Tunnel Vision

A few weeks ago, while driving out to Lahaina, my friend Jonny and I began wondering what it would be like to shoot a long exposure picture with cars going in and out of the Lahaina tunnel.

The seed had been planted.

Skip ahead to last night and there we were, scrambling up the loose rock cliff face with speeding traffic on our left and a one-hundred foot sheer drop to the sea on our right.  Fortunately we were wise enough to begin our experiment while it was still light out, although I did have a rough time crawling up to our vantage point.

There was no sunset, and I mean no sunset.  It was light grey with a low ceiling of clouds and eventually it turned darker grey, then it was simply nighttime.  So it was a good thing we were not there for the setting sun’s brilliant glow of reds, pinks and orange colors.  Instead, we were content with the white, red and orange from the headlights, brake lights and side lights of the traffic whizzing by below us.

1st try. 24mm. f-22. 20 second exposure. ISO 100
1st try. 24mm. f-22. 20 second exposure. ISO 100
This is what happens when you fool around with your zoom during the 30 second exposure.
This is what happens when you fool around with your zoom during the 30 second exposure.
She'll be coming 'round the corner.
She’ll be coming ’round the mountain.  24mm. f-4.5. 20 seconds. ISO 200.
The "Z" is for zoom lens.
The “Z” is for zoom lens.
No headlights.
No headlights.
Panoramic attempt.
Panoramic attempt. 24mm. f-5.6. 30 seconds. ISO 200.

Whenever I shoot a new location I usually walk around a bit and scout out the immediate area.  For this particular adventure I did not move much at all due to the extreme drop and unstable footing of the loose lava rocks.  Once I was set up, I remained set up.

After an hour or more, we packed up our gear, slid on our backsides down the hill and drove away.  It was a spontaneous night shoot that was born from a simple question of “what if?”.

It was fun to experiment with different exposure times, f-stops and ISO settings, but the fact that I was able to shoot with a friend made it that much more enjoyable.  As much as I like to do things on my own, it really helps my creativity and motivation to shoot with a partner.

To see another take on the same subject, check out my buddy Jon’s Facebook page at Jonny Hooks Photography.

Vincent Lorusso Written by:

A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives. - Jackie Robinson

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