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How I Got the Shot: Wailua Falls on Kauai

Editor's Note: Our "How I Got the Shot" feature talks with today's leading outdoor photographers to get the story behind their most captivating photos. This article features photographer Jared Weintraub.

This shot of Wailua Falls in Kauai was a dream come true for me. I'd been eyeing this angle for years, ever since I first saw it in a magazine.

So when my buddy Kieran invited me out to Kauai in August 2021, I jumped at the chance to make it happen. 

We saved this adventure for the last day of our trip, and man, was it worth the wait. Wailua Falls was roaring after heavy rain, and it was a sight to behold. 

We took a risky hike down a steep, muddy cliffside, then carefully boulder hopped our way into the middle of the river. Stupidly, I had my camera in hand, of course, and one slip would’ve been disastrous.

Luckily, I didn’t fall in the rapids. 

I then set up my tiny backpacking tripod on a precarious rock, I held my breath and snapped this long exposure shot. I wanted to get it just right, so I bracketed separate shots for the foreground and the sky. 

When I got home to San Diego and looked at my files, the result was magical. I named this piece "Ohana," meaning family in Hawaiian, because it perfectly captures the adventure and the beauty of that moment shared with friends. 


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