View Full Version : Large format in Hawaii
Next week I am leaving for a week in Maui (Kehei) and a week on the Big Island (Kona) and am wondering if I should take my 8x10 or just stick with a digital SLR? I am primarily interested in shoreline photos with beaches and palm trees and as undeveloped as I can get. Any ideas as to locations or thoughts as to which format would be greatly appeciated. Bear in mind that this is not a shooting trip, so I cannot abandon my wife for too long. Thanks in advance.
Randy, I can't tell you what camera to use but there are some great locations along the cost near Kona. Check out Pu'uhonua O'Honaunau Park south of Kona. This is a very scenic area. I was there five years ago and will be there again in February, a week on Hawaii and one on Kauai. I used a 35mm before but will be bring a 4x5 system also. I am going to base my trip to the big island out of Hilo this time. The waterfall district north of Hilo is unbelievable. I saw a lot of large waterfalls from the air and have high resolution maps on the way to help me find them. Enjoy your trip.
Robert Hitchman writes an excellent photography newsletter called Photograph America. He has written several issues on photo locations in Hawaii. His website is www.photographamerica.com.
I think, perhaps, you'll be unhappy if you leave the LF at home. The Big Island in particular has a wealth of opportunity. For example, there is a little black sand beach, complete with sea turtles on the south-east side of the island. Sunrise during the week it's often just you and the turtles. Your wife could do the beach thing while you do your photographer thing:
The volcano is, well, you could spend weeks just with it. The lava is amazing. The coast line is changing daily. Steam plumes where the lava flows into the sea....
The wet side (east) where Hilo is is a riot of vegitation. And waterfalls. It rains a lot (Hilo gets something like 3.5m of rain a year, up to 7.5 m upslope! Basically, expect rain every day, but expect it to rain for a while and then stop. Bug spray is a must, as is patience - but you already have that working in 10x8, yes?
You can also visit the observatories I'm told:
And buy ice cream every chance you get. The Islanders are experts at ice cream. I found a ginger ice cream in a little town on the far NW corner (Mahukona? or some other little town on 270) of the Bid Island that I still dream about.
I'm less familiar with Maui. There are several services that offer bike rides down the volcano (they haul you up to see the sunrise (bikes in trailers), then you coast down to a big breakfast - it's a hard life ;-). There is a ring road (350?) around the east side of Maui that is supposed to have amazing scenery, but I've never had a chance to take it. Sigh...
So much to do, so little time....
David A. Goldfarb
I've brought my 8x10" Gowland to Hawai'i, and while I made some shots I was pleased with (like the one above from Oahu), there were some spots where it was just too windy for an ultralight 8x10" box kite. If you've got a heavier camera, you might be better off.
Lately, I've taken to traveling to Hawai'i with my Linhof Tech V, which holds up to the wind with no problems at all, and lets me go handheld press-camera style when I want.
I have to agree with David. I left the 'dorff at home and took a Crown Graphic, got up early in the morning and hiked around with an eye for windows of opportunity---least intrusive modus for a family trip except when I took it along when we drove around the island. Of some day I'd like to return with my 8x10 for a dedicated "shoot"
BTW, another great reason for a hand holdable camera is you can take it with you on a helicopter (weeeee!)
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