JAMES CRAIG PHOTOGRAPHY

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For Fun – A Moai/Carver Profile and two more Haka Pei

Jan 15, 2021

I say “for fun” because of the Haka Pei images. First of all they were both so far away that, even with a 400mm lens, I had to crop almost ridiculously and interpolate. Then, when photographing Haka Pei, one needs to pan with the motion – not side to side – down at an alomst 45 degree angle while trying to match the speed. I’m not bad at level panning, but I found my angular panning to be rather lacking. The opening shot is something of a new favorite though – this Moai was being carved for part of the Tapati Rapanui competition. The two workers were using hatchets and chisels. I immediately noticed the profile lines, including the body, of both carving and carver and took my shot. The lighting was a little tricky, but a little digital darkroom magic fixed that.

The first Haka Pei image below catches one of the contestants about half way down the hill. They can reach 50 miles per hour. He was doing pretty good.

The next guy wasn’t faring all that well. The “sled” started turning, eventually throwing him off the front edge as it continued down the hill. Then it proceded to run over him – and these things are extremely heavy. He disappeared completely from view in the dust, eventually rising to his feet to throw his arms up to tell everyone he was alright, as the sled continued down the hill without him. This is the moment where he was thrown over the front. Reminding everyone why there is always an ambulance waiting at the bottom just in case.

Easter Island Folio Page 11 • Tapati Rapanui 2008