The other day I had to drive to the other side of the Island. As I was leaving the studio, I glanced at my packed camera bag, and thought, “I’m just making a quick trip to the west-side. I don’t need to drag my cameras along.” Yeah, I was breaking my first Cardinal Rule: Always, ALWAYS take a camera wherever you go.

I had started this rule several years ago when it was an extraordinarily clear day, Iao Valley wasn’t wreathed in cloud and there was a rainbow as vivid as neon. After kicking myself for not having a camera (and missing a once-in-a-lifetime shot), I made sure that at minimum, I carried a point-and-shoot with me. After all, opportunities like this just don’t come around very often.

I piled into the truck and drove to Lahaina, and as is par for the course, one errand lead to a few, and I started talking story with friends I came across. By the time I started the drive home, the great gaseous orb in the sky started to drop towards the horizon.

At first, it looked like any other Maui sunset (like we really have bad ones here anyway). Then the colors started to intensify, the clouds started glowing, and I started frantically looking for a location to shoot. Pitching the truck off the road, I got out, threw open the back door and stared into an empty cab. No camera bag on the seat. No tripod on the floor.


Then I realize, I do have a camera, albeit on my cell phone, and with less resolution than my first digital camera (a Nikon 990 CoolPix). What the heck, mash the shutter button and… “SAY A COMMAND.” Arrrrgh. Wrong button. Oh how I hate this damn voice recognition crap. Mash the EXIT button, look up and see one of the most incredible sunsets I’ve ever seen! I lift the phone up, compose the image and hit the shutter button. The screen goes black for a second, a spinning hourglass appears and the phone reboots.


With a sigh I parked my back side on a rock and resign myself to the one thing my wife has wanted me to do for years: Enjoy the moment. And what a moment it was – the sky changing colors from orange, to crimson, to pink, and the clouds dancing in the fire of light, with incredible reflections on the water. It was a magnificent show to say the least.

With the light waning, I climbed back into the truck and a couple things came to mind:

1. Always remember rule #1 and
2. Sometimes you have to say, “Screw Rule #1.” Enjoy the moment