2015 was an amazing year! I graduated high school in May and turned 18 in September. I learned an immense amount about photography and have chosen a path to follow. I like photography enough that I want to make it my career. I will have many obstacles to get there and I can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store for me. I present you with my favorite images of 2015. Each image image is rated based on quality and the experience of capturing it.
#10: The Waterfall
This was taken at the Makuu Cliffs in Paradise Park. It’s my favorite location because it is diverse in compositions and it’s close to home. I’ve waited a long time to shoot this particular spot because the tide had to be just right and the waves not too rough. The waves crash onto this shelf and as it recedes, it creates this waterfall for a few moments. Time after time shooting, this is the best I could do with only a few seconds to get the shot before being engulfed in water.
#9: Full Bloom
This is a shot of Halema’uma’u Crater at Volcanoes National Park. The night was clear and I went out to shoot the Milky Way. As I was hiking to a good spot, the clouds moved in ruining my chances. I decided to go to crater because it almost always has good shooting conditions. The moonrise gently illuminated the night and the crater made a beautiful formation of smoke. It seemed like every five minutes, the smoke formation would change potentially giving me a better shot.
#8 Fluid Tide
This was taken at the Makuu Cliffs in Paradise Park. I hike out to the tide pools when the waves are too rough. It allows me to focus on the photography rather than when the next wave is gonna hit me. The tide pools created a nice little flow of water as it receded back into the ocean.
This was taken at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. I chose an unconventional location to be able to align the Milky Way and Halema’uma’u Crater. The Milky Way was much to the right when taken at the official lookout. The clouds were lingering around for a while and finally cleared after a bit.
#6: Crater Arch
This was taken at Volcanoes National Park. I hiked 2 km in the middle of the night to Mauna Ulu. This was one of my most memorable adventures. The trail was quite difficult to follow in the dark, but I made it up to the crater. The Milky Way was shining bright and there was a bit of green airglow in the sky. I spent some time exploring the rock formations and started hiking back. I forgot that the trail ends ½ km before the top of the crater and didn’t know which way to go. I headed toward the bright light of what I thought was Halema’uma’u Crater. After an hour of hiking, the lava rock was getting more rough and it didn’t seem like I was going anywhere. At this point, I was so worried and really wanted to go home! I started taking pictures to see where I was. It was then that I found my mistake. I was hiking towards the light pollution of Hilo town and not the crater. I changed my direction and finally found a cairn which is a stack of rocks that indicates where the trail is. Fog started to roll in and I lost sight of the next cairn. I got lost a second time, but eventually made it back to the trailhead safely!
#5: Montauk Point
This was taken at Montauk Point at the most eastern point of Long Island, New York. The coasts there are a whole lot different than the ones here in Hawaii. The lighthouse was really cool to see and there was a nice beach nearby. It was an overall great vacation spent with family in New York.
#4: Showering Lights
This was taken during the Perseids meteor shower at Mauna Loa. This is the most detailed shot of the Milky Way I’ve ever taken and that’s why I like this one a lot. It was amazing to see all the meteors flashing by in the sky. The rock stack was light painted from a couple of angles and the meteors were composited in from the timelapse I took.
This was taken at the Kona coast. I like this one because of the editing and technical details. My shots often combine multiple photos to create. In this one, there is one for the foreground, one for the ocean, three for the sky, and one for the sunstar. The sunset turned out better than I expected and I loved the last bit of light from the break of clouds in the horizon.
#2: South Point
This was taken at South Point; it is the southernmost point in the US. We started off the afternoon by hiking to the green sands beach and ended the day at the cliffs with one of the best sunsets I’ve seen. The views here were awe-inspiring. The grassy hills met straight with the steep cliffs and it felt like another world.
#1: A Defining Moment
This was taken at Mauna Kea in October. This was the first time I went shooting there and I questioned why I didn’t go sooner! The conditions were perfect for shooting as we were just above the layer of clouds. If you look closely, you can see the laser coming from the observatory on Mauna Loa. This is my favorite image of 2015! It wasn’t a very hard choice as It was an amazing experience and I was damn excited editing this one.