Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Photograph the Hawaiian Islands

There are many destinations around the world that offer stunning and quite unique photographic opportunities. The Hawaiian Islands are no exception and there are endless places at which to take your photographs. These include volcanoes, underwater, or regular land and beach scenes. If you are planning a working vacation with your cameras and other equipment, the island should be at the top of your list of possibilities.

If you enjoy things tropical, the islands are a good choice. Or perhaps you don't wish to leave the United States. In any case, you won't be disappointed at the photos you will be coming away with after a trip to the islands.

One thing to keep in mind is that the Hawaiian Islands are actually composed of six primary islands. You will need to know before you leave which of them you will want to visit so do your homework. Your flight, as a side note, will take about 10 hours from departure in the east and about 5 hours if you are leaving from California.

The six main islands are:

(1) Oahu is where you will find Honolulu and Waikiki as the major cities. If you enjoy taking wildlife pictures, try the Waikiki Aquarium or the Honolulu Zoo. These are both also excellent places for beach and sunset photographs.

Other things to see on Oahu include the National Park Service's memorial to the Pearl Harbor attack and the USS Arizona; Diamond Head (exceptional photo op here!); Chinatown (near Honolulu's downtown); and the home of King Kalakaua called Iolani Palace. If you are planning to attend a luau or just want some Polynesian themed photographs, try the Polynesian Cultural Center.

(2) Maui also offers many beaches as well as a volcano (dormant now) called Mount Halekala. Also on Maui you will find superb windsurfing, a floating museum, and a scenic railway. There are a number of state parks on Maui as well as the Maui Arts and Cultural Center.

It goes without saying that if you want to do underwater photography or get some shots of surfers, any island destination will offer those opportunities.

(3) Kauai is rich with stunning scenery including dramatic cliffs, a lighthouse, waterfalls, canyons, and of course the infamous beaches. You may consider photographing the Fern Grotto, available from Kauai, but only by boat.

(4) The "Big Island" of Hawaii is where you will be able to photograph the volcano Kilauea. Unlike Maui's Halekala, this one is an active volcano. Don't forget to photograph the rain forest areas. There are endless things to see and photograph on Hawaii as well as on the other islands.

(5) Lanai is the smallest of the six islands. This is generally a resort area. That isn't to say there aren't fabulous photographic subjects, but many of the activities on this island are related to one of the resorts.

(6) Molikai will allow you to photograph some unique scenery including three volcanoes and the tallest sea cliffs that are found anywhere in the world. This is a good choice if you will be diving, but be sure that it's not one of the dangerous times of year for that activity. The Molokai Ranch Wildlife Park is found here with African and Asian animals for some additional unique photo shots.

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