MARCH 2014 TRIP TO FIJI

 

 My first trip to Fiji in 2014 was an eye-opening experience. From surfing Cloudbreak and exploring the reefs and islands around Tavarua to driving Queens Highway along the Coral Coast to Suva, I seem to hit every spot in between. My buddy Matt and I explored so many locations, villages and  scenery and began clearing forest from my property to start building. When I had time between working on the property and surfing,  I pulled out my camera and took these amazing images.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"CLOUDBURST"

 

When I arrived in Fiji on my March 2014 trip I meet my friend Ian at his house for a lovo and kava ceremony. Everyone there was Fijian and wanted to welcome me to Fiji... so it was an honor and privilege to have them all there at the ceremony for me. As I walked down to the beach from his house to stretch my legs from the 11 hour flight I saw this huge driftwood log run aground in the shallow waters next to the shore. Twenty yards away a colorful boat had been tied up for the night. The clouds were tremendous so I ran back to my rental car and grabbed my camera gear. As the sun set I started shooting different exposures as the clouds lit up with all these various colors. It was also windy that evening so the boat was moving around and with the right shot captures this movement of both boat and ocean.

 

After disappearing from the ceremony for an hour everyone was wondering what I had been doing. On my return trip in August that year they found out. I presented Ian with the first print of this image to not only thank him for welcoming me into his home, but to remind him of the beautiful place he calls home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"DAWNING"

 

During my March 2014 trip to Fiji I was looking to photograph different landscape characteristics than the typical sunny, blue water, white sand beach images you usually see of tropical destinations. Before dawn one morning I woke up to rain outside my window and decided to go explore the lighting on the beach since I knew it would be really early for everyone and no one would be on the beach yet. Before light I set up my camera in this location because I loved the framing of the palm tree with the swing, the dry-docked boat and exposed reef at low tide. There were small showers passing by in different directions as the light from the sun slowly revealed itself. These subtle colors of pinks and purples faintly starting unfolding in the clouds above me as the rain subsided overhead. I only had the chance to shoot off a couple of exposures before the glow faded away as quickly as it appeared. As I packed up my camera gear excited about the image I just captured I started to head back to my room when I ran into a few morning strollers just waking up to get coffee and breakfast. They were dumbfounded as to what the hell I was photographing on this rainy, gloomy early morning. I just gave them a smiled and said "if you only knew."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"MORNINGTIDE"

 

Driving along the Coral Coast in Fiji you will come across this great pier. It has an adjacent little park were motorist like to stop and take a break... and locals like to eat lunch under the shaded trees. At high tide the reef is completely covered and you can see fish swimming everywhere. The hut at the end of the pier is a relaxing place to chat and catch up on the day. You can see up and down the beautiful coast in both directions and really take in the Fijian scenery. It's one of my favorite spots to hang out, relax and just BE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"FIFTY5"

 

They’re called “Cane Trains,” Fiji rail transport to move cut sugar cane to crushing mills. These tramways have been used to transport sugar cane from the fields to the mill since 1876. When I can across this rail bridge I found it fascinating and unique to be right along the shoreline… and with the added water palate made this a great and interesting image... a bit historic since it's not being used anymore and will fall into the ocean one day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"EXPOSED"

 

The reef system is Fiji is amazing. During high tide you can grab your snorkel gear and just swim around in this natural aquarium. I've floated with the current for miles just exploring and capturing video with my GoPro. As the tide drains down to low the reef is more exposed and Fijians go out walking all over it to catch their dinner. It really is a site to see all these people walking the reef at low tide. They'll walk all the way to the edge where the waves are breaking... some of them in their bare feet. Time really does slow down here and the culture is something to behold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"PIERING"

 

Driving along the Coral Coast in Fiji you will come across this great pier. It has an adjacent little park were motorist like to stop and take a break... and locals like to eat lunch under the shaded trees. At high tide the reef is completely covered and you can see fish swimming everywhere. The hut at the end of the pier is a relaxing place to chat and catch up on the day. You can see up and down the beautiful coast in both directions and really take in the Fijian scenery. It's one of my favorite spots to hang out, relax and just BE!

 

The Fine Art Landscape Photography of Jaysun McMillin