I am super excited to be on the cover of Hana Hou Magazine (The Magazine of Hawaiian Airlines) and have my images featured over 10 pages in the magazine about the snow in Hawaii! If you are flying Hawaiian Airlines be sure to get your copy!
I am super excited to be on the cover of Hana Hou Magazine (The Magazine of Hawaiian Airlines) and have my images featured over 10 pages in the magazine about the snow in Hawaii! If you are flying Hawaiian Airlines be sure to get your copy!
Recently I was contacted by the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo to provide an image of Mauna Kea that would be printed on a banner measuring 25 feet by 6 feet in an area right next to the Planetarium at the Center. In their words:
“No one captures the majesty and reverence of Maunakea better than you. Our goal is to give our community a place that they can share about why Maunakea is special to them. We hope that this will allow our community, both local and global, to express their pilina, connection, to this mauna as well as serve as a first step in helping to bring a community together towards shaping a new vision of the future of this beautiful wahi pana.
Me ke leo haʻahaʻa, Celeste Haʻo
This image they chose with the combination of snow and evening sunlight, was a photograph I had been waiting to capture for a long time. This panoramic image was taken on March 9th 2015. After days and days of stormy weather with high winds and blizzard conditions on the summit, the mountain finally could be seen for the first time at around 5:50pm. The sky was over cast with high clouds, however you could see the mountain’s huge mantle of white snow!
With the grey conditions I was not enthusiastic about getting that “perfect” image I waited so long to capture, however, I grabbed my camera gear and headed out to see what might come of things. My experience told me the lighting could change at any moment. My first vantage point of the evening did not produce any images, but looking to the west I could see a opening in the clouds where hopefully the sun would peak through and light up the mountain. I then changed locations and headed to my “secret” location, tripod and camera gear in my backpack. My camera set up on my tripod, I waited and waited and waited.
It was then a friend texted me. She said, “Can you see Mauna Kea?” I texted back YES I can see the mountain!! It was beautiful, however, not what I was hoping for…. I looked to the west again, the sun was still obscured by clouds, I had some hope though…. then just a moment later, the beautiful pink warm sunset light began shining on the mountain and I enthusiastically began taking panoramic images over and over and over completing 3 series of images. The light began very faintly, getting stronger and brighter as I shot. This beautiful “Kukahau’ula Light” lasted for only two and half minutes before it was gone… I knew I had just captured that perfect shot I envisioned so long ago.
The image can be seen at the the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo and is also available for print in custom sizing on metal. Please contact me for pricing or visit Wishard Gallery in Waimea or Harbor Gallery in Kawaihae.
On the evening of January 2nd into the morning hours of January 3rd 2015 a powerful cold front swept through the Big Island of Hawaii. In the lower elevations of the island band after band of wind and rain pounded the island relentlessly for about 8 hours.
In the higher elevations above 11,000 feet both Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa (both just under 14,000 feet in elevation) received copious amounts of snow and freezing rain with wind gusts at the summit recorded at 154 mph!!
The damage to the island was extensive with many areas losing power, cell service and downed trees. We were lucky here in Waimea Town with no loss of power, but even as of yesterday areas in North Kohala still had not gotten power back! This was by far the worst cold front storm I have seen in Hawaii!
The aftermath of the storm will be lots of green grass for the ranches and some beautiful vistas of snow covered mountains here in Hawaii. In this composite you will see the first glimpse of snow on Mauna Kea with the bright blue skies. This image was featured on Hawaii News Now for a few of their newscasts statewide and as of this writing has had more than 120,000 page views on the Ethan Tweedie Photography Fanpage!!! The other images were taken at sunset on January 7th, one of the clearest days I have seen!!
Happy New Year!
There was much anticipation for this years Lunar Eclipse and my plan was to head to the summit of the dormant volcano Mauna Kea and photograph the event from 13,796 feet. Well one can plan all they want, but if you are shooting with a 500mm lens even the slightest movement of the lens would not be good and with winds clocking in at 40mph on the summit with an air temperature of around 28 degrees F, I was less than enthusiastic. Plan B ensued and I already knew of some areas that are often out of the wind, so off I went in search of a windless dark location on Mauna Kea. The first several locations were aborted due to strong winds, I kept on, finally finding a great spot at around 5500 feet on the slopes of the mountain. Cold, check, windless, check no crowds, check!
After shooting the moon with my telephoto lens and realizing the “main event” had maxed out I decided to get a little creative. I brought my 100 watt LED light and set my camera’s timer and ran out into the pasture and pointed my light at the moon. I took two images, this was the best one of the two.
I hope you got to see the eclipse from your location, but if not I hope you enjoy my image!
The Dark Side of the Milky Way as seen from close to 14,000 feet on snow covered dormant volcano Mauna Kea on the island of Hawaii
October 16, 2013 PRESS RELEASE
Harbor Gallery announces an exciting show with Big Island Photographer and Parker School Graduate Ethan Tweedie on Friday, November 1st, from 6 to 8 PM. Light pupus and refreshments will be served.
This special show is titled “Porsche and Perseids” and features a number of Ethan’s celestial masterpieces as well as some photos taken atop Mauna Kea this past July when Ethan joined Gallery Owner Gunner Mench in driving his 50 year old Porsche to the summit for sunset and the stars.
Ethan says this was among the best sunsets he has ever witnessed, and what happened that night was almost unbelievable! The 1963 Porsche will also be on display for the show, bearing its Mauna Kea Benchmark Badge on the rear grill.
The Perseid Meteor Showers happen every year in early August, and Ethan was invited by park rangers at Pu’ukohola to photograph the shower together with the Heiau, achieving mind boggling results after taking over 160 exposures of 30 seconds in a single night. More photos were taken along with Halemaumau’s eruption, capturing meteors, the moon, and ghostly surroundings, achieving a view that the naked eye cannot see in the dim light, but is captured brilliantly with his high quality Canon cameras and special equipment. Most of the prints are offered being printed on metal, with the most superb color rendition and crisp clarity available with today’s printing technology.
Harbor Gallery is located in Kawaihae, just north of the Kohala resorts and next to Café Pesto. The gallery is open daily from 11:30 until 8:30. Phone 808-882-1510 to reach Gunner & Elli Mench, or visit their website at www.harborgallery.biz.
What is time-lapse photography? Images are taken at regular intervals and then combined to create a video revealing interesting patterns normally just too slow for the human eye to see. When used appropriately time-lapse can help you market your business or real estate listing.
If you have a real estate listing or business that could benefit from time-lapse photography give me a call.
This image was taken August 12th 2013 from the summit of Mauna Kea. Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano that rises some 32,000 feet from the ocean floor (making it the tallest mountain on the planet) and 13,796 feet above sea level. With 13 observatories, Mauna Kea is arguably the best place on Earth to observe the cosmos from because of three distinct reasons: its high altitude keeps it away from much of the pollution and weather on Earth, it has incredible dark skies with little light pollution, and it is surrounded by thousands of miles in every direction of warm ocean that makes for a very stable atmosphere which W. M. Keck Observatory (shown here) can further eliminated using their adaptive optics. Keck Observatory is the home to the world’s largest and most scientifically productive telescopes on Earth.
On this particular evening the UCLA Galactic Center Group — led by principal investigator and professor of astronomy Andrea Ghez, was investigating the supermassive black hole and its environs. Her team’s goals are to “understand the basic physics associated with black holes (How black holes work, which is not understood today) and what role black holes play in the formation and evolution of galaxies.” To learn more about the UCLA Galactic Center Group click here http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~ghezgroup/gc/ Also see Andrea’s TED Lecture http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/andrea-ghez-at-ted-149774.aspx
The image shows the two telescopes of Keck (Keck I and Keck II) emitting their lasers to create guide stars used to detect and remove aberrations in the earth’s atmosphere, greatly improving the resolution of the data collected, not unlike looking at a fish in the water with a mask, rather than looking at it through the surface of the ocean. This allows Keck Observatory to achieve resolution equal to that of Hubble Space Telescope in the visible wavelengths, and superior in the infrared. The lasers also make for interesting images!
Fourteen images were taken and then stitched together to create this panoramic single image of the Milky Way. The image was shot using a Canon 5D MIII camera at ISO 3200 at f/2.8 for 25 seconds using a Canon 16-35mm lens at 20mm.
This image was taken inside of W.M. Keck Observatory. The two lasers from can Keck 1 and Keck 2 can be seen pointing at the center of the Milky Way or Galactic Center.
These images would not be possible it were not for permission from the Office of Mauna Kea Management, The Hawaii Film Office, W. M. Keck Observatory and its personnel. Special thanks to Joan Campbell, Debbie Goodwin and Steve Jefferson of Keck Observatory’s Advancement team for their coordination in setting up this photo-shoot and Pete Tucker who was my Keck Observatory Escort on the summit for close to 10 hours! (Pete is also in charge of making sure the laser is ready for use every night at Keck Observatory!)
What a morning!
After almost a year without lava entering the ocean, Kilauea ramped up her activity just in time for the 30th Anniversary of the current eruptive phase!!
My day started out at 1:15 AM in order to make it to Pohoiki Boat Ramp (Puna) by 4:30AM. We all boarded the Lava Ocean Adventures tour boat and took the 45 minute boat ride out to the where the lava was entering the ocean. It was great seeing all the stars and even the Southern Cross on the way, but most of us were pretty tentative on whether we were going to see lava or not as there is no way of knowing till you get there.
About a mile out from the site we could see the lava and lots of it!! There were two distinct lava entries as we approached and Captain Shane Turpin slowed the boat down to creep. We were still a good football field away and you can feel the radiant heat from the lava! As we got closer it was still pitch dark and the photography wouldn’t be super good so I spent some time just in awe of the amazing spectacle before my eyes. The first picture was from that time frame.
Captain Turpin kept the boat moving in between the two ocean entries and made sure both sides got equal amounts of viewing although I wish we could move side to side, but trust me one thing you don’t want to do is rock the boat! As the light got brighter towards sunrise the photo ops got really good with the twilight sky and eventually the sun came up to reveal the scene in daylight! The whole time out there you could see, smell and hear the lava as it hissed and sputtered into the water. WOW!
If you are on the Big Island and there is lava entering the ocean this is a must see and do tour.
The Ancient Mamane Trees covered in lichen on Mauna Kea as the Moon Rises. Taken September 2nd 2012 at 8.26 PM. Elevation 9,000 ft.
I hope you enjoy.
It was a blustery evening with driving rain and the hopes of capturing another Moonbow looked dismal. As I left my house I could see the bright moonlight from a 98% full moon still relatively low in the sky, but it was very windy and rainy, mainlanders might call this rain “blasting rain” but here in Waimea we call this type of wind driven rain Kipu’u’pu’u rain.
The name Kipu’u’pu’u comes from long ago when Kamehameha needed more spear fighters and having heard of a company of twelve hundred young men of Waimea who were trained runners he went up the hill to Waimea to see these warriors. Kamehameha was pleased with their swiftness and knew that they would make excellent spear fighters. These warriors called themselves the Kipu’u’pu’u after the icy cold stinging rain of their homeland.
Last night was certainly a fine example Kipu’u’pu’u rain with winds easly at 35 to 40 mph. As I took this shot I could barely stand and I was a little skeptical if I could even get a shot.
After capturing three shots of the Moonbow I was completely soaked on my backside from the driving rain and I was freezing cold from the 3500 feet in elevation even though I had jeans and a sweatshirt on!
Click here for another picture of a Moonbow from last year!
I hope you enjoy.
The Green Flash
I have personally seen the green flash dozens of times. Once you know what to look for all you need is an unobstructed horizon!! Easier said than done, but if you are patient you will see one.
When you have the unobstructed horizon (Many times you think you might have a clear horizon only to find out right as the sun sets there is a cloud!) you must wait till the very last portion of the sun is about to go down. Don’t stare too long at the sun before though!
This image was taken with a 350mm lens on a tripod at ISO 320 f/5.6 at 1/160
Here is what Wikipedia has to say:
Green flashes and green rays are optical phenomena that occur shortly after sunset or before sunrise, when a green spot is visible, usually for no more than a second or two, above the sun, or it may resemble a green ray shooting up from the sunset point. Green flashes are a group of phenomena stemming from different causes, and some are more common than others. Green flashes may be observed from any altitude (even from an aircraft). They usually are seen at an unobstructed horizon, such as over the ocean, but are possible over cloud tops and mountaintops as well.
Green flashes are enhanced by mirage, which increase the density gradient in the atmosphere and therefore, increase refraction. A green flash is more likely to be seen in clear air, when more of the light from the setting sun reaches the observer without being scattered. One might expect to see a blue flash, but the blue is preferentially scattered out of the line of sight, and remaining light ends up looking green.
With slight magnification a green rim on the top of the solar disk may be seen on most clear-day sunsets, although the flash or ray effects require a stronger layering of the atmosphere and a mirage, which serves to magnify the green from a fraction of a second to a couple of seconds.
I hope you enjoy.
The world’s tallest mountain you say?
Well yes! Most mountains are measured at their base, which happens to be sea level. What if you measured a mountain from where it began its life as is the case with volcanoes? Mauna Kea is a massive volcano here on the Big Island that began its early days at the bottom of the ocean some 15,000 below sea level!! Even if it just barely made it above sea level, it would still be a big mountain in its own respect, but the story doesn’t end there!
Mauna Kea is so massive and heavy it actually bends the earths crust another 3,000 feet! Mauna Kea rises 18,000 feet to just reach sea level! She didn’t stop there though, layer after layer of lava, like a giant wedding cake, she reached a magnificent height of 13,796 feet above sea level!! Let’s do the math, 18,000 + 13,796 is almost 32,000 feet! That is taller than Mt. Everest at just over 29,000 feet!
Mauna Kea had glaciers!! Glaciers you say? 15,000 years ago when the Earth was much cooler Mauna Kea had a glacier some 25 square miles and around 500 feet thick. You can see glacial moraines, rocks with glacial striations on Mauna Kea. Mauna Kea even erupted underneath the glacier creating massive melting of the glacier and the subsequent run off eroded the side of the mountain creating gulches, a well know gulch called Pohakuloa Gulch can be seen from the Saddle Road. Since that time the Earth has warmed back up melting the glacier on the summit. Mauna Kea still gets snow each year, some more than others. In college I was the Vice President of the University of Hawaii Ski Club!
Mauna Kea has a lake on it! A lake you say? Lake Waiau, which is at 13,024, makes it the 7th highest lake in the United States!
Bugs with Antifreeze? Just when you thought you’d heard everything…. The Wekiu bug likes to eat its food frozen, it waits for bugs from lower elevations to get blown to the summit area where the freeze. The Wekiu bug then sucks their blood out! How does the Wekiu Bug keep from freezing? It has antifreeze in its blood!
Dark Matter and Black Holes? Mauna Kea is the best place in the world for viewing the night sky and is home to 13 observatories. Mauna Kea is the choice place because of two primary reasons, its altitude making the summit area above the weather below keeping the summit clear for viewing. The second reason is there isn’t much light pollution hear on the Big Island.
Of the many observatories the Keck Observatory really stands out, being responsible for many breakthrough discoveries, such as the detection of planets outside our solar system and direct evidence for a model of the Big Bang theory. This instrument has detected more extrasolar planets than any other in the world. In the near future there are plans to build the World’s largest telescope called the TMT or Thirty Meter Telescope.
Aside from all the facts and figures, Mauna Kea is a beautiful and majestic mountain. It has so many moods and it changes daily with its various clouds and colors. No matter where you are on the island each angle has its own unique profile. Even Captain Cook back in 1778 marveled at the snow-covered peaks here in the tropics.
This image was taken from Mauna Loa at 11,000 feet looking across to Mauna Kea. That morning there was a really big snowstorm, which kept the Mauna Kea summit road from opening, so I opted to see if I could get a picture from a different vantage point.
I hope you enjoy.
What is it about seeing a bird on the back of a cow (Bull in the case) that brings a smile to one’s face?
Taken in North Kohala near Pololu Valley, Big Island.
I hope you enjoy.
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I was down at the Mauna Lani shooting this morning and saw quite a few whales and at least 10 breaches. Most of the activity was pretty far away then I spotted Adventure X Rafting Whale Tours. I knew then they must see some whales so I waited patiently for some action. Sure enough a Humpback Whale breeched right in front of the boat and I was lucky to capture the whole thing!
The North Pacific Humpback whales migrate to Hawaii each November through late April to mate and spend the winter. They travel over 4000 miles to Hawaii!! The area of the West coast of the Big Island is a great place for the whales because there is a shelf that is roughly 250 feet from the Kona Airport to Kohala. To put it simply it is a perfect nursery for the baby whales!
So if you are coming to visit the Big Island or you are a local, I strongly recommend Adventure X Rafting Whale Watch tours! Give them a call at 808-937-7245 and tell them Ethan sent you!
I hope you enjoy.
The weather in Waimea throughout the month of January has been nothing less than spectacular. After about two weeks of heavy rains in the month of December the Pu’u or hills above Waimea have really “greened” up.
From left to right are Pu’u Laelae (Clear hill), Pu’u Pelo (Turned over hill) and Pu’u Hoku’ula (Hill of the red star).
The rain is good news for our Ranches as the grass has become very thick and green for the cattle and other livestock. The other plant that does well with the rains is the Fireweed with its beautiful yellow flowers, which you can see in this image especially in the section above and adjacent to Hawaii Preparatory Academy.
The bad news is the Fireweed is considered very invasive and is on the Hawaii State Noxious Weed List. Fireweed is toxic to livestock when eaten and causes slow growth, illness, liver malfunction and even death in severe cases. It was discovered in Hawaii pastures in the early 1980s.
The Hawaii Dept. of Agriculture is working on a biological control by way of a moth that feeds on the plant…. Secusio extensa. The alternative is to use a lot of pesticide, repeatedly and extensively. Seeds can stay viable for years in the soil.
For now enjoy the views.
Last bit of moon before the full eclipse.
Lunar Eclipse at its peak. (Jupiter in the lower left)
Keck Observatory using a laser for adaptive optics. Moon 85%
International Space Station as it went by at 5:09AM in the NNE
Orion to the left of the moon. Foreground is Subaru, Keck and NASA Infrared Observatories.
A little twilight coming in from the east and moonlight shining on Gemini Observatory. Just to the left of the observatory is the Southern Cross
Sunrise coming, the city of Hilo below. One person on the summit.
A group up at the very summit of Mauna Kea, 13,796 feet.
Moon was so full and bright. I hadn’t noticed in the dark that I parked on a rock. Notice the rear right tire? LOL
Full moon set with summit observatory complex in the foreground. Pu`u Poli`ahu on the left is just getting lit by the sun.
Full moon set above the shadow of MaunaKea. Subaru on the left and Keck I on the right.
Surreal to Sublime – Lunar Eclipse to Full Moon Set
After a lot of deliberation on the best location to see the eclipse I decided on heading up to the summit of the 13,796-foot summit of the dormant volcano Mauna Kea. The peak time for the eclipse was at 4:15 AM, which meant I would need to get up at 2:15AM to get up to the summit in time. I also had to prepare for the viewing conditions at the summit and I knew it would be cold so I put on my ski pants and gathered my gloves, hat and ski jacket.
The hour drive up to the mountain was easy enough and I engaged my four-wheel drive as I went past the already busy Visitor Center and headed up the 5-mile road to the summit. As I past 11,000 feet the temperature dropped to below freezing and reached the summit at around 3:50AM where the temperature was “balmy” Hawaiian 25 degrees Fahrenheit. I knew based on where the moon would be during the eclipse that a better juxtaposition to get some of the telescopes in the foreground would be from the Canada France Hawaii Observatory. There was only one other vehicle there and it was a fellow photographer. He was from the Subaru Observatory and he was doing the same thing I was doing, getting his telescope in the foreground of the eclipse.
By the time I got out of my vehicle the moon only had a tiny sliver of unobstructed surface. I started to feel a little panicky, as I had to get my cameras set up and then pray I was in the right location! One thing is for sure, when taking pictures at almost 14,000 feet your brain doesn’t think clearly. I kept forgetting things; first I forgot my remote shutter release cable, then my gloves, then my other camera etc? After several trips back and forth to my vehicle wear my gear was located I finally got my act together and got both cameras set up and started taking the long exposures.
The view truly was surreal with the lights of Waimea and Hilo below and the stars were just amazing. I could see Orion, the Southern Cross, several shooting stars streaked across the sky and of course the moon was beginning to turn red with a hint of blue, but it was absolutely freezing up there. I made the mistake of repositioning my METAL tripod with bare hands and it ended up being very painful.
Once the moon was in total eclipse I took several close up shots of the moon and I felt quite pleased with the results. I then wanted to get some shots of the Observatories in the foreground and the Keck Observatory had their sodium (reddish) laser pointed up and to the north in the viewing area so I framed the shot to capture the moon within the scene.
After shooting the moon I then recalled that the International Space Station would be coming up at 5:09 AM in the North North Eastern sky so I moved my camera over to the north side of the Canada France Telescope and waited patiently. Then, all of a sudden, the ISS appeared in the sky. I repositioned my camera and then I hit the shutter and as soon as I did that a huge shooting star streaked across the sky!! Too cool!
As the moon reappeared the dawn twilight began to come up and while most viewers headed to the east side of the summit to watch the sunrise which was looking un-dramatic I headed to the west side of the summit and trained my cameras on the full moon set just above the shadow cast by the Mauna Kea. The colors were just so creamy and sublime with a hint of purples and light blues. It was a neat contrast against the red cinder at the summit. There was about 5 minutes of just really neat color and hues and I was totally in the zone! Like all good things, the show came to and end and the moon set below the horizon. Whew! The few of us that stayed to watch the moon set all had big smiles on our faces! 🙂
I hope you enjoy.
Woke up this morning and got an email from a friend saying there was snow on Mauna Kea!! I didn’t see that coming! That is two snowfalls this summer one on June 4th/5th and one today September 15th! Thanks Paula for the heads up!
I hope you enjoy.
Sunrise looking over at Maui.
Sunrise light and the water from a heart on the shore of Kiholo
Sunset my first night at Kiholo
Sunset my second night. I like the way the ocean is spraying in the foreground.
After photographing the sunset I fired up my grill and had some grass fed big island beef. So ono!
The Big Dipper pointed the way to the North Star or Polaris. I took a very long exposure at 6 and half minutes.
Here you can see the Milky Way going up vertically. The lights in the foreground look like lava flows but it is Waikoloa Village and Resort.
Sunrise on day two. The color lasted about 2 minutes. It was time for coffee after shooting.
Kiholo Bay (Kiholo means fish hook and probably comes from the shape of the bay which resembles a wooden fish hook used to catch large fish) is a beautiful and historic place. It is located within the Ahupua’a (Land Division) of Pu’u Wa’awa’a on the West side of the island of Hawaii.
Kiholo has been residence of many chiefs and a primary fishing village including Chief Kamanawa and his twin brother Kame‘eiamoku. Both chiefs were very powerful and were said to be “uncles” of Kamehameha I. It is these two chiefs whom appear on the official shield of the Kingdom of Hawaii. Kamanawa and Kame‘eiamoku would be closely bound with the history of the Hawaiian Islands during the period of the rise of Kamehameha I. Presumably, whoever had control over the leeward ports of the Island of Hawai‘i would play an important part in the history of the Islands during this early historical period. As it was, that role fell to Kamehameha, Kamanawa, Kame‘eiamoku, and Ke’eaumoku.
As time went on Kamehameha’s power grew and he decided to have the fishponds restored at Kiholo. It was this source of food derived from the fishponds that helped Kamehameha support his vast fleet of canoes/warriors on their conquest of the rest of the Hawaiian Islands and finally uniting the islands under one rule by King Kamehameha the Great.
The fishponds were said to have encompassed a diameter of 2 miles with walls 6 feet high above the water with 20-foot thick walls. One pond south of Kiholo was threatened and then destroyed by the 1801 lava flow from Hualalai, but the flow stopped short of Kiholo. Then in 1859 Mauna Loa erupted from some 33 miles away and lava traveled that distance in 8 days and the flow completely destroyed the large fishpond, which created a new coastline.
Since the time of the destruction of the fishponds the area has had very little development as much of the land under private ownership. Only a few residences exist to this day, thus it remains a very peaceful place.
After spending the prior few weeks intensely preparing for my Art Show, I felt that I needed some Rest and Relaxation. The weather was looking really good and it was during the week and thus it would be un-crowded so I decided to spend some time camping down at Kiholo. I have been to Kiholo many times, but had never gone camping so I was really excited to get down there.
My time down there was rejuvenating and I had a wonderful time swimming in the ocean, watching the Green Sea Turtles, the sunsets and sunrises, the kite surfers and just enjoyed looking at the myriad of stars at night under a moonless sky. I did, however, get the feeling that many people had been here before me, I could feel their presence or spirit, nothing sinister or evil just all encompassing and it gave me a real sense of respect for this place.
I hope you enjoy.
I was looking through some files from a few years ago and came across one of my favorite pictures of a female Bald Eagle at Lake Texoma in North Texas.
While living in Texas I became fascinated by Bald Eagles. Each fall and winter the Eagles would migrate from up North to spend the winter in Texas. This particular Eagle I had been photographing for the prior 4 years and after a while I think she finally got used to me, another advantage was shooting from my boat. Eagles don’t seem to associate danger when in a boat. Finally, after years of trying to get the perfect Eagle picture all things came together. I had the right lens, a Canon 600mm F/4, the right camera, a Canon 1Ds Mark III and perfect calm sunny weather.
As I approached with my boat in the shallow water she took a look at me, but didn’t’ seem to mind my presence. I felt as though we had connected and she knew I meant no harm. Slowly I maneuvered my boat and began shooting. Ideally when shooting with such a long lens you would want to put the rig on a sturdy tripod, but that isn’t possible on a boat that is floating! So I had to manhandle the lens and camera and rest it on my windshield and try to steady the shot. From the moment I took the first few shots I knew I would capture something I had been trying to get for a long time!
If you would like to purchase this image or any other please contact me!
I hope you enjoy.
Many people visit the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and dream about seeing lava flowing down the side of the volcano and or an ocean entry with its dramatic steam cloud ascending into the sky. For sure, all dramatic events that do occur at the Park, but Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate!
Lately the lava erupting from Kilauea has confined itself within Pu’u O’o crater/vent and up at the summit where a lava lake is deep within a 500 ft diameter near-vertical vent inset within the east wall and floor of Halema`uma`u Crater. I have many friends and potential visitors say they heard “nothing” is going on, but I can assure you that there is much going on within Kilauea. Soon there will be lava flowing on the surface, but until then don’t miss out on seeing the dramatic glow up at the summit from the Jagger Visitor Center!
Ideally you ought to get to Jagger Visitor Center just as the sun is setting, as I write this that is around 7PM. As the light fades in the sky the otherwise hidden glow from the lava lake slowly begins to show its intensity. The evening I took these pictures the glow was very bright as the lava lake is very active and close to the surface right now. You could hear the lava churning inside the 500-foot diameter crater bubbling and churning even though you stand almost a mile away! Very cool!!
So go spend an afternoon playing at the park then head over to Volcano Village and grab dinner from many of the fine restaurants then go back into the park in time to see the Sun’s light fade and the glow increase from the lava within Kilauea!
Suggestions for taking images of the glow:
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Stunning and remote Waipio Valley.
The place name means “Curved Water” and certainly it is water that created this valley, rivers eroding Kohala Mountain over the last 450,000 years, the ocean once filled the valley when the level was higher and in recent history both in 1946 and 1960 the valley was inundated by devastating tsunamis.
The valley is often referred to as the Valley of the Kings as it was the capital and permanent residence of many early Hawaiian aliʻi (kings).
Today almost 2000-foot valley walls surround this lush valley, home to around 50 people. Many waterfalls cascade down these valley walls including Hiilawe Falls, which is around 1500 feet high! The only way down is with a 4-wheel drive on the steepest road in the United States at a maximum grade of 45 degrees! Unless you feel like hiking!!!
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The Moon shining through the Koa Trees with my tent in the foreground.
The eerie shadows cast by the moon or were they the Nightmarchers?
A group of us all went camping up to Keanakolou Cabins. Keanakolou (The Three Caves) is about 25 miles, about an hour and a half, northeast of Waimea off a bumpy and dusty 4-wheel drive road. Needless to say the place is isolated, no power, phone, light etc.
There are several cabins at Keanakolu, but I opted to sleep in my tent to hopefully get some shots of the stars and moon etc. Besides who could resist the cool mountain air and only the sound of the wind? I set up my tent at the edge of the Koa forest; the others all bunked together about a football field away inside the main cabin.
On the second night we all turned in pretty early after hiking etc and I headed down to my tent around 10pm. It didn’t take long to fall asleep, but I ended up waking at around 1 am as nature was calling. I reluctantly crawled out of my warm cozy nest and stepped into the cool and windy night. The moon was very bright and shinning through the old Koa trees casting some eerie shadows and the wind was stirring robustly. The stars were also very bright, looking like diamonds, even though the moon was so bright. One of my philosophies about my photography is to always make the extra effort and get the difficult shot. At this particular moment, the last thing I wanted to do was get my camera and tripod out and take some pictures, but that is what I opted to do.
Thoughts about being all alone in the middle of nowhere started to dominate my psyche and I began to remember the stories about the Nightmarchers (My best friend Jonah used to tell stories about hearing the Nightmarchers when he was hiking back from Waimanu Valley.). According to Hawaiian legend, night marchers (huaka‘i po in Hawaiian) are ghosts of ancient warriors. They supposedly roam large sections of the island chain, and can be seen by groups of torches. They can usually be found in areas that were once large battlefields. Legend has it that if you look a night marcher straight in the eye, you will be forced to walk among them for eternity, but if you have a relative taken by them, you will be spared. Hawaiians say that in the presence of night marchers, one should lie down on their stomach, face down to avoid eye contact, stay quiet, breathe shallowly, and don’t move. Some say that they may nudge you to provoke a reaction so they can take you.
After getting several long exposures I had to keep telling myself to just relax, that it was only my mind that was scaring me. Luckily there were no Nightmarchers this time… just in my mind.
What would you do if you heard the Nightmarchers? Do you have any stories about them? Leave a comment!
Waimea’s beloved Kohala Mountain as taken from the plains of Mauna Kea on Parker Ranch. Kohala is the only extinct volcano on the Big Island and last erupted over 60,000 years ago and is about 450,000 years old. The mountain is close to 5,500 feet tall. There is no literal Hawaiian translation for Kohala, which is the name of a district of northern Hawai`i.
This image compiled using eight separate images and stitched together. Click on picture to see a larger version.
I hope you enjoy.
We began our adventure from Saddle Road around 6,000 feet to circumnavigate Mauna Kea on the Kahinahina “Road.” Kahinahina is Hawaiian for silversword . We started our drive at around 1:30 and drove all the way to our overnight stay at Pu’u Kaluamakani arriving at around 5 pm. After watching the sunset and then the amazing stars we fell asleep in our tents. The night air got pretty cold! We all awoke to a beautiful morning and had some strong coffee and breakfast all the while watching our native birds the Amakihi forage in the Mamane and plumb trees next to our camp. The next leg our our trip would take us from 7,500 feet to around 9,500 heading around the northern part of Mauna Kea. The going was pretty slow as the road was pretty gnarly in places. We saw one vehicle parked during our entire drive and one vehicle on the road and a total of two people over the two days on the road. All in all it was a great time with some great friends.
This was at the end of the trip after I connected with the Mauna Kea Access Road. I was coming down the hill and noticed the (never before seen) penumbra or Earth’s shadow at sunset.
Almost home after our camping trip I came upon Pu’u Nohona o Hae and the crescent Moon above.
It was so dark at night and the stars were unbelievable. You may not be able to discern the Milky Way in the small image, but you can see the lights of my 4Runner.
Our overnight stay in a Pu’u included ripe sweet plumbs. We were at about 7,600 feet elevation.
Our “Hotel” room view was great for sunset. Maui is to the right of the sun just barely above the clouds.
Rounding the North side of Kahinhina Road. We are at around 9,500 feet. Below would be Lapahoehoe. Not shown in this picture is a plane crash on the side of a cinder cone on Mauna Kea at 11,300 feet. A Navy pilot in 1971 crashed his jet and died.
Our trip would not have been complete without seeing some Silverswords along the way!
The first day of summer was really quite amazing here in Hawaii Nei. All day there were these very high clouds (Cirrus) and when I got home I just had to grab my camera and take a few shots. I was a little disappointed that the clouds moved in to obscure Mauna Kea, but that just forced me to look for other things. I came across these blooming Yucca and some bright fuchsia Bougainvillea and thought the juxtaposition of the green grass and clouds made for a nice image.
I hope you got to see the clouds today!!
Ran into my friend David (The owner of Hawaii White Mountain Coffee Co.) at the Parker School Farmers Market yesterday. I picked up a bag of his Javaloha Peaberry and thought I would start my day off with a cup of his coffee. This morning it is especially good as the cool misty rains of Waimea have returned! Thanks David for an excellent cup of coffee!!
A little bit about Peaberry coffee, it is the rarest of rare. Only about 6% of all harvested beans are peaberries and the single bean results in a very concentrated flavor. Peaberries form when one of the two halves of the seed develops, thus all the nutrients go into the remaining seed. Because the remaining half gets all of the nutrients the density of the been is more complex thus giving the coffee a wonderful robust flavor. (Here is a diagram of a normal two halved bean)
If you would like to try this coffee and others go to David’s website for locations http://hawaiiwhitemountain.com/index.aspx
You can also be a fan on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/javalohacoffee?sk=wall
I got to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park at about 7:30AM and it was one of those rainy days at the park. I decided to heard over to the Jagger Visitor Center to check out the Caldera and use the restroom before a meeting I was scheduled to attend at 8AM. I could see a faint rainbow off to the west as the sun rose, but nothing to really get too excited about. When I came back to my vehicle I again saw the rainbow only now it was way more intense. Frantic to capture the rainbow I also wanted to frame the picture with an Ohia tree etc. After roaming around I finally found some Lehua blooms that would be worthy of a picture! I hope you enjoy. If you would like to purchase this image please go to http://ethantweedie.smugmug.com/Landscapes/Prints/16653856_jRqpmL
My friend Sabrina put together a gathering at her ranch up on Kohala Mountain to celebrate her birthday as well as 6 other June Birthdays including mine!! We met at her house then got into a caravan of 4 wheel drive vehicles and went up the mountain to the edge of the Ohia forest. We all hung out in the mist and sun and had a great time!!!
Thanks Sabrina!!! I can’t wait till next year!
What an amazing birthday to see Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa cover in snow on June 5th!! In fact the mountain got over 8 inches at the summit and the road is closed! I was dreaming of putting my skis on! What a coup that would have been!!!
We were on our way to the Honoka’a Rodeo and passed by these cute little lambs. I quickly turned around and headed back to try and get a few images of them. I got off a few frames and then they got up and headed towards “Mama” for some milk!
Sometimes you don’t know where the journey is going to take you. You might come to a fork in the road? Do you listen? Follow your heart and that is the path you should take.
That is my journey.
I took this shot almost a year ago and didn’t do anything with it because there was some other shots I took that at first glance were more compelling, but I had some inspiration to go back and look at the shots from that day and thought this deserved coming out of hiding.
To purchase go to http://bit.ly/kb1knM
Well we have had some interesting weather patterns here in Hawaii! There has been a cut off low with some very cold temperatures that creates lots of instability and thus we have had a lot of thunder and lightening and snow on our mountains. The sky parted at sunset to reveal the summits of our mountains. Both Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa have had snow the last two days in row! This evening a small little rainbow appeared at sunset. So beautiful!!
I was moved last night to grab my camera gear and go find some light. It was around 4:30PM when the light just seemed nice and there was cool high clouds. In my mind I was drawn to this one area in Waimea and I was going to climb a cinder cone that I had never been up. When I got there it didn’t feel right so I turned around and headed down the Upper road towards Kona (190). I pulled into the Waimea Airport and saw our beloved Kohala Mountain lit up like a painting. The second photograph. This image was taken with my Canon 1D Mark IV with a 70-200mm lens and was compiled by taking a total of 10 images and then stitched together. The final image was over 2 gigabytes of data!!! I can see one of my friend’s cars in the image at the soccer field. The image on here is way too small to see that, but on the big screen it is really cool!!
After taking the Kohala shot I headed towards wet Waimea for some Mauna Kea shots but when I got there it was too cloudy so I turned around and headed back to town. I took the new cut off road behind Parker Ranch Center and pulled off the road. I waited for the sun to set and then all the color just disappeared. Some little “voice” said just wait and be patient. So I sat in my car. I checked my email and after several minutes I looked up and there she was, Mauna Kea was surrounded by high clouds that were glowing! This shot was taken with my Canon 1Ds Mark III and was two images stitched together.
I hope you enjoy!! Let me know what you think!!!!!
Sometimes you can look at a picture and just tell it might be a good candidate for BW. I have been getting images ready all day to get printed and came across this picture I took off Hapuna last year and wasn’t inspired by the image when it was in color. It is fun to go back and look at things and re-edit.
Let me know what you think!!
Lots of storms today and our beloved Mauna Kea got a nice white snow today April 6th 2011!!!! She cleard just enough to get a few pictures this evening.
I have been trying to get an image of the elusive Moonbow for a long time. This evening on the way back from the Volcano there it was!! It was cold, windy and raining but I toughed it out. After getting some images the CF card failed and all the pictures were gone. Undaunted I dug into my camera bag and pulled another card! I had just enough time to get two pictures off before it disapeared!!! Here is what I got!!!!
Camera and Settings
Canon 1Ds Mark III with a Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L and a Manfrotto Carbon Fiber Tripod and Manfrotto Midi Ball Head.
Image was taken at ISO 1600 at f/2.8 for 30 seconds.
Processed in Lightroom 3 and CS5
There are a few places on this Earth that are just blessed with the right light and amazing colors. Waimea is one of those places. Everyday I pinch myself that I actually live here.
Waimea is “up-country” at an elevation of around 2800 feet it is cooler than down at the ocean. Home to the W.M. Keck, Canada France Hawaii Observatories and Parker Ranch. It has a unique character all its own.
I hope you enjoy.
As I shot Mauna Kea and the cows these birds flew by!!
I have some friends who wanted me to get some pictures of the Cherry Blossoms!! I have been so busy I only caught the tail end!! Better than nothing?
You can’t beat the light in Waimea! Church Row.
A late evening sunset over Buster Brown (Hoku’ula)!
Going up Kohala Mountain Rd. I found some native Morning Glorys! Usually you see them at the beach but there they were with the sunset in the background!!
Coming home from my “day job” you could just see the light was going to be right. i could see a rainbow in Waimea all the way from Kona on the way home. I pulled into my drive way and began to explore. Both cameras on my passanger seat, one with the 70-200 and one with the 16-35 and off I went. These pictures are some of the highlights of the excursion. I hope you enjoy. Please comment if you like what you see!!! I love to get feedback.
Prior to Saturday March 5th many changes occured on the east rift zone of Kilauea. There had been many small earthquakes under the volcano in the area just east of Kilauea Iki. I had noticed the birds were seemingly agitated and thought to myself this is something interesting. Also, churning lava lake inside of Halemau’mau had been steadily rising. Last summer it was generally 500 feet below the rim and most recently it had risin to 230 feet below the rim. That alone was quite spectacular!
Many of us who are regulars in the park felt something was going to happen and it did on March 5th. Around 2:30 in the afternoon the crater floor of Puu O’o vent collapsed. The downstream dike feeding the TEB vent must have gotten blocked so pressures began to build. Shortly after around 5:15 PM the pressue was so great that the magma began to litterally crack the Earth open and what is known as a fissue opened up. A new area of eruption began with a 1.4 mile long fissue with lava being extruded out.
This picture was taken the evening of March 8th just 3 days after the fissure opened up. It is taken to the east looking down the rift zone. In the foreground is the pit crater inside of Halemau’mau that began erupting in March of 2008. The glow on the left is the new fissure it is about 8 miles away as the crow flies. The hill on the horizon is Mauna Ulu.
This is the first time I have ever seen baby turkeys!! There were 5 of these cute things just cruising around this morning. They certainly gave me a nice little chuckle!
The last two weeks we have had a lack of tradewinds our prevailing winds. Without these winds the gasses from the volcano just hang around the island chain making things hazy and dull. I am so ready for our winds to come back. Can you guess where this might be taken from? There is a big clue in the picture if you look close enough.
Red dirt, green grass and a snow covered Mauna Kea. Does it get any better?
I have been going to view the summit eruption of Kilauea for quite some time, but in the last couple weeks many chnages have occured. About two weeks ago there was a relatively large earthquake of 3.5 at the summit created by a collapse of the pit crater. From that time on there have been some very high lava stands. Last night the churning lava within the pit crater was less then 300 feet below the rim, the highest it has EVER been. It was so bright last night, bu the amazing thing was we could hear the lava churning and hissing from a mile away!! That was amazing.
Lastly there were 23 small earthquakes yesterday alone beneath the volcano. The last few times I have been in the park, within the last week, I have noticed the birds flying closer to the ground and more of them. Not sure what is going to happen, but it sure is interesting! Do you think the birds know something??
I was exploring a stream in Waimea and came across this awesome waterfall. I was getting my camera equipment set up and some kids showed up, they were gonna jump!! These two girls jumped at least 35 feet from where they climbed up the side of the waterfall!! Oh how this reminds me of when I was growing up jumping off Anna’s Pond. I remember it clearly, it was like jumping into a pile of car tires! At least that is how I describe it.
I dare you!
Taking a closer look at the Donkeys I noticed some of them have striped legs like Zebra? The sun had gone down this evening on the way back from Waikoloa and the greens in the grasses were so vibrant. The hill or pu’u is named Nohona o Hae.
I am forever blown away by the spirit of Aloha. My good friend and real estate agent, Stacy Disney, (http://stacydisney.com/) brought me some fresh Mahi Mahi and my other friend Mahealani Winters dropped of some of the BEST avocado ever!! I love my friends here on the Big Island, they are the reason I came home to Hawaii. I love you guys.
So I pan seared the Mahi Mahi in olive oil and added some sea salt and black pepper. I also added some Lehua Honey and let in blacken ever so slightly and then let it simmer. I cooked some brown rice and then drizzled the sauce from the Mahi Mahi. For my side salad I sliced the Waimea avocado and sprinkled it with sea salt and fresh black pepper. Simple but so good!
This is Bonnie, my friend Sabrina’s yellow/white lab! Seriously, how cute is she???
Crazy sunrise on Mauna Kea, it was some effect from my lens, but I have never seen that before??
Beautiful snow on Pu’u Ha’u Kea with Mauna Loa in the Distance.
My shadow with moon
The last photo was taken a few hours later at Hapuna Point!!!
What a day!!
The sky was changing so fast and these colors last a mere moments!!
I am always so fullfilled when I am in a place like this, Buster Brown has always been one of my most favorite places to be. The warm sun on my face, the cool trades blowing and the majestic view of Mauna Kea looming in the distance.
This photo of Mauna Kea was taken with 3 separate images using the Canon 1D Mark IV and combined in in CS5. It was shot with the Canon 85mm f 1.2 at f/10 at 1/45 ISO 200 (If you wanted to know!) I hope you like the photo as much as I enjoyed taking the image!!
After a nice snow storm Mauna Kea stayed hidden all day yesterday. She revealed herself briefly this morning just before another storm approaches. These two photos were taken within a few minutes of each other!!
15,000 years ago a glacier sat on top of Mauna Kea. What you are looking at is the glacial moraine at the top of the mountain. Then Mauna Kea erupted under the ice sheet and the melt off created the Pohakuloa Gulch. After the Earth warmed 15,000 years ago the ice melted.
So there I was, heading up the Saddle Road towards Volcano National Park. Camera at the ready searching for Mr or Mrs Pueo. Then I saw what I thought was an owl on the fence and the realized it was a piece of plastic that I have seen caught on the fence. In my mind I had written the Pueo sighting off, then as I passed the piece of plastic that I thought had tricked me was a Pueo!! Quick, reverse!!!!!! My friend stayed long enough for me to take some nice photos in the morning light!!
I was cruising along the Saddle Road just before the 1935 Mauna Loa flow and saw two Nene feeding near the road. I pulled a U-turn and thankfully had my telephoto lens on the camera and ready to go! I was far enough away not to bother them, but close enough to get some excellent shots in the nice morning light. Eventually they made there way beyond where I could see them, but it was a nice treat!!! There are approximately 500 Nene in existence in the Hawaiian Islands.
Waimea on the Big Island is a beautiful place. It is situated between Kohala and Mauna Kea at an elevation of 2500 feet which keeps the days and nights cooler than down at the ocean. It is home of Parker Ranch, Canada France Hawaii and Keck Telescope headquarters. A visit to the Big Island isn’t complete without a visit here!
On both sides of the valley there are cliffs reaching almost 2000 feet with hundreds of cascading waterfalls, including one of Hawaii’s most celebrated waterfalls – Hiʻilawe.
Mauna Kea has many different moods. The hue of colors this morning were very relaxing and needed to be captured!! You can see some of the 13 telescopes at the summit. Mauna Kea is the premier location on the planet for viewing the night sky and is home to the largest telescope on the planet the Keck Observatory.
I was down at Kiholo Bay last week and this guy was fishing and caught a puffer fish!! Thought I would get a picture before he threw him back!! What shall we name him??
Pufferfish are poor swimmers, but can quickly ingest huge amounts of water to turn themselves into a virtually inedible ball several times their normal size. To learn more about these guys heard over to National Geo
The summit eruptive vent within Halema`uma`u Crater hosted a lava pond that produced red glow visible from the Jaggar Museum overnight on August 24th 2010. There is some conjecture that since there is degassing which cools the magma before it reaches Pu’u O’o that at some point the dike that feeds the current lavas at TEB will get “clogged” and potentially cause a summit eruption. Of course nobody knows the answer, but it is interesting!! Stay tuned.
I was setting up for this shot of the road and along came a vehicle. My first intuition was get back in my car before I get blasted by dust!! Then I looked at the image through my viewfinder and thought the shot looked a lot cooler with the car blasting down the dusty road!
Kawaihae harbor is the witness to much history here on the Big Island. This is the home of Pu’ukohola Heiau that Kamehameha built. Kapoukahi, a powerful kahuna from Kauai, prophesized that war would end if Kamehameha constructed a heiau dedicated to the war god Ku at Pu’ukohola. All of the stones that were used to build the Heiau were carried man to man from Pololu Valley forming a human chain nearly 25 miles long, the laborers handed the water-worn lava rocks one person to another up and over Kohala Mountain to this site. It is also the location that the young John Parker arrived on a sailing ship bound for China. He liked Hawaii so much in 1809 he decided to hide from his ship in the bushes until the ship was out of site. Eventually John Parker would go on to create one of the oldest and largest cattle ranches in the United States, Parker Ranch.
What a moment! It would be the first time to see this beautiful beach and also the last time, forever.
Sad to watch this beautiful beach disappear right before my eyes. It was obvious that these fellow hikers were also pondering the moment.
July 7th 2010 – Last night I finally got a chance to make it down to Waipio Valley since returning to Hawaii. For those that have never been to Waipio it is like stepping back in time to the old ways of Hawaii. To get into the valley one either must hike down the 2000 foot side of the valley or go by 4 wheel drive. There is a river down the middle of the valley and at the back the valley splits in two. On the left side there is a 1450 foot water fall called Hi’ilawe Falls. There are lots of taro patches and other crops grown on the valley floor. To see the rest of the pictures go to Galleries/Waipio Valley
For more information and history check out this site:
This is my first post!!
This photograph of Hapuna Beach was taking shortly after moving back to the Big Island. I had been moving into my new place most of the day and towards the end of the day decided to take a swim down at Hapuna. I had a a great time catching some small waves etc. and when the sun started getting low in the sky I decided to rinse off and walk back to my car and get my tripod and see if I could get a few pictures of the sunset etc. As it turned out the evening was less then stellar for sunset pictures (so I thought).
I made my way over to the north side of the beach on the point in front of the Hapuna Prince Hotel and the light was very flat and dull. As I turned around to look back at Mauna Kea I noticed some clouds were starting to glow red/pink so I started shooting towards the mountain. It was a nice backdrop of Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa and Hualalai! It was at the moment I turned back to the west and the whole sky was turning fantastic colors!!! I was honestly speechless after witnessing this grand revelation of color.
Thank you for visiting my website and blog. Please visit often as I will update often!!