A Blog a Day - Lulumahu Falls hike and a product review

So I have decided to inundate you with my glorious exploits of day to day life, ok maybe not as somedays are just not that exciting. 

Yesterday I went on a hike, one of my favorites to be exact. King Kamehameha's summer palace and Lulumahu falls hike off the Pali highway in Oahu, Hawaii. The ruins are amazing, a plaque at the entrance tells the story of the summer palace and how it once was the site of a 10,000 strong Luau. When you get here you will see how spectacular that must have been, given the small space. This are is very sacred to local Hawaiian people and needs to be treated with respect, I cant explain it but the energy surrounding this area is both eerie and peaceful at the same time. I have come to enjoy it and embrace the solitude.

The Lulumahu Falls hike is an unofficial hike but quite well known. The entrance takes you through a tight singletrack trail that weaves through a bamboo forest, eventually spitting you out on a wide path that you follow, down a small decline, across a sluice gate, a forest and eventually a clearing. You are now on Dept of Water land so be careful and dont hurt yourself, this may lead to the trail being closed down. Take some steps up an embankment, there is a no entry sign but keep going and just follow this trail all the way up. You will cross a stream 5 or 6 times to the waterfall. As always dont go when its raining as flash floods are common place. Be safe and dont do anything stupid. Have fun and enjoy the Waterfalls.

For the most part of my hike I used my Iphone as my image capturing device, it simple and quick and produces image quality good enough for web and instagram use. We were also on a deadline as I was with a friend who needed to be back home by a certain time. Setting up my DSLR would have just taken too long.

For the waterfall however I wanted my DSLR as I had just received a brand new Neutral Density filter in the mail and wanted to shoot some long exposure moving water shots.

This filter is a 77mm 6 stop ND filter made by Breakthrough Photography, its only 3.5mm in thickness which makes it ideal for wide angle lenses and will not vignette. When I received it I was immediately impressed with the packaging and presentation. The filter is labeled as being color neutral which is important when shooting Landscapes, some high end filter will add a noticeable color cast and you dont want this.

Setup was easy, I simply screwed the ND filter onto my Canon 17-40 f4 mounted onto a Canon 5D Mark II, tripod support by Calumet and a Manfrotto 496RC2 ball head, exposure was set for 20 seconds, 100 iso at f16. 

 Lulumahu Falls, Oahu, Hawaii - Canon 5D MK II, 17-40L and 6 Stop ND

Lulumahu Falls, Oahu, Hawaii - Canon 5D MK II, 17-40L and 6 Stop ND

This area has become increasingly more popular and even though when I showed up I was alone, by the time I had setup my gear a crowd had arrived and proceeded to take over the area I was photographing. This resulted in a slightly peeved photographer and not many pictures being taken. I will return earlier in the day and capture some more photos very soon. 

On a final note, I love this new ND filter by Breakthrough Photography, the quality really shows on a well though out product and I highly recommend it to anyone doing landscapes or video work that needs a high quality Neutral Density filter.

 King Kamehameha Summer Palace ruins, Pali HWY, Oahu, Hawaii

King Kamehameha Summer Palace ruins, Pali HWY, Oahu, Hawaii

 Though Shall Not Pass - I love this tree, standing tall in the middle of the trail, Lulumahu Falls Trail Hike, Oahu, Hawaii

Though Shall Not Pass - I love this tree, standing tall in the middle of the trail, Lulumahu Falls Trail Hike, Oahu, Hawaii

 BTS - Shot with my iphone - My view before the tourists took over

BTS - Shot with my iphone - My view before the tourists took over