My first trip was somewhat of a disaster. You’d think that having grown up on Maui I would have been better prepared. Waikamoi weather can be unpredictable – sunny and warm one minute, rainy and cold the next. The part of Waikamoi I was working in is considered jungle, and the terrain is steep and thick with vegetation. Just finding a reasonably level spot to set up my “studio” was a challenge. The fly to an old tent I’d brought along in case of rain proved to be woefully inadequate and provided only a very small area of protection. My forays searching for subjects to photograph left me scratched and soaking wet. Note to self: next time - waterproof pants, gaiters, and a better tarp.

The other challenge was that I, understandably, would not be allowed to remove any subjects from Waikamoi. It would have been considerably easier for me to collect samples and return home to photograph them under a more controlled setting. However, that would have required special permits from the DLNR as well as TNC, an often lengthy process.

Despite the difficulties, I successfully photographed a number of interesting subjects that first day and the experience allowed me to be better prepared for future visits to Waikamoi.