Lahaina Noon - when the sun is directly overhead and makes things look like a bad videogame

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Here’s Isamu Noguchi’s “Skygate” sculpture in Hawaii that makes a perfect ring during the Lahaina Noon:

I’m amazed that the photographer seems to be alone here. A sculpture that interacts with a twice-a-year event? I’d expect people to be standing all around it.


Anywhere between the tropic of cancer and the tropic of capricorn has the sun directly overhead at least one day a year, that’s what those lines indicate. Hawaii is just south of the tropic of cancer, so …


Came for a Polynesian Gary Cooper reference, but did not find it, so had to do it myself.


You left out the most important part! The fact that in some places the sun is directly overhead is how we learned how big the Earth is.

The Greek-ish scholar Eratosthenes, who worked in the Library of Alexandria, once found a book which described that in one small town in the south of Egypt on a certain day of the year, the sun would be directly overhead. In Alexandria this never happens. He hired someone to go and pace the distance from this town to Alexandria and used the distance as well as the difference in angles between the sun in the town and the sun in Alexandria at noon to calculate the size of the earth to within a few percent.


Sure, but if I had to choose somewhere to visit to see the lack of shadows at noon, this is a good excuse to hang out in Maui and watch my extra-large bowl of shave ice and mai tai not cast shadows.


Him with the sieve?


If you can take a longer exposure people tend to move enough to disappear. A significant neutral density filter and a one minute exposure frequently does it (but it screws up flowing water, or at least transforms it…also if you have any wind it makes trees look odd)

Or it could be something like PhotoShop’s content aware fill.


And then there is the fact that the ancient name of Lahaina was “Lā-hainā”, meaning “cruel, merciless sun”. Make of it what you will…


That’d be the one!

For the curious: I said greek-ish because while he himself was Libyan, he was part of the hellenic world, wrote in greek, etc.


It isn’t exactly a popular park; this is a bit of grounds nestled among various Honolulu municipal buildings, rather far from most tourist areas (though Mission Houses is across the street). If you see someone in the area it is typically a city worker taking a break.


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