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Before I left for my week of vacation in Kauai I looked at the weather forecast and it said "Partially Cloudy" or "Rain" pretty much every day while we were there. Although I was bummed that it might ruin my plans for lying on the beach, I got excited because that meant I might be in luck for catching a killer sunset. Of course once we arrived at Kauai the weather changed completely and it was mostly beautiful days with hardly a cloud in the sky at sunset.

There was one exception: sunset on the first full day we were on the island. After making our way down a steep trail we arrived at Hideaways beach and to my delight I noticed lava rock all over the beach. Do you ever have one of those days where there's so many composition possibilities that you become overloaded and don't even know where to begin? Even though we arrived super early, I kept going from spot to spot, back and forth, up and down the beach, unable to decide which lava rocks I wanted to shoot! "Oh, I liked that spot, but the clouds just moved. Ok, over here, the clouds are better here now." I spent so much time moving my tripod all around that I almost missed the sunset!

I originally setup in this location because the waves were creating some beautiful water motion in this little channel and the clouds had been positioned perfectly for the sunset. Unfortunately, when the sun got low enough to begin the light show, the clouds picked up and started high-tailing it out of my composition (moving to the left). From this spot I was able to setup my tripod on a couple rocks and avoided getting sand in my tripod (sand is about the worst thing for a nice tripod), and the rocks were high enough to keep me mostly dry when the waves came in here! I waited until the wave started retreating from the little channel to open the shutter. To my delight, the exiting wave hit some rocks in the middle of the channel and splashed up, catching some of the beautiful setting sunlight.

Nikon D700 w/Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8 ED-IF AF-S
17mm, f/14, 1/6 sec, ISO 160
Lee Filter Holder + 0.9 HiTech Soft ND Grad

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