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Tag Archives: rock

Rock in Surf

Through the magic of continuous shooting at some crazy number of frames-per-second, I was able to capture the exact moment that this wave came into contact with this rock. This is the sort of thing that happens, quite literally, in the blink of an eye.  Our minds register the water washing over the rock, but the nuances of the event escape our consciousness…like the way the wave explodes into hundreds of individual droplets before “re-forming” as foam…or how the rock, which is clearly a three-dimentional object, appears almost two-dimensional from this perspective…or how opaque the spray of even this crystal-clear tropical water becomes as it literally turns into “white water” before our very eyes.

Look at the shape of the rock, the scalloped edges standing out against the surf, and marvel at how many millions of times that rock was struck by waves to erode the way it has.

So much drama takes place each day in just this one square yard of shore…now multiply that to encompass all the coastlines of the world…most of it unwitnessed by humans…neat.


Molokai View

I’m back!  One of the reasons for my absence was another trip to Moloka’i.  A favorite place to visit and photograph, and it gets harder to leave every time I go.

This image was taken on the east side of the island, looking across the sea to Maui in the distance.  My trip was in early December, so I missed all the fabulous surf the islands experienced this month.  But then I also missed the huge crowds that flocked to the North Shore of O’ahu to watch the waves and those who ride them.

That’s a big part of why I love Moloka’i.  There are no crowds.  And there are plenty of views like this to feast your eyes on.

I’ll be back…

Slope Mtn

The title of this post can refer either to the experience of gazing upon a massive mountain top…or the fact that said mountain was once at the bottom of the sea!

The sedimentary layers that make up this mountain were layed down millions of years ago, possible from the erosion of an even more ancient mountain, and then the entire formation rose at an intriguing angle, much faster on one side than the other…

Today, this mountain is eroding as well, and creeks and rivers carry its sediment into the nearby ocean.

Someday in the distant future, millions of years from now, this mountain will form new sedimentary layers at the bottom of the sea, and eventually those will sink and then rise into yet another mountain…

It’s recycling on a grand scale!

beach 3

Another image of a moonlit beach on The Big Island (Hawai’i).  This is the third in a series of four images.  Tomorrow I’ll explain how I found myself doing night photography at zero-dark-thirty on these beautiful shores…

beach 2

A 30-second exposure in the middle of the night is enough to give plenty of detail to this beachscape on The Big Island (Hawai’i).

beach 1

See if you can guess what’s unusual about this image I took on The Big Island (Hawai’i) last December.   The graininess is a clue…  

old church

The exterior walls and front steps are all that remain of an old church in the Halawa Valley on Moloka’i.  Trees grow around it.  Trees grow inside it.  It still provides shelter and sanctuary, but no longer to a human congregation.  In addition to the trees, bushes and vines, birds and insects call it home as well.  The choir consists of chirps, tweets and buzzing.  It’s still a peaceful place to linger, to commune with nature, and to be reminded that our presence here is temporary.  Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing…

abandoned house

Once upon a time–that time being about 40 years ago–a family lived in this house.  Now it’s being reclaimed by the jungle, and in 40 more years there will probably be little left on this site to show that it was once inhabited.  Untreated wood doesn’t last long in this climate, and as you can see, most of the paint has already weathered from the walls.

What does survive in this climate is rock.  Historically recent cement foundations, and much older lava rock foundations, are what remain after the rest of the structure disintegrates.

One day in the future, someone may walk along the road and notice a moss- and lichen-covered lava rock wall, almost completely camouflaged by vines and small trees.  And if they look past that wall with a keen eye, they may notice the remains of a house, perhaps some broken glass or a pile of rotten timbers or a few banged up metal pots, and realize that a family called this piece of land home…once upon a time.

Wave explosion 2

The convergence of water and land can range from calm and peaceful to destructive and even deadly.  This is “just” a wave hitting a rock, but the way the wave exploded into thousands of smaller droplets ricocheting in all directions was nothing short of amazing.  A shutter speed of 1/2000th of a second barely freezes the flying water!


The Vinales valley in Cuba is filled with mogotes.  “Filled with WHAT?” you ask.  Mogotes are basically lumps of harder rock (in this case, limestone) that remain after the softer rock surrounding them has eroded away, leaving them exposed.

These huge, rounded formations are found throughout the valley, plunging almost vertically out of the earth, sometimes several hundred feet up.  The mogotes loom over the otherwise flat farmland dotted with a few scraggly bushes and the occasional palm tree, and giving the region a somewhat surreal look.

mogotes 4

See what I mean?  The palms in the image above are actually growing on top of smaller mogotes in the foreground, but the ground fog is obscuring those mogotes and making it look like the palms are floating in mid-air…trippy, man!

Same effect in the image below.  It reminds me of a long exposure of water flowing around rocks.  Actually, since fog IS water vapor, I guess that’s a pretty accurate description, isn’t it?

mogotes 5

The image below shows how large the mogotes can be, and how dramatically these monoliths rise out of the soil.  Again, these are right in the middle of the valley.  You can see the hills on the far side of the valley behind them.

mogotes 3-2

I just love how the ground fog made an unusual landscape even more intriguing.  This was by far the most beautiful area I visited in Cuba.  I only wish I had had more than only two days to spend in this fascinating region.

mogotes 2