Pipiwai Trail to Waimoku Falls: Path of Darkness

Pipiwai Trail through the Idyllic Bamboo Forest
Waimoku Waterfall
At the end of the road to Hana is Haleakala National Park, it's "seven sacred pools" (Oheo Gulch) and the Pipiwai Trail.  In my opinion, the Pipiwai trail is a much greater attraction than the seven sacred pools. It goes from the seashore up the canyon until ending at a 400 foot waterfall. Along the way there are two other major waterfalls, a picturesque banyan tree and a thick bamboo forest unlike anything else I have ever seen. The bamboo goes on for nearly 1 mile.

I had previously seen several pictures of this beautiful trail. It is truly enchanting, peaceful and filled with sounds of the bamboo gently swaying in the wind. In reality it is also very dark. The bamboo comes together so tightly that most of the light is filtered out. Although the pupil can dilate to allow more light to see, the camera is not so complicated. To get a similar amount of light in, the camera has to have an open shutter a long time, allowing more light to get into the sensor (film). In the middle of the day, I had some shutter speeds of 30 seconds in the darkest part of the forest. The particular shot taken above had a shutter speed of 5 seconds. A tripod is necessary to hold the camera precisely still, allowing this kind of shot to be taken.

I have called this photograph "Path of Light" because a little more light does creep through onto the trail compared to the surrounding thick forest.