Landscape Photography in Maui

by Venancio Guerra

I had the pleasure of visiting Maui for a short vacation this past holiday season. Maui is the second largest island by land area in the Hawaiian archipelago. The island is known for its beautiful beaches and tropical landscapes. Prior to my trip I did some research on the types of images I could expect to capture on this island paradise; I saw a lot of wide-angle landscapes around dusk and dawn. As such, I decided to bring my Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G and Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G lenses and a travel tripod. It is important to pack lightly when you are traveling. Please enjoy this small sample of landscape images from different locations on Maui.

Hookipa Beach

When I arrived at this popular surfing spot the sun was starting to go down. Instead of capturing the sunset I shifted my attention eastward to this outcropping of rocks. Every few minutes a big wave would wash over the rocks. I knew that this was the perfect opportunity to add something dynamic to my image. As the sky got darker I adjusted my settings and waited for a big wave.

Waianapanapa Beach

The Road to Hana is one of Maui’s most popular tourist destinations. Near the end of this winding seaside highway is a black sand beach. The sand is black because all of the rocks are volcanic. The black landscape creates an interesting contrast between the clear blue water and lush green plants.

The main beach was full of tourists. I knew it would be difficult to create a clean image with so many people walking around. Instead, I headed to a smaller, rockier beach in the park. Stopping down to f/16 allowed me to capture sharp details in both the foreground and the background. Additionally, this small aperture allowed me to extend my exposure time to create some motion blur in the incoming waves.

Haleakala Summit

Forming 75% of Maui’s land mass and rising over 10,000 feet from sea level is Haleakala. I arrived close to sunset and was met by brutal wind and cold. Despite the harsh conditions, the summit was beautiful. A photographer could spend weeks exploring this otherworldly place. Unfortunately, I had only minutes to capture an image before darkness came. I decided to highlight a shrub in the foreground and the valley in the background. Of all the locations I experienced, this is the one I most want to revisit.

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