Thursday, December 25, 2014

New release, "Unruined Radiance" by D. "Bodhi" Smith

This another new release named "Unruined Radiance". This composition was captured under the old decomposing pier in Lahaina on the Hawaiian island of Maui. The title comes from the radiantly glowing colors and the idea that this pier is in ruins .

At first glance, this pier looks like an eyesore. This pier is literally condemned to just wither away and crumble into the sea eventually. My girlfriend and I were visiting the giant Buddha at the Jodo Buddhist Mission just south of the pier in Lahaina, and I was taking a bit longer than she was with the site, So she went ahead to check out the pier...she came back and told me that she did not think I was going to like the pier because it was falling apart. But after we left the temple and went around the corner onto the beach, and i caught my fist look of the pier, I told her it was perfect and exactly what I was looking for: Ugly on top, but beautiful underneath.

The sun was getting close to setting and I promptly set up under the pier. The winds were really up and some sets of waves were coming in pretty big across the open Pacific to the east. I originally wanted to set up at the back of the pier by the break wall, but found that impractical soon after taking a couple hits from waves coming in AND banking of the break wall creating a node of intensity, This was was not conducive to taking long exposures, Plus there was a huge chance of getting me and my gear both soaked with salt water. I was going to have to set up further out under the pier away from the banking action of the break wall.

We had driven only about 45mins to get to Lahaina from Kihei, but I did not want to get wet/soaked since I did not bring a change of clothing. Simple and fast problem solving, I would just have to take off my shorts to keep them dry...go wading in my boxer briefs. It was getting dark as the sun was setting, and nobody was around under the pier, so for me it was not a big deal. It was wierd to be taking pictures under a pier in Hawaii at sunset in my underwear, but I did not give it a second thought.

I waded out under the pier about 100 feet and I anchored my tripod as best as i could in about 3ft of water. The air and water were both ultra warm, so temperature was not an issue as I stood waist deep in the Pacific ocean under a crumbling pier catching a beautiful sunset.

I thought the pier was giving way. As every so often when big set would come in, dust, debris, and smaller chunks of concrete would fall off the pier down into the water. I thought the pier might collapse on me at anytime, or at least a big slab let go and tumble down into the water as the sea continued to erode the old wretched salt and weather beaten concrete. Later, my girlfriend told me that there were idiots walking around on top of the this extremely unstable pier while I was shooting, which was what was causing the cracking and dust to fall of the pier...still, they could easily have fallen through at an moment while I was shooting...

I shot several longer exposures of 4 mins plus, but could not keep the tripod from moving during these more lengthy exposures because of the larger waves hitting me chest high (any movement of tripod = blurred images = trash). So, I had to settle for what the conditions would permit, which were much "shorter" (for me) exposures of 30 seconds where I could keep the tripod stable in between the bigger waves rolling in at intervals of about every 50-60 seconds or so.

The colors of the decomposing concrete were luminous and radiant, especially in the red light waves of the sunset...mix those colors with the crystal blue Hawaiian waters and what you see here is the result, I hope you enjoy it, and the impression i want you to feel when looking at it ...

Camera Settings: ISO-100, 48mm at f/8 for 30 seconds using one Lee Proglass .9ND Filter and 2 Lee .75ND Grad filters inverted at 90 degrees to bring down each of the bright sides of the pier compared to the underbelly of the pier. Image was captured just as the sun had set at 6:05pm.

I hope this message in image find you well

Mahalo and Maluhia,

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