading my Calgary travel photographer blog! Cheers!