© Meg Weston
Meg Weston has spent over 30 years photographing Hawaii’s volcanic landscape and written about the geological forces that shaped this earth. Elizabeth Greenberg has captured the essence of these islands in her photography. Together they will lead your journey, incorporating daily excursions focused on image-making, writing, reflection and the creative process. Image (right) © Ken Carl
The Kilauea Volcano has been almost continuously active since 1983, and activity in early 2014 threatened the village of Pahoa. We don’t know what will be happening in 2016, but we know that the Hawaiian volcano goddess Pele will have something to show us. Our venues on the Big Island are planned to include these volcanic landscapes, along with dramatic ocean shorefronts, tidal pools, rainforest gardens, and Polynesian culture: sacred Hawaiian sites, hula dancers, and ukulele music. You will find daily inspirations to develop your own personal story.
© Meg Weston
Hawaiian culture is rich with folklore and myths that relate the natural elements to tales of their gods. These tales speak of love, birth and death, passion, and betrayal - throughout the week we’ll work with these myths and folklore as our inspirations, exploring themes of memory and imagination using the landscape and Hawaiian culture as metaphor for developing your own personal myths and stories in words and images.
Tuition includes instruction, first and last night dinner, travel on the island (the group will be traveling together in vans, however students may opt to rent their own cars – if so, the rental costs are not included.)
This is an ideal workshop to bring along a spouse, son or daughter or partner. Non-photographic companions may join the group sessions and meals but are not involved in the critique or review sessions. Companion supplement is $250. Aside from the two group dinners, breakfasts, lunches and other dinners are independent, though workshop participants are encouraged to join each other at local restaurants. Meg and Elizabeth will provide information on local cafes and places to eat.
© Elizabeth Greenberg
Accommodations are not included. Meg & Elizabeth will be staying at the Dolphin Bay Hotel, http://www.dolphinbayhotel.com/ a short walk from downtown Hilo and suggest that students book there as well.. All units have full kitchens, TVs and WIFI. Coffee/tea are available each morning at 5am, followed by pastries at 6:30am and fresh fruit all day. The grounds around the hotel are beautifully landscaped with exotic orchids, plumeria, wild ginger, bird of paradise, palm trees and native Hawaiian ferns. There are several paths behind the hotel that lead to a jungle garden.
Nearby as well, is the Castle Hilo Hawaiian Hotel.
Highlights of the trip:
- Experiencing the Aloha spirit of real Hawaii
- Discovering distinctive tropical flowers in oceanfront garden settings
- Photographing the glow of Halemaumau Crater at night
- Exploring active volcanic landscapes with steaming fumeroles
- Listening to live Hawaiian music © Ken Carl
- Dining on the edge of an active crater at the Volcano House hotel
- Writing from daily prompts and learning to “talk story” Hawaiian style
What you will learn:
- How to photograph at night and in low – light situations
- Photographing people in the landscape
- Creative camera settings to capture unique personal interpretation of the landscape
- History of the Hawaiian lands and their rich cultural myths
© Elizabeth Greenberg
- Bringing writing to life by developing imagery, senses and scenes
(Note: so that we are sure to visit spectacular locations with the best possible light, the schedule of daily field trips is subject to change due to varying weather conditions)
We will meet as a group in Hilo for an Aloha dinner at a local restaurant. At the welcome dinner we will begin the workshop with the Hawaiian
© Elizabeth Greenberg
tradition of talk story, known in Hawaii as mo’olelo, the tradition of personally sharing important stories as we get to know one another. The first assignment is for each participant to select 6 images to share with the group on Monday morning.
Early morning risers will enjoy exploring the hotel grounds or taking a walk into downtown Hilo. We will meet after breakfast and begin with individual introductions and image-sharing. Meg and Elizabeth will present a slideshow to get everyone considering the elements of a good picture and to start thinking about seeing creatively. There will also be a brief review to ensure that everyone is familiar with their basic camera functions.
Lunch will be in Hilo.
From Hilo, we will head just south of the downtown area to the Richardson Beach and Lehia park. This enchanted location includes several inlets, coves, natural ponds, and tidepools in the lava rocks. It is the only beach in the Hilo area with black sand. Here we will explore ideas of the figure in the landscape, including making portraits, self -portraits, using figures to add dimension to our photographs. After an afternoon of photographing, the group will return to Hilo for dinner. Everyone is on their own for dinner and may choose from a variety of restaurants in downtown Hilo.
Before heading out for the day’s adventures, we will meet for a presentation on using the camera and the creative options for time exposures, the effects of stopping and blurring motion, and depth of field. The daily assignment will be related to our planned photographic locations.
After the morning session, we will head out to Volcano National Park. Hawaiian’s believe that the Halemaumau Crater at Kīlauea volcano is home to the goddess Pele, regarded for her power, passion and control of lava flows. Our first stop in the park will be the steam vents at the summit of Kīlauea volcano, followed by lunch at one of the quaint restaurants in Volcano Village.
The afternoon will be spent in the park, exploring the Chain of Craters road, which descends 3,700 feet in 20 miles winding through powerful and exotic lava fields, ending at magnificent cliffs overlooking the ocean.
Prior to the evening photo session there will be a demo on how to photograph at night with long exposures. A tripod and cable release will be needed for those wishing to photograph at night.
We will return up the Chain of Crater road, and head to the Jaggar Museum and Observatory to photograph at sunset and capture the crater glow as darkness sets in. We’ll wrap up the day with dinner at the Volcano House restaurant overlooking the crater.
We will head out early, picking up a light breakfast on the road. If there are active lava flows to the ocean, the plan will be for an early morning boat ride or hike to the lava flow. The day will be spent exploring the Kalapana lava fields, the painted church, fish- ponds, Lava Trees State Park and perhaps even a swim in the Ahalanui Hot Pond before heading to Uncle Robert’s Awa Bar and Famer’s Market, where we’ll listen to live music and enjoy a variety of foods made by locals.
The morning will begin informally with time for everyone to download images from the previous day’s excursions and spend some time journaling. We will talk about light and review creative camera functions. When we set out, we’ll head to the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens, located several miles north of Hilo and the Hamakua Coast's 4 Mile Scenic Drive.
We will continue up the Hamakua coast towards the small town of Honokaa, stopping in the historic downtown district for lunch. As we head south on the Belt Highway we will stop at the hauntingly beautiful beach of Laupahoehoe. We’ll photograph until dusk, then make our way back to Hilo where everyone is on their own for dinner.
This morning we will meet in the classroom. Meg and Elizabeth will meet individually with participants to review and select images for a final slideshow of the week’s work. Everyone will have some time to write a short story, myth or poem to go with their images.
For lunch, we will head into Hilo and explore the Farmer’s Market. In the early afternoon we will head over to the nearby Liliuokalani Gardens and Coconut Island for our final photography session.
We will meet late afternoon for wine and pupus and a slideshow of the week’s work. The final group dinner and celebration will be at a restaurant in Hilo.
We will meet for an informal breakfast and final farewells.
What to bring / How to prepare:
We will be using digital cameras (only) for this workshop. Students may work with high-end point – and – shoot cameras, but should bring a camera that allows for completely manual control. Students are also encouraged to bring their own laptop and external hard drives for editing and backing up their work. Participants do need to be comfortable with their digital workflow and able to download their own images and prepare them for sharing with the group. Meg and Elizabeth will be available to meet with participants daily.
Since we will be photographing at night, you will want to bring a tripod and cable release.
The weather in Hawaii is nearly idyllic and should be warm while we are there. However, when we are up in Volcano National Park, the temperature can vary greatly from the crater, to the coast so participants will want to have extra layers for warmth. Hiking shoes, a rain jacket and a hat are also recommended.
Price of $2495.00 includes instruction, first and last night dinner, travel on the island (the group will be traveling together in vans, however students may opt to rent their own cars – if so, the rental costs are not included.) This is an ideal workshop to bring along a spouse, son or daughter or partner. Non-photographic companions may join the group sessions and meals (on a space available basis) but are not involved in the critique or review sessions. Companion supplement is $295.