Stepping into another World – Mt. Waialeale – Kauai, HI

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Stepping into another World – Mt. Wai’ale’ale (Waialeale) – Kauai, HI

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Remember my print sale until December 14th! 25% off all prints. Simply use “xmas25” as promo code during checkout or contact me directly for ordering offline. I have added also “Galleries by Theme” as additional entry point on my website:

The Shot
The island of Kauai is truly from another world. We did quite a few hikes but none was like the Pihea Trail to Alaka’i Swamp. The trail leads through some of the most otherworldly places you could ever imagine and I believe this to be the best trail on Kauai and it also ranks somewhere at the very top of every trail (and we have hiked many) we have ever hiked.

The Alaka’i Swamp trail leads through the highest swamp in the world and also one of the wettest spots on earth – Mt. Wai’ale’ale (Waialeale). This is actually as close as you can get on official trails. The fog constantly rolls in and out leaving you damp wet all the way through. The immense amount of water and moisture up there gives you every imaginable shade of green and radiating colors especially in the local fern. But beware, the fern here is dangerous it only grows at the edge of cliffs. So, don’t even think about to walk in the fern to pee. It might just as well be your last time.

The path we walked on was muddy, really muddy. Especially the first part of the trail. The red dirt just sticks to your cloth and shoes. The more you hike into the swamp, the red dirt path is eventually replaced by boardwalks. In some areas is seems they have not been maintained for a long time as they slippery and broken. It’s especially dangerous when you in the swamp itself. Nothing grows out there that’s more than 5 feet tall.

In regards to the weather, it’s really a gamble. You never know what you gonna get up there. Only one thing is certain – you will leave this trail stunned and will have a hard time finding something similar.

Nikon D800
Nikon 16-35mm f/4
One exposure shot
Filesize: ca. 2.17GB
+fstopgear Loka (it was soaked but held up fine even without the rain cover!)
Processed in PS6 using Luminosity masking techniques to balance tone, color and contrast to re-create the orginial scene.

I am thinking about creating a German or English Tutorial about how I use luminosity masks and my workflow in general. Would anyone be interested in learning more about that?

Featured Photographers
As part of my routine to promote other photographers as well, I invite you to check out the following amazing portfolios: +Sean Bagshaw  (check out his awesome luminosity mask tutorials!) +Dallas Nagata White (You live in a beautiful part of the world!) +Barry Blanchard (another great landscape portfolio)

If you haven’t done so yet head over to my new Facebook Page and say hi at I am usually not crazy about numbers but it would be great to reach the 1000 mark before the end of the year!

If you have any questions, please feel free ask


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