Na Pali Coast

I’m pretty excited to capture the sky, the sea and the Earth interconnected in one image where all three elements are dynamic. All my wishes for a dynamic composition came together in this aerial photograph of the Na Pali Coast on Kauai, Hawaii. The clouds showed rain falling into the sea. The sea color evolved from a dark blue to a brighter turquoise as it grew shallow near the coast. The little strip of yellow sand defined the sea/land border, and the high cliffs made a dramatic earthy frame for the seascape. If you have an eye for detail, you can even spot a waterfall on the lower left, water that looks like a path, running from land to sea.  This view lasted but a second aboard my Blue Hawaiian helicopter, but I captured it for the long term with my camera set on shutter priority 1/500th second, at f 5.6 and ISO 200.

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This next photograph shows the tiny beach, isolated from the rest of the island by the towering volcanic cliffs. Mid-afternoon sun was behind us. I found my Nikon 24-70mm zoom lens with a circular polarizer perfect for this shoot. CathyKelly_Kauai-1691web


As our helicopter circled over the ocean and proceeded north up the coast, I took this photo, showing the Na Pali cliffs in their sculpted splendor, topped with rain clouds, and at their base, edged by the Pacific.



It’s hard to beat this perspective on this amazing coastline. Coming soon: sea caves on the Na Pali coast!

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 to review work in your area of interest. Nature portfolio includes flowers and wildlife. Prints and digital files for sale. See website: