Posted by: kerryl29 | December 9, 2019

Thematic Interruption: THAT’S Hawaii?

I alluded to this in an earlier post:  I came across very, very few other people during my time in Hawaii whose primary reason for visiting was photography and I’ve spent a fair amount of time trying to figure out why this was the case.  I think that the principal reasons are that 1) Hawaii is an expensive place to go and, 2) perhaps more importantly, there’s a kind of stereotype that Hawaii is essentially beaches and palm trees and little else.  Couple them together and…it’s pretty easy, I think, to conclude that there are cheaper places to photograph beaches and palm trees…so if you want to photograph beaches and palm trees…well, you get the idea.

The problem I have with this thinking is that half of the stereotype about Hawaii is dead wrong.  Yes, Hawaii is expensive; but there’s much, much more to photograph than beaches and palm trees (though it is, in fact, a great place to photograph beaches and palm trees}.  Like most stereotypes, there’s an element of truth embedded within.

Since I’ve returned and completed the post processing of the images I made while in Hawaii, I’ve shown the odd photograph to people I know and I’ve been struck by the frequency with which I’ve been greeted with the statement (or some variation thereof):  “I never would have guessed that’s Hawaii.”  Here’s a sampling of those images presented without further comment…other than to note that nary a beach nor a palm tree appears in any of these photographs.

Ukumahame Beach Black & White, Maui, Hawaii

Haleakala Crater, Keonehe’ehe’e Trail, Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii

Black Swan, Kaanapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii

Banyan Tree Black & White, Pipiwai Trail, Kipahulu District, Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii

Waimea Canyon Lookout, Waimea Canyon State Park, Kauai, Hawaii

Feral Goat, Hoapili Trail, Ahihi-Kina’u Natural Area Reserve, Maui, Hawaii

Rooster, Waimea Canyon Lookout, Waimea Canyon State Park, Kauai, Hawaii

Iao Stream, Iao Valley State Park, Maui, Hawaii

Pali, Awa’awapuhi Trail, Koke’e State Park, Kauai, Hawaii

Haleakala Crater from Kalahaku Lookout, Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii

Sunrise, Canyon Lookout, Waimea Canyon State Park, Kauai, Hawaii

Mushroom Rock, Maui, Hawaii

Moluccan Albizia Meadow Black & White, Upcountry Kauai, Hawaii

Acid War Zone Black & White, Maui, Hawaii

Moluccan Albizia Forest, Wailua Falls, Kauai, Hawaii

Haleakala Mountain, Maui, Hawaii

Cook Pines Black & White, Prince Edward Park, Kauai, Hawaii

MacBryde Garden, National Tropical Botanical Garden, Kauai, Hawaii

I’ll move on to Day 6 in my next post, when beaches and palm trees will undoubtedly make return appearances.


  1. […] via Thematic Interruption: THAT’S Hawaii? — Lightscapes Nature Photography Blog […]

  2. Kerry, I suspect that another reason is that people generally spend the money and time to go to Hawaii to relax and enjoy the climate. As a photographer, the question is: where will I get the most bang for my buck and my time? Hawaii is on my list as a possible option, but will never have the priority (for photography) of many other locations (many of which are also more accessible). Therefore, when we return to Hawaii, it will be primarily as a relaxation trip and secondarily to do some shooting. (And I’ll be looking at your blog to find interesting spots!)

    • Hi Steve. You’re undoubtedly correct, but it’s worth noting that I scarcely saw anyone who appeared even secondarily interested in photographing. I saw lots of people taking cellphone selfies, but little else. In Hawaii, it seems, photography barely registers as an afterthought for most visitors. The exceptions were so rare that they stood out starkly.

  3. I’ve certainly had my eyes open to how different Hawaii is to my preconceived ideas. The colors in the places like Haleakala Crater and Waimea Canyon are probably the most surprising. And the variety of trees.

    • Hawaii’s variety is underestimated at one’s peril. 🙂

      There really is no shortage of great places at which to photograph…including, but certainly not limited to, beaches and palm trees.

  4. Great composition, use of light, and sense of movement in these shots.

    • Thanks very much!

  5. Nice pictures of Hawaii

  6. […] in this series I posted a piece talking about all of the portions of the landscape on the islands I visited that don’t fit […]

  7. […] in this series I posted a piece talking about all of the portions of the landscape on the islands I visited that don’t fit […]

  8. So colourful and atmospheric

    • Thanks very much!

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