MOLOKAI, HAWAII – PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP DAY 4

Mimo\'s pasture and the worlds tallest sea cliffs. (Photo by Jonathan Kingston/Aurora)

A long nondescript path rolls gently downhill through the moss filled forest where sound is dampened and all that remains is the hiss of the ocean wind through the treetops.  Although they cannot yet be seen, the 2000-foot precipice diving down to the Pacific Ocean alerts my soul as I walk towards one of the more spectacular spots on earth known as Mimo’s pasture.  It is an unusual walk in so far that the trail often comes within meters of the edge of the cliff, yet visually never leaves the security of the dense forest.  Glimpses of the ocean over the low horizon accompany the regular rhythm of my feet walking in the forest.  Soon the tree line breaks open into a vista.  A small window of branches opens to the cliff face.  Further on the trail spills out into a magnificent green pasture that wraps over the edge of the cliff and tumbles down to the ocean floor.  The reward for the walk.  

As a metaphor, this particular hike is poignant.  How often have I, as a photographer, walked a path with my vision that chooses to remain within the visual security of the forest of my successes? How often have I felt the cliff edge of visual risk call me to take a peek into something new?  Most importantly, how often do I have the courage to follow this risk to the edge and see what lies beyond the trees.

Today, I step to the edge and raise my camera to answer this question one frame at a time.

Jonathan Kingston looking down on Kepali, Molokai, Hawaii.  (Photo by Richard A. Cooke III)

Photo © Richard A. Cooke III

National Geographic photographer Rikki Cooke, Molokai, Hawaii. (Photo by Jonathan Kingston/Aurora)