The writer fine-tunes her shooting skills during a tour with Kauai Adventure Photography Workshops. // © 2015 Patrick Kelley/Kauai Adventure Photography Workshops
Feature image (above): The author’s “final exam” shot with Kauai Adventure Photography Workshops. // © 2015 Samantha Davis-Friedman
- Some hiking is necessary to access certain locations, so clients with physical limitations should let their instructor know in advance if they need modifications.
- $250 per person for Sunset and Night Adventure; Custom Private Adventure from $450; Full Day Adventure for $550; Full Moon Camping Adventure for $950.
- Camera kits and tripods are available for rent.
- The company pays travel agents 15 percent commission.
When someone takes a photo, they capture a moment in time, as well as a place. Kauai is arguably one of the most stunning places on Earth, and Kauai Adventure Photography Workshops teaches travelers how to preserve the destination’s beauty forever.
“We go the extra mile and offer an individualized experience that focuses on what each participant seeks to learn about photography,” said Patrick Kelley, owner of Kauai Adventure Photography Workshops. “And we exceed most people’s expectations because we delve into camera gear, technical approaches and stylistic and conceptual ideas, as well as composition and traditions in photography — all while in paradise at amazing shooting locations.”
With a promise to help me take my photography to the next level, Kelley did all of that — and much more. The first step, he explained, was switching my camera from “auto” to “manual,” something I had never done before.
Once I flipped that switch, Kelley explained the various settings on my camera. He then fitted my lens with a polarizer, which creates contrast when shooting trees, clouds or the ocean. He asked me to take a few photos, and I immediately noticed a huge difference in the color of the water and sky that I was able to capture with this little attachment (at around $20, it’s certainly worth the price).
“Learning a new photography tool can open a world of new shooting opportunities to a person,” said Mallory Roe, an instructor for Kauai Adventure Photography Workshops. “There are also techniques and skills we have learned from shooting on Kauai regularly that we pass along to our clients, no matter how proficient they already are with their camera.”
After practicing with the polarizer, I learned about composition. For landscape photography in particular, Kelley says, it’s important to have something interesting in the foreground or background to provide variation in texture and color. At our location — Shipwreck Beach, in front of Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa — there were rock formations and plants he suggested I use to frame the crashing waves.
Lastly, we covered shutter speed. Then, it was time to put together everything I had learned. With my shutter speed at one second, I adjusted the polarizer, framed my shot and snapped.
If I hadn’t known for certain that I’d taken the photograph, I wouldn’t have believed it. The blues of the water were vibrant against the dark colors of the surrounding rocks, the slow shutter captured the swirling movement of the waves, and the jagged cliffs behind them contrasted their circular shapes. It was a great photo, if I do say so myself. And certainly not one that I would have been able to take two hours earlier.
“Our workshops are fun, because that is an important aspect of the education to us,” Kelley said. “We hike, shoot, talk, explore, get sandy, rained on, muddy. We laugh, chase the colors of the sky, shoot some more and love every minute of it.”
I consider myself to be a fairly good photographer, but thanks to my photography workshop, I have become a better one — and I have a great photo to prove it.