This week I was able to get out and shoot two sunsets after work with my buddy Jonny. On our first evening we were joined by two sleeping honus, or green sea turtles, which made the experience absolutely wonderful. Green sea turtles are listed as a threatened species, so under federal and state law it is illegal to disturb or harass them. The rule is to stay at least ten feet away from them, so we shot them from a good distance to begin with, but as the sun began to set, we inched a bit closer to compose a different shot. For the final composition I was about ten to fifteen feet away, but with my 14-24mm ultra wide angle lens it makes it seem like I was a lot further away than reality. Fortunately, the turtles didn’t care about us or the fact that we were using them as models for our long exposure shots.
I used my lee filters sw150 system and used two filters to create a nice long exposure. My go to filter when I am near the water is their little stopper, which stops down the exposure by six stops which allows me to really play with my aperture and shutter speeds to achieve the right amount of light and movement. The second filter I used was the lee filter reverse graduated neutral density .9 filter. The reverse grad not only adds another three stops to the exposure equation, but this particular filter is made specifically for sunrise/sunsets on flat horizons. The filter is darkest in the center horizon line, then below the horizon is not tinted, while above the horizon it gradually lightens, so where the sun would be has the most light blocked.
The next night we were running short on time, so we went to a beach close to our work location. We walked down onto the dry area of the lava rocks and found a few ways to compose our shots as the sun began to set. Jonny was a bit braver than I when we changed our compositions, but much to both of our surprise, he and his gear stayed perfectly dry during the shoot.
On Sunday, Emily wanted to get a specific bookstagram shot she had imagined, so we drove to the Waihou Spring Forest Reserve to try and make her dream a reality. While we were there, I decided that I too had a particular shot that I had not been able to get in the past, so why not take the opportunity to try, try again. There is a very specific tree that has this crazy twist to it, literally. Putting my tripod low to the ground and using my 14-24mm lens, I was happy with the results. This might be a future astrophotography shot if I can get motivated to hang out in a forest in the middle of the night in Olinda.