Friday, August 14, 2009

Ranching on Hawaii

Prior to arriving on Hawaii I only had a vague recollection about their being cattle ranching on the island - likely the result of some long forgotten National Geographic edition. But we were presented with an excursion to a Hawaiian cattle ranch for dinner, sunset and star gazing. We went for it.

Kahua ranch
, located near Kamuela (Waimea), is about 8500 acres where they raise cattle, and sheep. As well as sell Kawasaki ATVs and catering to tourists. We arrived as the sun was beginning to get low in the sky. It was looking to be a picture perfect sunset. Lots of cloud to give character and catch colour, and up high to provide a different point of view with some interesting foreground features as well.

1/5000 f/4 ISO 400 EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM @ 73 mm Canon EOS 40D

Unfortunately a fog started to roll-in. The sunset would have to wait, but there was still some interesting light and subjects.

1/400 f/4 ISO 400 EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM @ 28 mm Canon EOS 40D

1/1000 f/4 ISO 400 EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM @ 185 mm Canon EOS 40D

The cattle were a little to far away for close-ups but there still provided some distant point of interest. I really like the layering we get from the trees, and then the hills behind them, and the ocean in the distance.

1/800 f/4 ISO 400 EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM @ 190 mm Canon EOS 40D

Of course being a ranch, there were horses. They were nice and close.

1/500 f/4 ISO 400 EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM @ 73 mm Canon EOS 40D

The fog is starting to roll in thicker.

1/500 f/4 ISO 400 EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM @ 70 mm Canon EOS 40D

Time to get personal with a horse.

1/500 f/4 ISO 400 EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM @ 195 mm Canon EOS 40D

1/250 f/4 ISO 200 EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM @ 105 mm Canon EOS 40D

I always like fences. Not because I like to sit on them, although some of my co-workers might think so at times. I just find them interesting, especially old ones.

1/1000 f/4 ISO 400 EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM @ 185 mm Canon EOS 40D

You never know what you might find on an old fence post.

1/500 f/4 ISO 400 EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM @ 185 mm Canon EOS 40D

And fences oft make great lines within a photo.

1/800 f/4 ISO 400 EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM @ 180 mm Canon EOS 40D

The grass was very lush. The greens had a very natural vibrance to them. The rust of this water tank made for a nice contrast.

1/500 f/4 ISO 400 EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM @ 185 mm Canon EOS 40D

One of the other guests at the ranch. Too cute to ignore.

1/640 f/2.8 ISO 400 EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM @ 195 mm Canon EOS 40D

I normally stay away from tourist 'snapshots' on this blog but and exception or two. Here I am trying to rope a 'cow' . Fortunately this one doesn't move.

1/60 f/4 ISO 1600 EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM @ 28 mm Canon EOS 40D

My wife trying her hand at branding. Fortunately her roping skills were worse than mine, so I managed to escape the iron. Whew. That thing was hot.

1/60 f/4 ISO 1600 EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM @ 24 mm Canon EOS 40D

Here is a real Hawaiian cowboy. He had no trouble roping and was a great host for the night.

1/1600 f/2.8 ISO 400 EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM @ 80 mm Canon EOS 40D

Unfortunately the fog became very heavy by sunset so thick that we couldn't see 100m. So much for my sunset pictures and the cloud cover persisted so we missed out on the star-gazing as well. I think we made up for both of those we made the trip to the top of Mauna Kea. But that will be a topic for another day.
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