Photographing Hawaii

Today, August 4, is President Obama’s birthday. Since he’s a Hawaiian native, and also since August 21, only a few weeks from today, is Hawaii Statehood Day, here are a few images from the majestic, mesmerizing Aloha land, the land of rainbows:

Leap of Faith:

  • Fun in Hawaii. Jump off the cliff. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
  • Fun in Hawaii. Jump off the cliff. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
  • Fun in Hawaii. Jump off the cliff. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
  • Fun in Hawaii. Jump off the cliff. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
  • Fun in Hawaii. Jump off the cliff. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
  • Fun in Hawaii. Jump off the cliff. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Diving into the wave, feet up. Photo by Alina Oswald.
Hitting the waves, head first. © Alina Oswald.

Coconut Island, a small island off the Big Island of Hawaii:

  • Summer Fun. Photo by Alina Oswald.
  • Summer Fun off Coconut Island, Big Island, Hawaii. Photo by Alina Oswald.

A narrow bridge connects Coconut Island and the Big Island of Hawaii.

Coconut Island, Hilo, Hawaii
Coconut Island, Hilo, Hawaii. Off the coast of Big Island, HI.

Brocken Spectre. Haleakala National Park. Maui, Hawaii:

Brocken Spectre. Haleakala National Park. Maui, Hawaii. ©Alina Oswald.
Brocken Spectre. Haleakala National Park. Maui, Hawaii. ©Alina Oswald.

Known by many names–Brocken Bow, Gravity Rainbow or Brockengespenst–the Brocken spectre is an optical illusion originally observed and described by theologian and natural scientist (with a lunar crater named after him) Johann Esaias Silberschlag (16 Nov 1721 – 22 Nov 1791) in 1780 on Brocken Mountain, Germany…hence, the name of the spectre. 

Brocken Mountain famous visitors include Goethe, who mentioned the Spectre in Faust, and poet Heinrich Heine, who mentioned the spectre in Harzreise (1826). The words “Viele Steine, müde Beine, Aussicht keine, Heinrich Heine” describe the difficult mountain climb in foggy conditions. [Note: The poet’s work has inspired other authors. In recent years, in his book Smash Cut Brad Gooch mentions Heinrich Heine‘s poem about a mermaid called Lorelei.]

Brocken Spectre appears as a “halo-like ring of glory,” also called a “saint’s halo” or “god-shadows.” The spectre is an enlarged shadow of the observer surrounded by the rainbow. This halo becomes visible on mountain regions, usually at sunset, when the sun is low in the sky, and when clouds, fog or rain are present.

NOTE: While I’m glad that I could witness the Brocken spectre on top of Haleakala, visiting its original sight, the Brocken Mountain, is still on my bucket list 🙂 ]

Live Lava watching; Hawaii National Park, Big Island of Hawaii:

  • Lava Face. ©Alina Oswald.
  • Molted Lava Faces. Lava Photography by Alina Oswald.
  • Slow motion live lava backlights a tree branch. Volcano National Park. Big Island of Hawaii. Photo by Alina Oswald.
  • Tree branches catch on fire, as live lava finds its way down from the crater to the ocean. Volcano National Park. Big Island of Hawaii. Photo by Alina Oswald.
  • Peeking Through. Lava Photography by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
  • Lava view in Hawaii Volcano National Park. Photo by Alina Oswald.
  • Live Lava Photography by Alina Oswald. Volcano National Park. Big Island of Hawaii.
  • Live Lava Photography by Alina Oswald. Volcano National Park. Big Island of Hawaii.
  • Engulfed by Lava. Volcano National Park. Big Island of Hawaii. Photo by Alina Oswald.
  • People silhouetted by live lava. Big Island of Hawaii. Photo by Alina Oswald.

Hawaii from the Air: a ride in an open-door helicopter over the land of rainbows, photographing lava, smoking craters and Hawaii, from the air, is a must

  • Napali Coast Observatory seen through fog and clouds. Black-and-White photography by Alina Oswald.
  • B&W aerial photography of Kauai, the Garden Island and Nihau, the Forbidden Island. Photo by Alina Oswald.
  • Haleakala sunset. Photo by Alina Oswald.
  • Full rainbow, as it was approached by the no-door helicopter flying over Hawaii. Aerial photography by Alina Oswald.
  • Na Pali Coast. Kauai. Aerial Photography by Alina Oswald.
  • ©Alina Oswald
  • Black-and-white aerial photo of Hawaii. ©Alina Oswald.
  • Aerial photography by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
  • Helicopter flying over Napali Coast. Aerial Photography by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
  • Aerial photography of smoking lava fields of Hawaii. Photo by Alina Oswald.
  • Watching the sunset from above the clouds. Haleakala National Park. Maui, Hawaii. Photo by Alina Oswald.
  • Aerial photography of smoking volcano, taken from an open-door helicopter flying over the Big Island of Hawaii. Photo by Alina Oswald.
  • Aerial photograph of Hilo, Hawaii. Photo taken from a no-door helicopter.
  • Smoking lava fields of Hawaii, aerial photography by Alina Oswald.

Capturing the big picture, as well as details, or specific elements seen through a more dramatic lens

Fog: The feeling of walking through fog, along the edge of a cliff, while hearing the Pacific Ocean waves crashing hundreds of feet below.

Fog. ©Alina Oswald.
Fog. ©Alina Oswald.

Fog engulfs the Maui observatory, which, itself, is beyond tourists’ reach.

Haleakala Observatory. ©Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Haleakala Observatory. ©Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.

More fog and clouds over other observatories all over Hawaiian Islands:

Napali Coast Observatory seen through fog and clouds. Black-and-White photography by Alina Oswald.
Napali Coast Observatory seen through fog and clouds. Black-and-White photography by Alina Oswald.

Some of my black-and-white nature images from Hawaii at La Vie Galerie opening night:

My nature photography at La Vie Galerie show.
La Vie Galerie LLC – opening night.

Here are a few more samples of my nature-and-the-environment photography work featured in the first 2019 issue of ARTS & FOOD Magazine

Other dramatic images in the land of rainbows:

Severe weather:

  • Nature photography by Alina Oswald.
  • Eyes of the Storm. Photo by Alina Oswald.

Also, (re)discover Mother Nature. Lose yourself in nature, while in Hawaii.

Reconnect with the small things in nature and their fascinating universe.

Bird on a Cliff. ©Alina Oswald.
Bird on a Cliff. ©Alina Oswald.
"Watching you watching me" Crab on Lanai, Hawaii beach.
“Watching you watching me” Crab on Lanai, Hawaii beach. © Alina Oswald.

Visit Hawaii’s botanical gardens. Learn about the history of Hawaii and the bread fruit‘s role in that history.

Check out the chocolate and vanilla ice-cream (to die for!). It’s made locally from chocolate and vanilla grown, locally, in Hawaii.

Stop by a farmers market and splurge on a farm-grown pineapple. That’s something worth tasting and trying at least once in a lifetime!

Take a shelter dog out for a stroll or a day at the beach.

Also learn a few words in Hawaiian: Aloha, Mahalo (thank you), Anuenue (rainbow), Ahinahina (“very gray” or silversword, Hawaii’s national plant)

Visit Honolulu and Pearl Harbor.

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Photo by Alina Oswald.
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Photo by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved. (in the background, left, Mighty MO and Arizona Memorial, as well as the observation tower

And here are a few snapshots of yours truly in Hawaii:

I dream of the day when I can go back to Hawaii. (after all, a girl can dream, right? :-))

Until then,

Hang loose like a mongoose!

As always, thank you for stopping by!

Alina Oswald

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