Oct 12, 2009

Behind the Scenes | Trail Running in Kauai Hawaii

5 Reasons to take your next commercial photography assignment to Kauai, Hawaii (as if you really needed one!)

1- The best climate in the world to shoot in. You can actually get by with just the clothes on your back (or board shorts) when your airline (United in this case) loses your luggage for two and a half days!
2- An Island that's small enough to find super remote, virtually private locations, but large enough to host a Costco (hotdogs to feed the crew are essential).
3- Shooting in board shorts and flip flops (errr..."slippah's" as I was routinely corrected by the locals).
4- Locations, Locations, Locations: 1) Na Pali Coast 2) Waimea Canyon 3) Hanalei Bay 4) Pretty much anywhere you set foot after stepping off of the plane.
5- Aloha spirit! People were sooo cool! Models, Condo rental, etc. Everyone except the FedEx shipping people in Princeville who wanted to charge me like $15 per package to 'process' an FedEx order.

Okay, so we had a four days worth of commercial work to get done as well as a few on-going personal projects to continue while in Kauai, so I must admit I was pretty much in panic mode when my bags didn't arrive for over two days after landing. Fortunately, I always carry my camera, back-up camera and lenses on the plane with me. Lighting and other equipment was checked, but worst case scenario, I can find a rental house in most locations if the airline loses my checked gear. Monday around noon, I finally got the call I was praying for and the 3rd party courier was on his way to deliver my baggage...thanks you! (btw- do you tip this guy??)

Daniel (local trail runner and pretty much the nicest guy I've ever met), showed us around the island including helping find great trail running locations for our shoot. The day of shooting with him, he probably put in at least 10 solid miles of running up and down the Na Pali coast trail, the Power Line trail and a few others in order to capture multiple locations and a ton of unique angles, lighting styles, and looks.

Included in the bunch, was this shot and this shot. We were fortunate enough to have some really nice rolling clouds come over the mountains in the background, creating a nice sense of drama as well as a beautiful diffused light (backlight). As you can see in the video, we drove as far as we could in our rental Ford Explorer and then took the gear up a little bit further on the trail to a section that opened up over-looking Hanalei bay and the whole North Shore coast line. It was absolutely gorgeous. I decided to shoot just wide enough to capture the stunning location, but tight enough to be drawn into the runner his experience.

We used a combination of tools for the shoot all of which were essential in making the shots featured:

1) Location
2) Awesome Talent: Daniel
3) Main Camera: Canon 5D Mark II and 16-35 II lens
4) Lighting Equipment: Elinchrom Ranger RX Speed AS Battery Pack with A - Lite Head
5) Lighting Modifiers: Clouds, 27x27 Rotalux soft box minus the diffusion panel (Key)


Michael WIll said...

What kind of post processing did you do on this shot if any at all?

Kevin Winzeler Photography // said...

@Michael Will
Typical routine: I start in LR2 and do all the main adjustments to exposure, wb, etc. I also typically play around with the colors a bit (individually) depending on the look I want to achieve (saturated vs. desat vs. split toning, etc.). I'll sometimes play around with clarity and contrast sliders, but just a bit. For this image I went through these basic adjustments and then into CS3 for a little bit of desaturation work (on the background) and dodge & burn (road, trees, sky, etc.) and crop on right side. Not a ton of work, maybe 20-30 minutes or so.

Any Girl said...

I think that you maybe tip the guy a little, as he is handing over the fifty dollar bill the airline gives you for the inconvenience. Great shots! Cool video.

Greg said...

well done!

Jeff Shaw said...

Great shots. What was your shutter speed/flash duration set at when he was running through the water? It looks super crisp...gotta love it.

Anonymous said...
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Kevin Winzeler Photography // said...

@ Jeff Shaw - For most action I crank the shutter as high as the Sync Speed will allow, in the case of the 5D Mark II, that's 1/200th of a second.

St├ęphane Meurisse said...

nice photo! and good shot!
Please tell me which bag you can use to transport the generator Elinchrom Ranger AS?

St├ęphane Meurisse said...

Nice photo !
Please tell me which bag you can use to transport the generator Elinchrom Ranger AS?

Kevin Winzeler Photography said...

Stephane - When transporting on a plane I use a Storm case - im2720.
Use a backpack when on location with the pack. Working on developing a new pack with my sponsor clik elite. Stay tuned.