Photo: Waves breaking at sunset along the Kailua-Kona shoreline, on the Big Island of Hawaii

Photo: Waves breaking at sunset along the Kailua-Kona shoreline, on the Big Island of Hawaii

One of the all-time great instances of musical misdirection occurred back in 1990 when the heavy-metal rock group, Queensryche, released their ballad, Silent Lucidity. Once the song became a hit on the radio airwaves, people flocked to their local record stores to buy the album. (That’s how it was back in the day.) But to the shock of those who expected an album full of beautiful easy-listening songs, what they got instead was one hidden gem of a ballad among an album filled with heavy metal rock songs.

Twenty-five years later, the song still remains one of my favorites by the band due to its Pink Floyd-esque backing and harmonies. And as much as I still enjoy the song, the mere title of the track, Silent Lucidity, has kept a semi-mystical hold on me. It represents an allure of something we know, something we can sense, with an almost uncanny clarity and certainty, yet remains isolated from our conscious reality; an unknown that we know, something touchable that we can’t quite grasp.

This is the feeling I enjoy looking at intimate abstract visions of the world around us. Like trying to understand a dream, there seems to be a progressive path that an image can lead us down. Too literal, too easily understood, it’s like the ethereal dream world has yet to cover our eyes with its soft veil. Too abstract, too difficult to discern, and the tendril of knowledge that we can grasp gets lost, leaving us feeling slightly more adrift. There’s no right or wrong along this perceptive curve. That’s why art is subjective. To respond is to elicit that internal emotional or experiential feeling that is individually unique. It’s not a style or subject I approach often, but in this one instance, I thought I’d share a recent attempt.

In my last post, I discussed how I spent my first evening on the Big Island of Hawaii trapped (by choice) shooting the sunset from the lanai of our oceanfront condo rental. The point that I tried to bring home in that post was about developing a sense of vision while shooting from one isolated location. Well, it just so happens that all the photos that appear below were also taken on that very same evening, from that same lanai, looking down at the breaking waves with my telephoto lens.

So, in thinking along that artful curve, I’d like to know if you had to hang one (or more) of these images on your home or office wall, which one(s) would get your vote?

1.) The photo at the top of this post. (It’s the only picture that wasn’t taken on this first evening, but was from several evenings later at the beach next door.)

2.)

Image: Waves breaking at sunset along the Kailua-Kona shoreline, on the Big Island of Hawaii

3.)

Image: Waves breaking at sunset along the Kailua-Kona shoreline, on the Big Island of Hawaii

4.)

Image: Waves breaking at sunset along the Kailua-Kona shoreline, on the Big Island of Hawaii

5.)

Image: Waves breaking at sunset along the Kailua-Kona shoreline, on the Big Island of Hawaii

6.)

Image: Waves breaking at sunset along the Kailua-Kona shoreline, on the Big Island of Hawaii

7.)

Image: Waves breaking at sunset along the Kailua-Kona shoreline, on the Big Island of Hawaii

Thanks for looking, and I hope you’ll take a moment to leave a comment and let me know which one(s) you like best.



If you like this post , I would greatly appreciate it if you’d consider sharing this with your friends using one of the Social Media sharing buttons located at the top of this post. You can also sign up to receive free updates by email when future posts are made to this blog.



Gary Crabbe is an award-winning commercial and editorial outdoor travel photographer and author based out of the San Francisco Bay Area, California. He has seven published books on California to his credit, including “Photographing California; v1-North”, which won the prestigious 2013 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Gold Medal award as Best Regional title. His client and publication credits include the National Geographic Society, the New York Times, Forbes Magazine, TIME, The North Face, Subaru, L.L. Bean, Victoria’s Secret, Sunset Magazine, The Nature Conservancy, and many more. Gary is also a photography instructor and consultant, offering both public and private photo workshops. He also works occasionally a professional freelance Photo Editor.

Join the discussion 11 Comments

  • Gary, the top image is beyond amazing. I’ve made a few of these images over the years and know how difficult they are. You absolutely stunned me with the top one. Well done.

  • AnneMarie Call says:

    BEAUTIFUL!!

    I like #1.
    The others are gorgeous too……..
    It just depends on the view/mood…of the viewer…..
    All of your pictures are mesmerizing….
    Any/all would make a beautiful display!
    Thank you for sharing…..

  • #5 for me. It’s got the clearest progression and delineation between gold, blue and white, and between the smooth curve and the splashing chaos. Beautiful image!

  • Susan Neiswinger says:

    I would choose #2. All so beautiful!

  • Jeremy West says:

    Hi Gary,

    I especially like 2 & 5 the most. #2 has the beautiful distinction between the muted colors at the top and the silky crashing wave at the bottom. #5 has tremendous energy, and a wonderful dynamic between the bright, light yellow/orange color and the beautiful, darker sea blue traversing up and to the right, and then the light, feathery part of the wave at the bottom.

    Magnificent!

    Jerry

  • Susan says:

    We were in Kailua-Kona in May and your pictures make me want to go back. I like 3 , 5, and 6. For 3 I like the way the blues and gold blur together. Picture 5, I like how the gold blends into the blue. With 6 it almost looks like you captured Ursula in the wave.

  • Rachel Cohen says:

    Wow Gary! All are stunning! If I have to pick my faves, I’d say 1,2, and 5. I really love that burst of spray in the first one! 🙂

  • Corné Pronk says:

    Absolutely #3 for me! Second place is for #7.
    Great photos, great idea.

  • Philip Ashwood says:

    What amazes me most is that you took them all from your lanai. I like #1 and #2 the best. I love water for abstracts. I live near the St. Lawrence River so I don’t get big waves. Instead I look for sunsets reflected off the water when the sunset and the water surface are just right.

  • Nice series. My favorite is the first one. You get the feeling of the swell and roll of the wave—and then the burst. Nice coloring in all.

  • I love the sea, but I have never seen the waves with that colour rendition. It doesn’t mean they whore not there, it is just I was incapable to see than.

Leave a Reply

Get free information and updates

Enlightened Images
Subscribe

Get free information and updates

Stay up-to-date about new image galleries, workshops, travel, books, and other noteworthy announcements.
%d bloggers like this: