This story was shot in the Kohala Mountains on the Big Island of Hawaii. The visuals were easy to find; what was challenging was the process to acquire them. A story like this requires a good mix of shots to do justice to the landscape. I needed wide shots of the kayaks in the environment, tracking shots from front and back, shots of kayaks passing by from different angles and point-of-view shots. The only way you can do this when you’re the lone photographer is to constantly get out of the kayak at points on the route, hike a certain distance, set up the tripod, sometimes in precarious positions on the ditch and give the “go” cue to the rest of the kayakers. A tripod is essential for this; nothing looks worse than hand-held landscape shots. The dark tunnel was lit only by the lights on our helmets. Unfortunately this spectacular tour had to be shut down following an earthquake in 2006 when it was determined that portions of the ditch were unsafe. There is an on-going effort to renovate and restart the tour but I’m not aware of any firm time-frame. Do a web search to find any updates.
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