Stars Over Palm Trees, Makena Beach, Maui, Hawaii
Notes from the field
I had photographed this cluster of palm threes three hours before I captured this image. It's often hard to find a nice composition of coconut palm trees, which were brought to the Hawaiian islands by the early Polonesian settlers. Sometimes there are too few trees for my tastes; sometimes they are too tight together. I loved everything about this cluster of palm trees — the spacing, the converging lines when you look up at them, the balanced composition. I had spent about a half hour here photographing the trees with a gorgeous sunset behind them. The trees were in silhouette; the sky was bright pink. I was quite happy with the image, but then walked by this stand of trees hours later when I was out in search of the Zodiacal Light, an astronomical pillar of light that can appear in the spring and fall. I didn't see it, but I did see the opportunity to use the moon, the night sky, and a pair of lights to create a new take on a scene that had drawn me in earlier.