This morning, Tuesday May 6, 2020 the nightly curfew on Kauai expired. The nightly curfew? You ask. Yes, the government of Kauai enacted and enforced a nightly curfew from 9pm to 5am to combat the spread of the Coronavirus and to avoid overburdening the island's first responders. But now that curfew has been lifted so let's celebrate FREEDOM! with 10 images that were either taken between 9pm and 5am or where made possible by traveling during this period of darkness. I must be clear that none of this photographs were taken during the time of the curfew itself. These are all older images from the archives. Rest assured, during the time of the curfew I was at home watching Netflix, drinking beer, playing with the cats or cards or sleeping. :-)
1. In the Light of Lightning, Kilauea Lighthouse, December 4, 2012
In the Light of Lightning was taken around 8:45 pm in the middle of a lightning storm. It is a single exposure, 25 seconds long. During the exposure three separate flashes of sheet lightning lit up Kilauea Point and the 100 year old Kilauea Lighthouse. On this night I photographed at the cul de sac by the gate to teh lighthouse and National Wildlife Refuge for about 3 hours, leaving around 9pm. At the time, I lived in Princeville so it wasn't a long drive home, but I would not have made it in time to meet curfew. Thank goodness there was no curfew (or Coronavirus) then! Since I released this photograph in late December of 2012 it has been my best selling image. Only two metal prints remain, and I don't have anything else like it. It is, without doubt, my most unique photograph.
2. Na Pali Coast at Sunset Seen from the Nualolo Trail, Koke'e State Park, July 1, 2015
Na Pali Coast at Sunset Seen from the Nualolo Trail is another photograph that wasn't taken after 9pm or before 5am, but it couldn't have been done with a curfew in place. You see, I hiked out here for sunset and then hiked back in the light of the full moon. The Nualolo Trail is a difficult 8 miles long trail, but it's one of the best hikes on Kauai. I had been thinking about doing this hike at sunset for some time and was happy to finally accomplish this goal. I'm thinking of doing it again real soon. I'll keep you posted...
3. Koke'e Night Sky and Paperbark Tree, Waimea, June 29, 2014
Koke'e Night Sky hints at the magical possibilities of Kauai. It's a dreamy image, and like all of my photographs, it is a single exposure. For this shot I used a head lamp and shined it on the tree during the 30 second exposure. Aperture is wide open at f/2.8 and I'm shooting at 16mm wide. There is residual light from sunset and a lot of ambient light from Port Allen reflecting off the clouds. A couple of shooting stars are also visible. I like this one. There's a lot to look at and it keeps bringing me back for more. After taking this photograph I camped at Koke'e State Parka and slept under this sky. Yes, the magical qualities of Kauai.
4. Shipwrecked, Poipu, July 3, 2017
Shipwrecked is truly a night shot. I took this photograph at 10:47pm at Shipwrecks beach in Poipu. I try for one night sky photograph a summer and this was the one for 2017. I like the contrast of milky way and ocean and the gradient illumination on the cliff. By the way, the light on the cliff is ambient light coming from the Grand Hyatt. I didn't add any light or utilize a head lamp or light beam for this one. I shot this photograph at 15mm using an ultra wide angle Zeiss Milvus prime lens, f/2.8, and a 30 second exposure.
5. Peering Into the Night Sky, Hanalei, August 30, 2019
Peering into the Night Sky was a long, late night. I started at the famous, old church in Hanalei-- Wai Oli Hui La'a-- but there was too much light pollution for me to pick up a lot of stars. After fruitlessly trying for something that the conditions wouldn't allow, I decided to move to Black Pot beach where I took this photograph-- at 12:33am. Here, I again used a head lamp to light up the pier. This technique is called "light painting". It takes some trial and error, but once you get it dialed in it can be an effective technique to have in your bag of tricks.
6. Super Blood Moon, Kulikoa Point, January 20, 2019
A lunar eclipse turns the full moon red. These are so much fun to photograph. This eclipse occurred quite early in the evening, actually. And while this particular image was taken outside of the verboten times, the walk back to the car was a long one, and I didn't get back home till well after 9pm. So we celebrate the Super Blood Moon here! :-)
7. Super Blue Blood Moon, Moloa'a, January 31, 2018
The clouds lifted around 2:45 am and the stars shined brightly. I got dressed and made my way outside with camera gear to photograph the rare super blue blood moon— the first one since 1866. This photograph is from the peak, around 3:20 or so. I like these events that bring people together from all over the world. It makes me feel connected and happy that nature is the connector.
8. Night Dance, Koke'e State Park, August 12, 2015
“How can we know the dancer from the dance?”
~ William Butler Yeats
This is my favorite photo from a night of amazing star gazing in Koke’e State Park. I hoped to photograph a meteor shower, but was unlucky. I don't think I caught a single one.
9. Closer than You Think, Polihale State Park, June 24, 2014
The stars are closer to us than we realize. Our dreams are closer than we think. And so, too, are our fears. Let's brush them aside and grab our dreams.
10. 3 Sisters, Salt Ponds Beach Park, July 14, 2015
Golden hour on a west side morning can be quite special. But if you are staying on the North Shore it can be a very early start and a long drive past many wonderful sunrise spots along the way. I lived on the North Shore of Kauai for 10 years and wanted to to try something different on this morning. So we packed up the camera gear and coffee and made a day of it on the west side, stopping first at Salt Ponds for this photograph of palm trees gently blowing in the breeze. Now, I live on the west side so I can make it down here every morning if I wished. Funny though. I'm thinking about North Shore sunrises now that the curfew stay pau.
Stay safe and healthy!