Hawaii is the jewel of the Pacific. During this photo trip, I ventured to Kauai'i and Oahu's state parks and hidden beaches to photograph some of the most unique landscapes. Here are my tips on finding the best locations to photograph.
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Music Credit: Calvin Harris "Feel So Close" | All videos shot with iPhone 5 | Editing: iMovie & Hyperlapse
Oahu is an island filled with activity, amazing beaches, and wildlife.
1. North Shore:
I highly recommend renting a car and checking out the North Shore of Oahu. It is the countryside part of the island with plenty of untouched beaches as well as some of the most famous surfing beaches. The waves at Pipeline are regarded as some of the best and the world and are truly magnificent to watch.
Words cannot describe the beauty of Lanikai, so I will let the pictures describe it. Lanikai has two peak-shaped islands off the coast, and the water feels like bathwater. One of the best ways to view this ares is from the hiking spot atop the mountain behind Lanikai called the "Pillbox Trail" which offers bird's eye views of the beach.
3. Diamond Head Trail
This trail offers about a one mile hike up the Diamond head mountain, complete with tunnels and plenty of stairs. The hike has some of the steepest stairs, and some of the most dramatic views. Once atop the mountain, there is an unobstructed 360 degree view of Waikiki, perfect for photographing.
4. Paradise Cove - Koolina Turtle Beach
Oahu has plenty of beaches where you can view sea turtles (known as "honu" in Hawaiian), and this is one of them. This beach is also full of activities, including a Luau with delicious Hawaiian food.
This is Hawaii's garden island. The island is reachable via Hawaiian Airlines, on only a 30 minute flight. I made Kauai'i a day trip, and realized that many other travelers did the same. It's a prime location for some of the best hiking in the world (Na Pali and Waimea). The entire island is about a two hour's drive from end to end. Also, unlike Waikiki, there are no towering skyscraper resorts. In fact, the buildings here aren't any taller than a coconut palm, leaving you with a more natural island landscape.
5. Waimea Canyon
This is the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. It's more accessible, with a drive that loops around the park with multiple outlooks where you canphotograph the expansive beauty. The canyon seems to go forever, and is filled with waterfalls, rivers and lush green mountains. For an alternative way of photographing this area, there are hiking trails leading deep into the canyon and helicopter tours.
6. Na Pali Coast
This spot is on the North end of the Island, and is well worth the drive. The hike is 11 miles in total, although most visitors do the first mile or two where you can see the view of the mountains and ocean. The hike is known as one of the most dangerous hikes in the world, as it includes the famous "crawlers ledge" where the path almost disappears into the steep mountains, leaving hikers hanging on to dear life. This was one of the most rewarding and memorable hikes that I have done. Most of the hike was shaded with rainforest, and the views got better as you went along. If you plan on photographing Na Pali, try the alternative way of viewing this area is by boat or helicopter.
To purchase the photography from the collection, check out out Nature photography.
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