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Leaving for Oahu next week--interesting spots to photograph?

Robert Brown , Jan 06, 2006; 11:33 p.m.

I'm off to Hawaii in a few days--tagging along on a business trip with my wife. While she attends meetings all day, I'll be driving around Oahu hiking, photographing, and catching a few rays. We're only going to be there for four full days, so we'll just be on one island. In general, I don't like crowds or big cities much. At heart I'm a landscape photographer and I show photos frequently in galleries. I'm relatively new to iStock and stock photography in general. I'll bring along a Hasselblad, Canon 20D with a few lenses, and maybe an Xpan.

I'd be interested in suggestions for interesting, unusual, and relatively uncrowded places to photograph and hike. Also interested in restaurant and beverage (both bar and good coffee) recommendations. We're staying at some place on Waikiki and probably stay on foot at night.

Thanks for any suggestions, Bob


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Mark Rose , Jan 07, 2006; 01:14 a.m.

We moved here about 6 months ago, and I found a book on Amazon that was perfect for discsovering the island--link below. Don't worry if you cannot get it before you go, as it will not be hard to find here once you arrive. Manoa Falls will probably not be too far from where you are staying (trailhead maybe a 15 minute drive from Waikiki), and is a beautful location (picture below).



Manoa Falls

Jeffrey L. T. von Gl├╝ck , Jan 07, 2006; 04:05 a.m.

Get out of Honolulu and head up to the North Shore. Also check out the Winward Coast. Plenty to photograph.

ED B , Jan 07, 2006; 04:47 a.m.

Go out to Makapuu, by Sea Life Park. There's a light house and a great look out that gives you a good view of the windward coast along sandy's. You might be lucky to catch a glimpse of a humpback or two as well. You can also glimpse a similar view from the top of Diamond head and that's a leisurely stroll up a lot of stairs...

Drive up to Tantalus for an overview of Honolulu, but that ends up being more of a cityscape.

If you happen to be a passenger in a car, drive over H3, it gives you a breathtaking view of Kaneohe bay. Otherwise, go out to the Pali Lookout, you will get a similar view from there.

Lanikai and Kualoa (Chinaman's hat) offers some good beachscapes with interesting island formations.

If you want to do some serious trails that will offer some great views, check out Stuart Ball's authoritative book, it covers all the open trails on the island of oahu, and stick to the ridge hikes. Couple that are pretty good and not too hazardous for your gear: Kuliouou and waialae iki.

You'll also be in time to catch the big waves. I like to photograph Laie Point for a lot of waves crashing on rocks. Sunset and Pipeline beaches will give you great shots of surfing as well...

Last suggestion, a bit of a cheat, but if you go out to some of the municipal golf courses (Hawaii Kai, Kahuku), you can get some great sea scape views...

Kirk Darling , Jan 07, 2006; 02:21 p.m.

If you like a more bucolic view, head up H-2 and the inland areas (but my data is dated--heck they may have skyscrapers there by now).

J. W. Wall , Jan 08, 2006; 03:07 p.m.

The Audobon reserve at Waimea on the north coast is beautiful. Nice walk back to a pool and waterfall. If the surf's up on the north coast, the waves can get huge indeed in winter, IIR. The Nuuanu Pali is interesting and beautiful - area between Kaneohe and Honolulu, right on the highway. Many more too numerous etc. I suggest The Ultimate Guide to Oahu.

Milton Arrow , Jan 08, 2006; 04:18 p.m.

Hi, I lived over there for 4 years, in Ewa Beach. H1 west to exit 5A, north on Kunia Rd, Route 750, beautiful views of the city, pineapple fields and the mountains. If you can get on Schofield Barracks, the drive/view over KoleKole pass is fantastic. Further up towards the north shore you will hit Dole Pineapple plantation and then some coffee fields. Haleiwa, on the north shore, is a nice town, that's where they filmed Baywatch at. The East (windward) side is the tropical side and the West (leeward) side is the desert side of the island, cactus and the like. Some nice ocean views from the west end of H1 up to Kaena Point State Park, alot of little towns also. For Food, Sam Choy's on Nimitz Hwy.

Robert Brown , Jan 08, 2006; 08:15 p.m.

Mark, thanks for the advice on the book, but I think it's too late. I'll have a car, so I'll check out Manoa Falls.

Jeff, I'll probably circle the island at least once--I'm looking forward to seeing the different climates on such a small island.

Ed, thanks for all the recommnendations--I'm planning to give them all a try. I'll definitely be chekcing out the rocky coastline and big waves.

Kirk, I will try driving up the middle one. From what I've read, it's still less crowded.

J.W., while I don't really shoot birds, the Audobon reserve sound interesting. It's on my list.

Milton, I'm very interested in pineapple and coffee plantations since I've never seen either.

Thanks for all the good advice! Bob

Craig Gillette , Jan 09, 2006; 01:17 a.m.

Although it may not be your style, we went on one of the tourist "luau" tours. This was several years back so don't know if they still do it. The tour arrived at the site before sunset and it was a pretty beach site, waves, palm trees, torches, etc. It was catered, lots of dancing entertainment, "free booze," pretty good food considering everything, and buses returned you to your hotel so imbibing wasn't particularly dangerous. I didn't take too many pictures but there were definite photo ops available from the scenics and especially the entertainment. Maybe too touristy but it's like taking a bus tour in Washington DC or the Circle boat tours in New York, it covers things that would be difficult to do as easily yourself and deals with the driving and all that hassle.

The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl and Pearl Harbor are pretty standard tourist sites but also good photo opportunities if so inclined.

Ted G , Jan 09, 2006; 04:43 a.m.

I want to second the recommendation for the Audobon reserve at Waimea. The birds are not the main attraction-it's the flora! Absolutely amazing flowers and trees. The downside is it can get very wet there thanks to being in a valley and the lighting conditions can be rough. I would also highly recommend the Pearl Harbor Memorial. These two locations were all I really had time for my last trip out due to work. Before I forget there is a catamaran that departs from the beachside Sheraton that for $25 takes you out on a sunset 2 hour cruise off Waikiki beach and Diamond Head (includes booze too!) for some offshore photo ops. Personally I found the whole area to be a giant tourist trap and would only go to Hawaii if I was paid to do so (or on a scuba holiday).

The food is so-so in the Waikiki area. I stayed at the second-line Sheraton (Princess something-or-another) and they have a great sushi place there (Sheraton rewards members get 35% off the tab too). Now...just a block away from the Sheraton is a great local Japanese noodle bar where you can stuff your face for a tenner! Ask the concierge. If you make it up to the North shore area keep driving around towards the east and you will eventually come across a couple of shacks/trailers selling fresh shrimp and corn--YUM! BIG TIME YUM!

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