Take Your Best Shot: Hawaii

From a Waikiki rainbow to a wedding on Waimanalo Beach, here are some of our favorite Hawaii shots from the Travel Channel community.

Photos

Take a 4-wheel drive about a half an hour north of Lanai City and you will discover Kaiolohia, also known as Shipwreck beach. This windy 8-mile stretch of beach has broken many a ship with its shallow, rocky channel, including a 1940s tanker that lay rusting as a ghostly reminder to mariners to stay away. The rough water also makes for poor swimming, but the views of Molokai and Maui and wide stretch of open sand make this a great place for beachcombing. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Shark's Cove

Shark's Cove

Shark's Cove is not a good place to swim, but you’d be hard pressed to find a beach that is more visually stunning. Iron-rich rocks give the cliffs a deep, red color that contrasts sharply with the turquoise water. The area has strong currents, so we recommend picnics, hikes and sunbathing instead. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Before you head out to snorkel at Hulopoe Beach Park and Marine Preserve, pick up a laminated fish guide at one of the local stores, then get ready for your own version of show and tell. The bay is rich with fish, from striped Moorish idols to our state fish the humuhumunukunukuapuaa. (Try to say that three times.) Once in a while, a friendly green sea turtle might even stop on by to say hello. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

For most of the year, Hulopoe Bay, which fronts the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay, is the best place for kayaking, swimming and snorkeling on the island. Rent a kayak or bring your own and soon you'll find yourself torn between paddling and stopping to take photos. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Kaholo Cliffs

Kaholo Cliffs

The sea cliffs of Lanai rise nearly a thousand feet above the Pacific. Visitors can travel along the network of four wheel drive roads that traverse the island and enjoy incredible views all along the rocky coast. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Koele Lookout in Lanai

Koele Lookout in Lanai

A horseback ride is the most adventurous way to access the magnificent views of mountains, valleys, and seascapes that can be enjoyed from Koele Lookout. Koele itself has its own unrivalled landscape, symbolized by its towering Cook Island pines. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

mountains and Mouflon sheep

mountains and Mouflon sheep

The mountains and remote valleys of Lanai are home to a remarkable variety of wildlife including wild turkey, quail, pheasant, Axis deer, and Mouflon sheep. The deer and sheep can often be found on the sheer cliffs of the island’s high country. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

petroglyphs in Lanai

petroglyphs in Lanai

Hawaiians came to Lanai as early as the 15th Century and left evidence of their existence in rock carvings called petroglyphs. If you like scavenger hunts, Luahiwa Petroglyphs are a challenge to find, but for the determined traveler, they offer a fascinating glimpse into the island’s past. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Pueo

Pueo

The sunlit sky above Lanai is home to the Pueo, or Hawaiian short-eared owl. In the absence of streetlights and neon, Lanai’s crystalline night sky is also home to a galaxy of stars, invisible to most of the outside world. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

There are only three ways to get onto the Kalaupapa National Historic Park on the Kalaupapa Peninsula: by mule ride, a hiking tour or a small commuter airplane. This scenic area was once home to Belgian missionary Saint Damien, the selfless priest who devoted his life to caring for exiled victims of Hansen disease. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

As you look toward the north coast of Molokai, you can see the Kalaupapa Peninsula in the distance. The peninsula is isolated by towering cliffs that stand up to 3,600 feet high and are the tallest sea cliffs in the world. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Hike into Molokai's East End's classic cathedral valley to see Hawaii back in time. It's believed that ancient Polynesians settled in the lush Halawa Valley as early as 650 A.D. Roughly two miles up the trail is the impressive double-tiered 250-foot Mooula Falls. The one and a half hour drive to the valley from the airport is an adventure in itself, with ancient fishponds, Kumimi Beach and Kaluaaha Church along the way. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Only 38 miles long and 10 miles wide, Molokai has more than enough land to explore by foot, bike or car. Follow the roads along Molokai's rugged coastline and you'll see far more birds than cars, and probably even less people. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Western Molokai features some of Hawaii's largest and least visited beaches. Papohaku Beach Park is three miles long and one mile wide, a perfect crescent of shimmering sand. Kapukahelu Beach is a small sheltered cove. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

From the Kalaupapa Peninsula, the North Coast of Molokai presents a stunning vista. 10 years ago we would have reminded you to bring enough film to capture all the gorgeous scenery. Now it's memory cards, which seems a little ironic considering Molokai is the kind of place that makes you happy to escape your electronics. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Kepuhi Point

Kepuhi Point

On Kepuhi Point off Papohaku Beach you can occasionally catch a wave in front of the Kaluakoi Resort. Although Molokai isn’t known for surfing, you’d be surprised how good it can get. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Avid and novice cyclists alike will enjoy Molokai's lack of traffic. From one end of the island to the other, just follow the roads. But don't look for a convenience store on any corner, because we're proud to say there aren't any. So, bring water, snacks, and a supply of sunscreen to protect your ear-to-ear grin. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

It's quiet as you ride on your mule along the 2.9-mile trail to Kalaupapa Peninsula. You'd be speechless too if you were descending from 1,700 feet with steep drops and the Pacific before you. Three miles, 26 switchbacks and 90 minutes of magnificent views later and you're back to sea level in the historic town of Kalaupapa. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

As you approach the Halawa Valley, Halawa Beach offers a secluded bay that is great for swimming. However exercise caution during high surf and winter months. If you think it looks picture perfect, that's because it is. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Art in Motion

Art in Motion

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Getting the Shot

Getting the Shot

Croman, a competitive bodysurfer, explains that there is a lot that goes into getting the shot in big wave photography, including strong swimming skills and a lot of patience. Croman also advises wave photographers to have a solid understanding of the ocean: “How it breaks, where it breaks. The tides, the rips, the undertow. It’s dangerous, but knowledge is key.” 960 1280

Kenji Croman  

Waimea Shore Break

Waimea Shore Break

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Kenji Croman  

Glassy Wave in Slow Motion

Glassy Wave in Slow Motion

How does Croman capture waves in slow motion? “I used a slow shutter speed for this image, the sun was positioned in a way that made the wave look very illuminated, plus the motion of the wave all came together for this photo,” he explains. 960 1280

Kenji Croman  

Diamond Head Sunset

Diamond Head Sunset

Croman recalls the happenstance of some of his photos: “I thought the camera’s focus looked really cool in this shot. I didn’t alter or do any tilt shift effect for this photo. It was accidentally taken this way and I liked it.” 960 1280

Kenji Croman  

Duck Diving a Passing Wave

Duck Diving a Passing Wave

“I saw a bodyboarder ducking through a wave when I captured this shot. The colors looked very refreshing,” says Croman. 960 1280

Kenji Croman  

Green Wave North Shore

Green Wave North Shore

As the sun was setting, Croman captured this mesmerizing green wave at Keiki Beach on Oahu’s famed North Shore during a very big swell. 960 1280

Kenji Croman  

Keiki Beach in Slow Motion

Keiki Beach in Slow Motion

One of Croman’s favorite beaches on Oahu is Keiki Beach. “This was taken after the sun set behind the mountains. I used a slow shutter to create the movements of the man walking and the waves.” 960 1280

Kenji Croman  

Milky Wave Beach

Milky Wave Beach

Croman remembers another instance when patience (and a bit of luck) paid off: “I made so many attempts over the years to photograph the Milky Way here in Oahu, but found it very challenging since there’s not too many very dark places that do not have a lot of cloud coverings. I got very lucky on this clear night.” 960 1280

Kenji Croman  

Pipeline Breaking

Pipeline Breaking

Located on the North Shore of Oahu, Pipeline is considered one of the most famous and dangerous surf breaks in world. “This shot was taken in April when ‘Pipe’ was going off. This was a big set that rolled in that I happened to snap while in the water,” Croman remembers. “This was the same day, just hours earlier, where the famous whale surfing photos at Pipeline went viral.” 960 1280

Kenji Croman  

Swimming With Sharks

Swimming With Sharks

“I took this shot while free diving with sharks on the North Shore,” recalls Croman. “Amazing experience swimming with dozens of sharks with no protection.” 960 1280

Kenji Croman  

Flying Turtles

Flying Turtles

A less daunting animal to swim alongside than a skark? A “honu,” which means “turtle” in the Hawaiian language. “These beautiful creatures look like they are flying under water. They’re very graceful,” expresses Croman. 960 1280

Kenji Croman  

Underwater Vortex

Underwater Vortex

“I love this photo,” shares Croman. “ I took it while the sun was in a perfect position above me and it just really lit the wave up well. You can see the vortex bands in the wave. Not many people know they exist, and if you don’t have goggles on you won’t see it either.” 960 1280

Kenji Croman  

The Spit Effect

The Spit Effect

“Spit, that’s what surfers call it,” explains Croman. “When the wave is so big and the wind that follows it passes you, it creates this effect.” 960 1280

Kenji Croman  

Wave Falls

Wave Falls

Croman captions this shot: “A wave crumbling to create a waterfall effect; the sun was positioned perfectly to illuminate the wave and the falls.” 960 1280

Kenji Croman  

Maui Dolphins

Maui Dolphins

Another instance when Croman says patience paid off for him: “I made so many attempts to catch this school of dolphins when I lived in Maui. I would wake up early so many mornings to try and catch the school of dolphins. The morning I moved back to Oahu, I gave it one last attempt. I was successful and swam with the dolphins for a few hours. A great experience.” 960 1280

Kenji Croman