Pacific Sunsets

On April 25, 2010, in Travel, by scott

Over the past two months, every trip I have worked has put me in Hawaii for at least one night. The two locations where I find myself laying over are Kaanapali on the island of Maui and Waikiki on the island of Oahu. One photograph that I had always assumed would be an easy photo to make would be one of a Hawaiian sunset.  It turns out, this particular photograph would be one that would allude me for quite some time.

Waikiki Sunset

Timing. The largest obstacle I was facing  is the fact that when I fly back to the mainland, I am flying on the back side of the clock (aka red-eyes.) Another issue is the six hour time difference.

Due to the repeated trips to Hawaii, I have started to develop a routine (and I’m ready to get out of that routine!) Here’s a brief description of that little routine:

The arrival time is between 5 and 8 in the evening depending on the island. By this time, the sun is either setting or is about to set.

If the sun is still up, I run up to my room, change, then run back down to see if the sun is actually visible.

Bed around 8:00pm (which is 2:00am at home.)

Up around 4:00am (which is 10:00 at home.)

Out to run, take photos, and get food by 6:00am.

Try to rest throughout the day while seeing what I can see.

Do my best to get to sleep between 1:00pm and 3:00pm depending on the departure time.

If it is a later show time, I set the alarm to get up around sunset time. After the sun sets, back to bed.

Following this nap, it’s up in the middle of the night back home, then off to LA.

Most evenings, the cloud cover is to the point where the sky turns amazing colors, but the sun itself it not visible. The past two trips, however, this wasn’t the case.

The theme for this most recent trip’s photography was surfing. (I’m a geek like that, I go out with my camera, find a theme, and shoot as creatively as I can for that theme.)

Enjoy. If anyone wants any of these images, feel free to drop me an e-mail.

Surfboard and Sunset

Sunset, Surfer, and Sail Boats

Two weeks before the Waikiki photos, when the alarm went off in Maui, the sunset wasn’t ideal in my opinion, but there was still an opportunity to make a couple of photographs.

Maui Sunset with Tiki Torches

Torches, Trees, and a Setting Sun

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On January 27, 2010, in Miscellaneous, Travel, by scott


You may find it hard to believe, but Hawaii is a place I’ve always wanted to visit.  The way I ended up there wasn’t the way I had intended. A vacation with my wife and family is what I would have preferred. Alas, our bidding system awarded me the five day trip that gives us a long layover in Honolulu.

I’ve always though of Hawaii as being a land of lush forests, sandy beaches with palm trees swaying in the breeze, and secluded pools with small waterfalls just made for swimming.

*Disclaimer: This is NOT a complaint about going to Hawaii*

Enter reality. Honolulu, and Waikiki beach, is still a magnificent place to visit. However, it wasn’t the tropical paradise I had imagined. The view from the 31st floor hotel room resembled that of a night in Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego, or just about any other large city that isn’t New York.

Downtown Honolulu

The location of our hotel was prime. The hotel was located right on Waikiki beach. Simply cross the road and you are at the ocean. The view was a bit more of what I had expected. Palms, waves, sand, and a ton of beach goers.

On the beach, there is a landmark that is rather well known in the area. It is a statue of Duke Kahanamoku. Duke, according to the link, is “the most famous name in surfing.” A notable thing about Duke’s statue is the fact that there is a webcam focused on him. I was able to call home early in the morning, have Crystal log on to the webcam website, and was able to wave at my family from the beach! The delay was about 30 seconds, but it was still fun. (I have since opened a browser and just watched the people walk by carrying surf boards.

Duke Statue

Unfortunately, the days we were there, the sun really didn’t show itself. There were many people on the beach hoping it would be a sunset to remember, however, the photos presented themselves in the waiting more so than the sunset.


The most memorable thing on the trip for me, however, is surfing. The surf culture is obvious from the locals, to the surf shops on every corner, and concluding with the surf rental stands throughout the beach. It was obviously a large part of the area. The water, , the rolling waves, the smell of the ocean, it was all there. This was something I had always wanted to experience. I was fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity and I took advantage of that.

Surf's Up

The first try, I caught the wave, and a mouth full of salt water. The second try, I got up on the board! Five seconds later, I was swimming again. By the end of our hour and a half session, I was able to catch a wave, get up on the board, ride quite a distance into shore, then get down on the board again to paddle out for the next ride. One thing I did learn was that for every good ride and every good wave, there was a LONG paddle out for the next wave.  Surfing is something I totally enjoyed, and I look forward to being able to ride again, be it Hawaii, California, or the Caribbean.

Overall, it was a great layover. I have learned that the vacation we take to Hawaii will more than likely be to Maui or Kona, but for a layover, it was a good time. I’ve included a couple of shots of me surfing… and wiping out.




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