The name of this image is derived from the Rapa Nui native language with the word "I'orana" which means hello-goodbye (similar to the word Aloha in Hawaiian) combined with the collective name of these moai (statues) which is "Ahu Tongariki." I chose I'orana because these statues greeted me each morning with stellar sunrises while I was on Easter Island, which made it hard for me to say goodbye to this place...
Btw, this is one of the most magical and transcendent places on the entire earth to enjoy a sunrise. The glory of Ahu Tongariki more than wakes you up-- it brings every essence of existence to life physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I am now one week removed from my last hours spent at this spot, and I miss it dearly.
Some background info here...The Ahu Tongariki is a ceremonial platform with fifteen moai on it, all of various sizes and shapes, and all in a perfect North-to-South formation facing west with their backs to the Pacific Ocean and the rising sun every day. I am sure the alignment and placement of this ahu is not a coincidence. I was lucky enough to be at this location on the east side of the Island every morning (but two) that I was on Easter Island, and I was treated to beautiful sunrises each time.
An interesting note, one of the moai has a pukao (tophat) because when the archeologists raised these fallen statues, they chose not to use a pukao for any of them...but, the locals believed each of the moai here should have a pukao, and made a statement by managing to place one pukao atop of one of the moai (second from the right) with their own efforts. Not sure if there is any sort of a movement to get a pukao placed on top of each of the other fourteen moai on the Ahu Tongariki or not.
Camera settings: ISO-800, 80mm at f/16 for 260 seconds (4 mins, 20 secs). One Lee Proglass 3.0ND Filter (10 stops) was used to achieve for the long exposure, and one Lee .75ND Grad Filter (2.5 stops) was used to balance the brighter sky with the darker foreground. Image was captured at 7:03am about 20 mins before sunrise.
Some of you might be wondering why did I select an ISO-800? Honestly, I was shooting the dimming stars as the sun was rising the whole hour previous to this shot, and I simply forgot to drop my ISO back down to 100 when the light started getting brighter...I have done this about three times now when I have been out in the field, and I kick myself for being stupid and absent-minded sometimes when a I am caught up in the beauty of the scenery.
Luckily, my Nikon D800 handled the extra noise from the higher ISO extremely well, as it always does, which is big reason why I own it since I shoot such long exposures and a by-product of that fact is always dealing with extra noise. However, the extra grain in the image from the higher ISO did alter my perception of how I needed to process this image, so what you see here is something a bit different in color tones and texture than my all of my other compositions...
I hope you enjoy this image and that its message finds you well
D. " Bodhi "