As a photographer, you get to a point where you are very conscious of subtle variations in light. Experience a place deeply, as you will if you are looking at it with a photographer’s eye, and you will know it in a way that others never will. A lot of that deep experience is related to the quality of the light in that place.
I really believe that if you could transport me to Los Angeles I could, with no other frame of reference except the light, tell you that I was in LA. Similarly, I could tell Los Angeles from San Diego or Seattle just from the light. As Pacific coastal cities, you’d think they’d all be the same but I have experienced the subtle differences in the light in each place.
As I travelled the Road to Hana on Maui I likewise became acquainted with the texture, feel and weight of the light. It’s very different from the light along the North East coast of Maui where we were staying. This light felt cinematic to me, like something from a Steve Spielberg movie. No wonder so many movies and television programs are filmed in Hawaii.
Here’s another waterfall photo from along the Road to Hana that I think illustrates this quality of the light. Capturing the light was a challenge but I think I was successful and, as a result, produced a successful photograph.
If you like the cinematic quality of the light in this photograph, you can order a print of your very own here.
After spending some time in Waikiki on Oahu, it was time for us to go looking for the real Hawaii. We found it on Maui.
Driving the road to Hana is certainly an experience. Not one for the faint-of-heart, though. The road to Hana winds through 40 miles of primeval coastal wilderness along the windward side of Maui. The road is narrow, often just a single lane in places, but there are occasional pull-outs where you can park and get off the road.
It was on one of these pullouts that we found (after a difficult climb and some boulder scrambling) this almost iconic waterfall and plung pool hidden in the forest.
For me, this was the real Hawaii — or at least one aspect of it.
If you like this image as much as I do, you can order a print from me here.