Posted by Jon Cornforth on July 28, 2014
The Waipio Valley is one of my favorite places on the Big Island, plus it is also where my wife and I got married. I photographed a sunrise here when we planned out wedding 13 years ago using a 35mm film camera and my very first attempt at using graduated neutral density filters. It is a nice enough image, but I have always wanted to return to try shooting this scene again during the summer months when the sun comes up as far to the north as it will, but it took me until this summer to finally have the opportunity. I drove from Kona over to the valley four mornings in a row well before sunrise. My friend Chris Hirata met me for three of those mornings and was kind enough to drive me down into the valley in his four wheel drive truck, but we got skunked due to a lot of rain. On my fourth and final morning, CJ Kale and Don Hurzeler picked me up and the three of us drove over together. We almost did not drive down because the weather looked grim, but at the last second I talked them into turning around. I got down to the beach just in time to set up as the light illuminated the cliff and suddenly this rainbow magically appeared. Incredible! After a few minutes of shooting, CJ walked over to where I was standing and I asked him if he got a nice shot of the rainbow? He said, “What rainbow?” Apparently he could not see it where he was standing back near the river behind me. I don’t think that he is ever going to let me live it down, but of course all in good fun. I am quite pleased with this image, especially since it was many years in the making. I created this image using my 36MP Sony a7R camera body with a Metabones Canon lens adapter, Canon 17-40mm f4 lens, Singh-Ray LB Warming Polarizer, and Singh-Ray 4-stop Soft Graduated Neutral Density filter. I processed the RAW file using Aperture 3, Photoshop CC, and Nik Software’s Color Efex 4‘s White Neutralizer filter.