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In Hawaii, we don’t have icy winters like much of the rest of the world, which makes it an ideal vacation spot for the holidays. When Hawaiian Airlines asked us to help out with their holiday social media videos we thought it might be fun to share a little bit of our warm Hawaiian weather with the rest of the wintery world via a beautiful time-lapse video of scenic Hawaii.

East Oahu Shoreline

Photo By: Brad Watanabe

From the start, we knew we had to build a team to collaborate with for the outer island shoots. Berad Studio is located on Oahu, so our location knowledge of shooting on other islands is limited, and with a condensed shoot schedule, riddled rainy weather, we knew that we wouldn’t have much time to waste or depend on Google Maps as our location manager. Instead we contacted local professionals, familiar with each island to be a part of extended team.

We decided to partner with professional photographer Dallas Nagata for our Maui shoot. Dallas is known for her brilliant blue skies and amazing composition so we knew that she would bring a lot of great creative and beautiful images to the project. She spent much of her younger years galavanting around Haleakala Crater since her dad was a long time park ranger so she knew where we needed to be to capture Haleakala “The House of the Sun” at its best.

Dallas Nagata Haleakala, Maui

Photo By: Brad Watanabe

Kauai was the least familiar to us, so we wanted to work with someone who knew where to go for the best views on the island, so we reached out to outdoor adventurer Chelsea Yamase (Kauai). We were only on island for about 12 hours and had a lot ground to cover and images to capture. We exchanged numerous calls, texts and emails with Chelsea well before we arrived in Lihue to figure out the most strategic travel route to take to capture everything we needed. Unfortunately, we ran into a lot of rain clouds which forced us to bypass a few of the locations we had planned to shoot, but what we came away with was definitely still worth the trip.

Chelsea Yamase & Brad Watanabe at Kokee, Kauai

Photo By: Justin Iyoki

During the fall and winter months, the weather on Hawaii Island (aka The Big Island) can be quite unpredictable so we knew that we needed to work with a team we could count on, to get the shots we needed in a short amount of time. We weren’t able to fit a Hawaii Island trip into our production schedule due to a lot of unexpected storms, so we contacted Techy 3 Design Studios (Hawaii Island) whom we had worked with on a couple short documentaries prior to this. We worked closely with the Techy 3 team because they were our eyes and cameras for the entire Big Island production. We sent reference images and storyboards back and forth to ensure that they were able to capture the shots we needed. The clips they came back with were fantastic.


Photo By: Kevin Fujitani

We also decided to invest in a motion controlled slider system to give life to some of our static shots by adding subtile yet dynamic moments to the clip. After many hours of research, we finally decided that the Dynamic Perception Stage One Two Axis kit would be perfect for this application. The carbon fiber rods are infinitely expandable and keep the kit light and mobile and break down really well for travel. And as bonus, they can also support our larger cameras like the Red Scarlet and Canon C100. Big props to Justin Iyoki for doing an amazing job learning the system so quickly.

Justin setting up MoCo shot

Photo By: Brad Watanabe

Time-lapse photography is a such unique skill and has a large learning curve. Understanding weather patterns and sun position of your locations is an often overlooked detail, but is an essential component to getting great time-lapses. Dark Sky is an iOS app that gives you a satellite image of cloud position and predictions for the next hour. Because we were constantly running away from the rain, it became an invaluable tool to have. For night and sunrise shots, we used the Sky View Free (iOS) app to locate the position of the sun, moon and Milky Way.

One of the more challenging aspects of this type of production is not being able to control or manipulate your subject. You only get one sunrise per day, so if you miss exposure or focus, you have to try again another day. The best equipment or location can’t compensate for poor weather. And unlike with still photography, your scene has to be consistently beautiful for long periods of time. Most of our day shots averaged about 12 to 15 minutes per shot and night shots were much longer.
Time-lapse photography is a technique that requires a lot of patience, discipline and a little luck to produce amazing results.

Red Camera Haleakala, Maui

Photo By: Brad Watanabe

There’s no way we would have found all the locations, gotten all the shots and delivered the project on time if we hadn’t collaborated with a team of awesome friends. We had an amazing time exploring and adventuring to get the shots we needed for the video and are really happy with the way everything came together.

We hope these images of Hawaii warm your heart with aloha this holiday season.

For more information and work from Berad Studio check out their WEBSITE https://hawaiishoots.beradstudio.com