America, the Beautiful

On July 4th weekend, let’s salute the men and women who have defended freedom all over the world and worked tirelessly to preserve peace in our homeland. All across this great country, beneath the “spacious skies” there are dramatic mountain peaks, azure blue coastlines, rolling green fields, thick forests and cascading waterfalls — all glorious gifts. I am sure we could all post photos today of “American the Beautiful” as seen from our own back yards.

Today, as I sort through 900 photographs I recently took in Kauai, Hawaii — our 50th state, I am inspired to share with you some views of Waimea Canyon. Carved by the Waimea River, the canyon is 3,000 feet deep.  I took these photographs on June 26 (my father’s 98th birthday) from a Blue Hawaiian helicopter. My pilot was Marty Kydland from Fox Chapel, a suburb of Pittsburgh. Do any of you Pittsburghers know Marty?

Camera settings: Nikon 24-70mm lens at f 3.5, ISO 200, at 1/500 second to deliver a crisp image while flying. These are large files from the Nikon D800, greatly reduced in pixel size for this blog.

Waimea Canyon from helicopter 6/26/14
Waimea Canyon from helicopter 6/26/14

Daily rains keep the trees and bushes growing in the red dirt, and waterfalls are plentiful.

Waterfall in Waimea Canyon, Kauai
Waterfall in Waimea Canyon, Kauai

I was pleased to spot the road to the dead end at 4,000 feet where we did a sunset shoot a few days before.  I rode in the back seat of the car up this winding road, ascending from sea level to 4.000 feet in about 45 minutes. It was a little challenging for my sense of well being.

Road to the last lookout in Waimea Canyon, 4,000 feet
Road to the last lookout in Waimea Canyon, 4,000 feet

Thank you, President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Good decision to make Hawaii our 50th state in 1959.

Author: cathykellyphotography

Independent photographer based in Pittsburgh PA and Naples FL. Nature, landscape and portrait photography. Portfolio includes international work in USA, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Email cathykellyphotography@gmail.com to review work in your area of interest. Nature portfolio includes flowers and wildlife. Prints and digital files for sale. See website: www.cathykellyphotography.com.