Photos and Commentary by Melvin Ah Ching
As is my tradition since the early 2000s, it has always been a special pleasure to wake up early on New Year’s Day to take in the rays and photograph the first sunrise of the new year. It was no different on this first day of 2022.
On the last day and night of 2021, it had been raining off and on. Several times during the day it poured heavy rain. As the crazy fireworks exploded all around Honolulu at midnight, legal and rogue revelers were lucky enough to have the rain abate so that they could partake of their annual noisy celebration of firecrackers and smoke.
Six hours later I was up and at ’em. Looked out my window and decided, I’d chance a walk to Ala Moana Beach Park before the sunrise. The park is only a mile away and I can always use a good walk. With the weather kind of flakey from the night before, I decided I’d travel light. I filled my little gadget pouch filled with my $20 Alacatel Smart Flip phone and my old Canon Powershot S-9 pocket camera. In the past I’ve shot sunrise photos with higher end cameras such as the Canon 600D SLR.
I started my walk around 6:15 am. The sky was just partially cloudy at the time I left. Moisture on the ground from the night before was well defined, but at the early point of this walk there was no rain. I made it out of my building, walked down Kaheka Street and passed through Ala Moana Center before crossing the boulevard heading toward the park. Once inside the park boundary, things still looked good for the next 70 feet.
Then the raindrops started to fall. Slightly. Bigger. Intensified. Next thing I knew the rain was pouring down on me in buckets. I walked faster to the nearest structure I could see. I had anticipated some rain, so I was prepared with a plastic bag and protected my two pieces of electronic gear…. phone and camera. Made it to the canoe halau or storage garage for outrigger canoes at Ala Moana Beach Park. The place has a nice roof overhang. I got there somewhat wet but not totally soaked.
The rain kept on pouring and I concluded that this is about as far as I would go today. I decided to make the best of a bad situation, and proceeded to take photos of whatever was happening here. I certainly did not get a classic sunrise as I have did in the past, but I did get a bunch of photos of rain, water, clouds, receding darkness and off in the distance some fleeting colors near the gray horizon.
Those photos are posted below.
About an hour later the sky cleared up enough so that I could chance it and make the walk back home. As I was walking home the sky cleared up even more. By the time I walked past the Don Quijote store far away now from the park, the sky changed color from gloomy gray to a slightly pleasing blue. Took a few more pictures before I got home.
And Then It Was Sunset
UPDATED 8:30 PM JANUARY 1 – It rained off and all day today, sometimes very heavy. The rain was so bad that I decided to just stay at home, take whatever picture I could get of sunset. Given that my area is not very scenic, we get sunsets obscured by buildings. Still the photos we got looked spectacular, especially of the orange saturated sky taken from my makai facing window (bottom frame).