Sunday, June 24, 2007

Outrigger Canoes, Waikiki, Hawaii

I specifically went over to Hawaii with the "vision" of photographing the Koa Outrigger Canoes--the top of the line canoes--complete with large, tattooed Polynesian rowers rowing them. When I started to talk to people in Waikiki about doing this, they laughed at me. I was told that the Koa Canoes are so priceless, so valuable that they are rarely even taken out!
Still having the dream of getting this shot, I found out that some of the outrigger teams practiced in the Ala Way Canal behind Waikiki beach. I headed over there and found a team of rowers who were willing to help me get the shot.
Shooting on the water is so difficult because it's so hard to measure the distance--and knowing the speed and distance is so critical with capturing these images. I radar gunned the speed of the rowers, which was about 7 mph, and then set up a couple of "buoys" I had made with water bottles and sand. The rowers were able to aim for--and repeatedly go back and forth between--the exact measured spot between these buoys, keeping them at the correct distance.
Thanks to the outrigger rowers' amazing cooperation, I was able to capture the image.

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