The Big Island of Hawaii was a whirlwind of crazy animal encounters, long drives in a bright red Jeep, and living in the shadow of the most active volcanoes on Earth. My friend Heather joined me, and let me tell you — having a professional photographer as a travel companion is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because she has so much knowledge to share and it’s inspiring to be around creative people, and a curse because sometimes I got lazy and barely bothered to shoot because I just told myself Heather would get better pictures anyway!
I can’t believe I used to narrow Photo of the Week down to just one photo! These days I’m more indecisive than ever. I need your votes to help me pick!
This week was like a non-stop episode from Animal Planet. We basked with sea turtles on a black sand beach, sailed through blue waters with dolphins playing aside our boat, hung out with a zebra (seriously), and went diving with all kinds of crazy sea creatures. Heather has been encouraging me to experiment with using my camera flash underwater. Loving the results!
Speaking of Animal Planet experiences, this was the big one. We came to The Big Island with one major goal — to dive with manta rays. More than twenty came out to play with us, and it was one of the top experiences of my life. I can’t wait to share more!
Renting a Jeep was a necessity on the Big Island, where public transit is lacking and distances are massive. But it was also great fun, allowing us to take tons of photo stops and explore hidden areas of the island.
The two highlights of my Big Island trip took place at altitude — the manta dive, deep below the sea, and the helicopter ride I took above an active volcano! It was my first time riding in a helicopter and my first time seeing bubbling lava. Another unbelievable moment I can’t wait to tell you more about.
Some of the byproducts of all the volcanic activity on The Big Island are the fantastic black lava fields and black sand beaches. I’ve never seen anything like it!
These photos are classic Hawaii to me — surfboards, palm trees, and Polynesian imagery.
Traveling with a professional photographer definitely challenges me to experiment more technically. At this waterfall I tried playing with long exposures, and loved the results.
I generally avoid photos of sunsets and flowers, which can be cheesy and overplayed. But when I saw the heart dangling above me on this tree I couldn’t help but snap away.
Which photo is your favorite, readers? See you next week for photos from Maui!
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