Along the northern most edge of the Hawaiian island chain is the beautifully rugged island of Kauai. Kauai, is known as the Garden Island because of it’s vast amount of green vegetation. It is the oldest of the main islands, making for an incredibly dramatic landscape that consists of sandy beaches, rugged coastline, and lush mountains. Micro climates dot the island creating weather that tends to build and shape spectacular light throughout the day translating into beautiful photographs!
We’ll spend seven days and six nights photographing the entire island of Kauai. There will be a Sunrise and Sunset shoot for every full day of the workshop. Most days will consist of a long break in the middle of the day so you can enjoy the relaxing island life when the light is harsh and not very conducive to photography. If the light is looking good, we will go out and shoot in the middle of the day as well. Waimea Canyon is notorious for rainbows, so we’ll do our best to capture a few of those if the weather is looking good. This is a small group workshop with no more than six participants.
One of the best views of Kauai is from the air, so we’ll be photographing the Na’ Pali coast from a helicopter! The ride will be doors off, so you won’t have to fight the glare from windows. Since it will be a doors-off ride, no lens swapping is allowed. If you have a spare camera, you can bring it along if you want various focal lengths. The flight is weather dependent but will be scheduled for the first full day of the workshop to increase our odds of getting in the air.
The weather on Hawaii can vary drastically from day to day and location to location. Some parts of the island receive only a modest amount of rain, while other parts are among the wettest on earth. It is because of this fact that Kauai often has incredible light. It is important to be prepared for just about every type of weather when we’re on the island. You’ll want a rain jacket for yourself as well as your camera. Rain pants are a must to keep your legs dry and somewhat clean from the mud. Although it may sound odd, you’ll want to bring a hat and warm jacket as well. The rim of Waimea Canyon can be rather cold in the morning and evening time. With that being said, don’t forget your shorts, sun lotion, and swim suit. The beach can be quite pleasant even in the winter.
Kauai is infamous for its slippery, muddy and uneven paths. Bring waterproof hiking boots with good tread. All participants should be comfortable and capable of hiking on uneven surfaces that can sometimes be slippery. You will be briefed every day on what to expect. If you are not comfortable doing one or more of the shoots, you have the option to sit out that portion of the workshop. There is one low river crossing that we may do if the weather conditions are in our favor. For this hike, I suggest bringing water shoes & swim trunks so you can dry off quickly. Please reach out to me if you have any questions regarding hiking or physical requirements. I want all participants to be safe and happy during the workshop.
Feb 5th: Poipu
3PM Orientation at the Sheraton Kauai Resort
Feb 6th: Poipu
Doors off helicopter ride
Feb 7th & 8th: Waimea
We’ll shoot sunrise and sunset each day in the Waimea region with some potential daytime shooting if the weather looks good.
Feb 9th & 10th: Princeville
Sunrise and Sunset shoots along the north coast.
Feb 11th: Princeville
We’ll go out for one last sunrise shoot in the north coast region before concluding the workshop.
• Professional Guiding: You will be guided by a professional photographer who has a good understanding of how light and weather interact with one another. I’ll be at your disposal for any and all questions regarding camera settings, composition, and more.
• Daily transportation: Daily transportation will be provided to and from shooting locations. If you would like to sit out one of the shoots requiring hiking you are more than welcome to drive yourself to another location on that day.
• Helicopter flight: A helicopter flight is included in the cost of the workshop assuming that the weather allows for it. There is a chance that the flight cold get cut short or not go at all if the weather turns sour.
• Post Processing Sessions: Some time will be set aside for post processing during the duration of the workshop.
• Accommodations: In order to provide greater flexibility for participants, accommodations are not provided for this workshop. You will be given a list of recommended places to stay during our time on the island however. Feel free to reach out to me if you would like to share accommodations with another workshop participant and I will do my best to to pair you up.
• Transportation to and between lodging: Each participant will be responsible for their own transportation between lodges. If you would like to ride-share, please contact me and I’ll do my best to pair you up.
• Meals: Meals are not included with this workshop.
• Pilot gratuities: Tipping your helicopter pilot is not required, but is greatly appreciated for their service.
• Airfare: You will be responsible for your own airfare to and from Kauai. Lihue is the only major airport on Kauai (LIH)
The cost of this workshop includes only that which is covered in the the “What’s included” section of this page. A non refundable fee of $600 dollars is required to reserve your spot on the workshop. Full payment is required thirty days before the workshop starts. Trip insurance is strongly encouraged in case you have to cancel or unlikely event that the workshop gets cancelled due to weather or any other unforeseen circumstances.
This workshop is open to photographers of all skill levels.
• Camera: You’ll want a DSLR or mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses.
• Lenses: Ultra Wide (16-35mm on full frame or 10-24mm on crop sensor) Mid Range (24-70mm or 18-55mm on crop sensor) Telephoto (70 -200mm or 100-400mm on full frame 18-140mm on crop sensor)
• Tripod: You’ll want a sturdy tripod for your camera. There may be times when it is in moving water so the stronger the better. Feel free to reach out to me for tripod recommendations.
• Filters: It is highly recommended that you have a polarizer for every lens that you own. These will help darken the blue in the sky and get rid of any unwanted glare.
Solid ND filters are a must for any landscape photographer looking to create dramatic images on the coast. I recommend a six stop as well as a ten stop. Breakthrough makes my favorite ND filters.
Graduated ND filters can be a nice addition to your kit as well. Generally I prefer three stop grads in both soft and hard graduations. Breakthrough is my preferred brand.
• Intervalometer: This device can be used to program exposures longer than 30 seconds when in Bulb mode. I recommend buying a third party brand such as Neewer.
• Rain Cover: As mentioned above, rain can be expected at some point throughout the workshop. It is a good idea to have a rain cover for your camera as well as your camera bag.
• Headlamp: Be prepared to be hiking in the dark on the edges of day. I suggest getting in the habit of leaving a headlamp in your camera bag at all times.
By attending this workshop, you agree to hold Mike Wardynski of Wardynski Photography and its employees and owners harmless for all personal injury or loss that may occur during or in connection with this trip. You are responsible for your own safety and well being throughout the course of the workshop. It is important not to push yourself beyond your physical abilities. You are in charge of deciding if a location is safe for you to travel to. Mike Wardynski of Wardynski Photography makes no effort to vet the other attendees of the trip and you need to make sure you are safe in their companionship.
Travel insurance as well as insurance for your photo gear are both highly recommended. Shooting next to the ocean is always risky to camera gear. It is in your best interests to fully insure your equipment for full replacement value.
In the event of extraordinary events, governmental instability, extreme weather, or other condition, Mike Wardynski of Wardynski Photography reserves the right to cancel this trip and return all workshop fees to participants.
There is a helicopter flight included in this workshop. Mike Wardynski of Wardynski Photo is responsible for paying for the flight. Mike Wardynski cannot be held responsible for any personal loss or injury should it occur at this time. The flight is scheduled early in the workshop to increase the odds workshop participants getting to fly. Due to weather and other unforeseeable circumstances, no guarantee can be made that the helicopter flight will happen.
Feb 5th 6th: Poipu – Sheraton Kauai Resort
This beautiful property overlooks the Pacific Ocean and is conveniently located in the town of Poi Pu.
There are street parking options near the Sheraton for those who opt to stay at another location.
Feb 9th & 10th: Princeville – The Cliffs
Note: there is no additional parking for visitors at the Cliffs resort. If you choose to stay somewhere else, we will coordinate a separate meetup location.