Living Wilderness: Wildlife and Nature Photography by Kevin Ebi

Living Wilderness Nature Photography
Dramatic nature photography that captures a living wilderness. By Kevin Ebi.

Stars Over Palm Trees, Makena Beach, Maui, Hawaii

The moon glows behind a coconut palm tree (Cocos nucifera) as thousands of stars shine above Makena Beach on the island of Maui, Hawaii. Several major stars are visible in this image, including Pleiades and Aldebaran, both of which are located in the constellation Taurus. Pleiades, also known as the Seven Sisters, is one of the closest star clusters to Earth.

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  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.

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