Friday, August 30, 2013

Black Sand


Punalu'u Beach, Big Island, Hawaii


The Punalu'u Black Sand beach is a unique and beautiful place in the south of the Hawai'i Big Island. The black sand is formed when volcanic lava flows into the ocean and it disintegrates when it gets in contact with the cold water: A beach of black sand is thus formed: unfortunately it lasts only a fleeting moment in geological terms, since the black sand is quickly washed away after few decades. This beach is surrounded by beautiful palm trees, giving a wonderful tropical feel. The sunset sky played along by being moody and menacing, which contrasts nicely with the calm water. Turtles are often companions of the photographer wandering around here, but that day they might have been too lazy to approach. Or too shy.


Like Black Ocean, this image is also a study of leading lines: the rocks in front gave a great lead pointing straight to the clouds, where I eventually want the viewer to rest. I focused roughly where the stones meet the water and closed to f/13 to get as much sharpness as possible on the foreground black rocks and the black sand: the rest of the scene in the distance is smoothen out by the long exposure and didn't need a second exposure to stack focus. A 0.9 graduated filter kept the sky in check. I slightly dodged the foreground rocks and burnt the top of the sky to lead the viewer inside the frame. The feelings the image tries to carry across are contrasting again: calm walking towards the storm.




This image is best appreciated at high resolution. Click on the image for an even better view.

SONY SLT-A99V, f/13 @ 22 mm, 10s, ISO 50

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Black Ocean


Lava field in Kona, Big Island, Hawaii


When Beauty and Grace is gone, the Ocean turns black, cold and motionless, frozen in time, heartless. Arms still pointing to the sun, setting on what once was a beautiful connection. Black would be the color if the Ocean had a heart.

And never never again, will be warm again.

Gone.
Vanished.
Nothing left.
Nothing said.

In the silences that have become so frequent, in words never spoken like the small clouds hovering above, filled with the rain that will never fall.


The lava fields in the Big Island of Hawai'i are remarkable and unique, almost alien. This field lies in the Kona district. To connect the desolated beauty of the place with the warmer sky, I used the leading lines left by the lava once solidified to direct the viewer to the setting sun. The closer bush gives the eye another place to rest, an accent of green and hope in what would otherwise be a hopeless place. Something can still grow.




Click on the image for a higher resolution view.

Sony A99, 24mm, f/11, 4.0s, ISO 50