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Laupahoehoe Beach Park Sunrise

May 16, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

In the afternoon of the second day on the Big Island we drove across the northern part of the island on our way to Hilo. The first stop on the east side, prior to getting to our bed & breakfast, was Laupahoehoe Beach Park. The park is at the end of a mile long winding road. We first stopped on the south side of the park. The waves were huge and they were pounding the rocky shore where there was an old concrete boat launch (which would have been unwise to try to launch a boat from at the time). We were so close to where the waves were crashing in, we were getting wet from the mist, making photography impossible. We moved further north to where there was more of a “beach,” and where lava rocks intercepted the waves further offshore. 

Everywhere we went provided us with amazing scenes. With the waves crashing on the shore and the rocks out in the water, I was excited for the prospects for the next morning, assuming the weather held out.



We got back to the beach early the next morning before sunrise. The sky was starting to light up, but the low layer of clouds looked like they could limit the ability to see a spectacular sunrise. At the very beginning, exposure times were around a second, which resulted in getting motion in the waves.



After moving to another part of the beach, exposure times were in the one-quarter to one-half second, which still showed motion in the waves but avoided blurring.



What the sky lacked in color (which changed throughout the morning) was made up for by the huge waves that just kept coming and coming, crashing against the rocks just beyond the shore. The black rock beach was long enough to provide a number of different compositions and interactions between the waves and the large lava rocks just off-shore. It was an exciting morning that resulted in a number of great images. It's difficult to pick just one image to capture the thrill of the morning.


(I guess the waves weren't too exciting for this fisherman.)



This final image is the third in a string of eight images of one wave as it came to shore over a period of six seconds. While this one was early in the string, the images after this one were still exciting to capture. It was like I just couldn't stop wanting to take its picture--it seemed like it was just going to get better and better.



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