October 20, 2014, 08:31:31 AM

Author Topic: Headed to Hawaii -- let's talk gear / locations  (Read 4769 times)

ahsanford

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Re: Headed to Hawaii -- let's talk gear / locations
« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2014, 06:28:23 PM »
definitely a disposable UW camera with flash, I used my gopro rig for movies and stills. I have a big UW rig with strobes but did not bring them this trip as I wanted to use the gopro. BTW it was years since I had been back to Hanauma Bay and was very disappointed in the reef system and the lack of sea life from the "old" days. I was told that was because they no longer allow feeding the fish, oh well!!  There were way better places for me to snorkel and dive anyways!!  ;)

I just read a half-dozen reviews of $40-60 waterproof iPhone 5 housings and none were truly waterproof, and most had interface problems calling up the camera app -- the shutter button is the standard volume button, but touch-focus/metering the shot, and just getting camera mode running, etc. was generally a nightmare.

Definitely looks like a disposable film rig will be the winner.  Flash for sure.

- A

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Re: Headed to Hawaii -- let's talk gear / locations
« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2014, 06:28:23 PM »

Dylan777

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Re: Headed to Hawaii -- let's talk gear / locations
« Reply #31 on: January 09, 2014, 06:33:40 PM »

That reminds me!  What underwater camera would you recommend?  I will not buy a new one as I never shoot underwater but Hanauma Bay snorkeling is on the list and might make for some memorable snaps.  So this is a one-day shooting opportunity only.

I was likely going to get some disposable film underwater camera, as I won't rent that Nikon AW rig or risk my 5D3 on some rubber housing.  And I'm not interested in a $100-200 P&S.  I need a one-time solution that takes decent pics underwater.

Any recommendations?

- A

If you want your photo looks like photos below, then get disposable film underwater camera :-\

Maybe rent a decent UW camera - with insurance just in case.

« Last Edit: January 09, 2014, 07:01:39 PM by Dylan777 »
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ahsanford

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Re: Headed to Hawaii -- let's talk gear / locations
« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2014, 06:45:15 PM »
If you want your photo looks like the one below, then get disposable film underwater camera :-\

Maybe rent a decent UW camera - with insurance just in case.

Hmmm... if I ship an LR rental right to my hotel:
  • Canon Powershot D20 --> $50 incl. shipping
  • Nikon 1 AW + 10mm lens --> $78 incl. shipping

That's expensive for just one day of shooting.  I'll have to think about it.

- A


wfmiller

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Re: Headed to Hawaii -- let's talk gear / locations
« Reply #33 on: January 09, 2014, 06:54:56 PM »

That reminds me!  What underwater camera would you recommend?  I will not buy a new one as I never shoot underwater but Hanauma Bay snorkeling is on the list and might make for some memorable snaps.  So this is a one-day shooting opportunity only.

I was likely going to get some disposable film underwater camera, as I won't rent that Nikon AW rig or risk my 5D3 on some rubber housing.  And I'm not interested in a $100-200 P&S.  I need a one-time solution that takes decent pics underwater.

Any recommendations?

- A

If you want your photo looks like the one below, then get disposable film underwater camera :-\

Maybe rent a decent UW camera - with insurance just in case.

That is one of the worst UW disposable shots I have ever seen? Maybe a problem with the camera , silting, cloudy day or whatever!!  Your right that you can rent a UW rig from a dive shop which would be a better choice but geez, I have had way better results than that when starting out with UW disposables back in the day!!
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AE1Pguy

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Re: Headed to Hawaii -- let's talk gear / locations
« Reply #34 on: January 09, 2014, 06:55:09 PM »
For snorkeling, I usually go to the north shore, at a place right off the main road called "Sharks Cove." Far fewer people there than Hanauma. On the other hand, you have to at least see Hanauma once - it's really an incredible place.

Don't underestimate the benefits of those waterproof point and shoot cameras. They take far better underwater shots than the disposables, and they aren't that expensive. I have some vids at home of my wife and I swimming with sea turtles, sharks, etc. that I took with a cheap Panasonic.

There used to be a sort of arboretum/plantation combination place called "Senator Fong's Gardens" that was terrific for shooting exotic plants. Really enjoyed that one. Sounds touristy, but it really isn't frequented by too many people other than botanists, plant collectors and photographers. I bought a Plumeria tree seed there in 1991, and it's now about 7 foot tree at my mom's old place in southern CA.

I don't know what sort of evil may have happened to access to the military bases after 9/11, but it used to be that you could get to the officer's club on Pearl Harbor without a pass. If you go a little past that, there are some interesting remnants of WWII gun emplacements right off the bay that make for good "ruins" pics. Some of those at Diamond Head as well.

There was a book called "Hidden Hawaii" that we used to use a lot for finding offbeat places. Highly recommended.

Be aware that the weather changes quite suddenly. You'll want to be ready to shoot at any time.

Dylan777

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Re: Headed to Hawaii -- let's talk gear / locations
« Reply #35 on: January 09, 2014, 07:06:08 PM »

That reminds me!  What underwater camera would you recommend?  I will not buy a new one as I never shoot underwater but Hanauma Bay snorkeling is on the list and might make for some memorable snaps.  So this is a one-day shooting opportunity only.

I was likely going to get some disposable film underwater camera, as I won't rent that Nikon AW rig or risk my 5D3 on some rubber housing.  And I'm not interested in a $100-200 P&S.  I need a one-time solution that takes decent pics underwater.

Any recommendations?

- A

If you want your photo looks like the one below, then get disposable film underwater camera :-\

Maybe rent a decent UW camera - with insurance just in case.

That is one of the worst UW disposable shots I have ever seen? Maybe a problem with the camera , silting, cloudy day or whatever!!  Your right that you can rent a UW rig from a dive shop which would be a better choice but geez, I have had way better results than that when starting out with UW disposables back in the day!!

Yes, indeed. Back in 2007, that was a $10 disposable film underwater camera. Could be operator error ;D....I'm not sure how you would do better with tiny disposable film underwater camera @ high shutter speed?

These photos were developed from film and got scanned as digital photos. Anyways, I think OP should get compact digital UW camera for better IQ. Trip like this is well worth it :)
« Last Edit: January 09, 2014, 07:25:35 PM by Dylan777 »
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sagittariansrock

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Re: Headed to Hawaii -- let's talk gear / locations
« Reply #36 on: January 09, 2014, 07:35:07 PM »
I bought the $ 20 underwater housing by Polaroid. Works on any Canon P&S. But if you want quality rent a GoPro, of course.
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Re: Headed to Hawaii -- let's talk gear / locations
« Reply #36 on: January 09, 2014, 07:35:07 PM »

Dylan777

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Re: Headed to Hawaii -- let's talk gear / locations
« Reply #37 on: January 09, 2014, 07:44:14 PM »
If you want your photo looks like the one below, then get disposable film underwater camera :-\

Maybe rent a decent UW camera - with insurance just in case.

Hmmm... if I ship an LR rental right to my hotel:
    • Canon Powershot D20 --> $50 incl. shipping
    [/color]

    • Nikon 1 AW + 10mm lens --> $78 incl. shipping

    That's expensive for just one day of shooting.  I'll have to think about it.

    - A

    Get a used one ebay: http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_sacat=0&_from=R40&_nkw=Canon+Powershot+D20&_dcat=31388&rt=nc&LH_ItemCondition=4

    Sell it back on ebay after your trip - can you really lose $ that much ::)[/list]
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    Ron Bailey

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    Re: Headed to Hawaii -- let's talk gear / locations
    « Reply #38 on: January 09, 2014, 08:13:05 PM »
    I don't know too much about Oahu having only spent a little time there, but you would find some great scenes at the North Shore and all along the drive on the East side of the island.  Sunsets are always nice on Oahu.

    When driving with the air con on in the car I left my pack and gear in the trunk so as not to introduce moisture coming/going in/out of the car. 

    If you make it here to the Big Island.....tons of options!


    Yeah, it seems like the Big Island is the scenery smorgasbord of legend.  I really want to shoot lava flows near the water, but that means packing up our stuff and joining all the tourists.  My gf would rather avoid crowds and fall off the grid, so we may just stick to the less-traveled parts of Oahu and take what's there.

    Good advice on leaving the gear at temperature.

    - A

    Yep, the Big Island has it all, except for tons of people.  If you guys really want to fall off the grid, the Big Island is it.  The Puna District (where we live) is still 'old Hawaii'.  Incredible scenery. 

    You do need to be careful on the Big Island as it is still a little wild in areas.

    Kaweeka

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    Re: Headed to Hawaii -- let's talk gear / locations
    « Reply #39 on: January 09, 2014, 08:54:12 PM »
    For hiking trails the best resource is http://hawaiitrails.ehawaii.gov/island.php?island=Oahu.  If you do not mind a little exercise you will see a whole new side to Oahu if you get off the roads and into the jungles!  Any trail that takes you up to a ridge should give you some great shots. 

    The north shore is raging this time of year so lots of surf shots on that side.  There can also be some pretty intense rain storms on the windward (east) side.  In both cases do not turn your back on the water; waves can grab you quick and flash floods come, well, in a flash.  Other places I like are Kaena Point (Oahu's west end) and the Makapuu/Sandy Beach area (the eastern end and a lot easier to get to).

    People bad mouth Oahu but with a bit of effort you can find some amazing spots!  One additional word of caution - property crime is bad all over Hawaii.  Do not leave anything valuable in your car even if you just jump out for even 5 minutes to shoot something.  After dark it's best to get out of my favorites above . . .

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    Re: Headed to Hawaii -- let's talk gear / locations
    « Reply #40 on: January 09, 2014, 09:11:22 PM »
    Hi,

    I have been to Oahu for a week business trip and followed with a week on Big Island in April 2012. Although I had only little time on my own on Oahu, I found a few nice places for landscape that were not too far off the beaten paths (I was travelling with my girlfriend and then 3 months old son).

    The obvious start near Honolulu/Waikiki is the Diamondback. i did not do the hike but it was reported to be softcore and sure provides nice views over the city. Otherwise, I was not really impressed by the area around the city.

    Out of Honolulu, I've really liked the surroundings of the Byodo-In temple. It is a Buddhist temple surrounded by some nice landscapes, Although a bit touristy. I expect that there could be some nice hikes around there but can't suggest one in particular. The temple itself is worth a stop.

    North Shore also is quite nice as beach and surf goes.

    The Ko'Olau mountains also appeared as a nice place to look for a hike.

    My final suggestion would be to look for hikes around the Nu'uanu Pali lookout. I just stop there for a short time and was impressed by the scenery. There must be nice hikes around there too.

    In terms of equipment, I was happy to have an UWA on my crop (Sigma 8-16mm) but there are of course many possibilities to go without one (including panos, but they don't provide the same increased perspective that sometimes makes an image dramatic.) Surfers will require more than 200mm so pack the extender as some others have suggested.

    Have a nice trip.

    Just for the fun of it, here are a few of the photos I took of the places I recommended in my previous post.

    What a mess, my camera's sensor is full of massless particules that keep on trying to behave like waves!

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    Re: Headed to Hawaii -- let's talk gear / locations
    « Reply #41 on: January 09, 2014, 09:15:07 PM »
    And a couple from Honolulu/Waikiki...

    By the way, if I recall correctly, winter time is Big Waves time so you may have ome nice oppotunities of North shore, where there are some surf competitions I think. However, I don't know if this may make snorkelling harder...
    What a mess, my camera's sensor is full of massless particules that keep on trying to behave like waves!

    Cali_PH

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    Re: Headed to Hawaii -- let's talk gear / locations
    « Reply #42 on: January 09, 2014, 10:37:08 PM »
    Personally, I use my 17-40L a lot for landscape, especially waterscapes, usually near the wider end.  It gives a dynamic look that's different than just stitching multiple shots together, but of course that look isn't for everyone.

    Others have covered many of the spots I'd recommend, but here's a few more:

    Lanai Lookout on the Windward side, right off the road.  Lots of signs at the parking lot telling you not to hop the fence, but everyone does it anyway.  Just be careful, as the rocks can get slippery and rogue waves can crash over the rocks. 
    Eternity beach near the Holona blowhole. 
    Papa'iloa Beach - Not sure of the name, as I also heard it called Police Beach, but then someone else told me Police Beach was somewhere else...but anyway, on the north shore find Papa'Iloa road, go the end and park where you'll probably see several other cars.  There will be a narrow walkway between houses to the beach.  You'll probably have it mostly to yourselves, except for a couple of locals, maybe some surfers.  Head to the left, and depending on tide/time of year you may see some cool mossy volcanic rocks exposed.  This is where the Lost beach camp was, which we accidentally ran into.  I've also seen turtles sunning here almost every time I've been there, but that may just be luck.
    Makapuu Lighthouse trail (someone posted a pic from near it above, but I think named it). 
    Kualoa Ranch - This is a tourist spot, with guided tours.  I don't like that part, but it's a pretty beautiful valley.  Lots of filming has been done there and you may recognize it from shows/movies like Lost, Godzilla (footprints are still there).
    Manoa Falls - Near Waikiki, up into the hills; I can't recall how long the hike was, but it was pretty easy.  Take bug spray!  Might be a bit crowded in the middle of the day.  Better to go after a rain (but it'll be a little muddy), as I've heard it can be dry depending on the season.
    Kawela Bay - Nice little bay, which I've rarely seen anyone else there except when I once ran into Lost filming, and another time into filming of one of the chipmunk movies, lol.  You can make the long (but nice) walk from Turtle Bay, or park along 83 at the fruit stands.  Across the road from the fruit stands is a gate with a sign about private property and no entrance, but the locals all told me that was a BS sign that Turtle Bay put up; the spot is public, but they agreed to pay for upkeep of the area, so the less people there, the less they have to maintain it.  There's a short walk from parking to the water through a cool banyan tree grove (which, by the way, there's a map to from Turtle Bay, so if you're staying there they'll gladly tell you how to get there).  From the bay, there's a nice walk around the NE side, through trees and around the point.  Eventually you pass a small abandoned military bunker/observation building, and then hit the Turtle Bay Resort.
    Olomana Three Peaks Trail - I've seen some amazing shots from it, but it looks too dangerous for me to try.
    Spitting Cave of Portlock - It's hard to find, but a pretty cool spot.  Might be hard to really compose good shots.

    If it rains, I've heard you should head over to the windward side Kaneohe/Kailua and get a view of new waterfalls off the mountains.  Not sure if that's true, I've never experienced rain there in several visits.

    Someone above said to stay away from the west side because of the car break-ins.  I hadn't heard that, but in my visits it defintely seemed more remote and 'local-friendly.'  I'd still at least drive it and maybe take some shots near the car, as the hills and beaches on that side were pretty spectacular.  I really enjoyed shooting at one of the beaches there; can't recall the name, but I think it's near the NW tip, where the road goes from paved to dirt. 

    Unsolicited, non-photography tips:  I really suggest stopping at one of the Giovanni's shrimp trucks on the north shore, one of the shave ice places on the north shore like Waiola or Matsumoto's, and don't be afraid to check Hotwire for car rental prices.  A few years ago I went 3 times, and got $9.95/day twice (midsize), and $12.95/day once (midsize, but they were out, got a free upgrade to a luxury car).  Also, I'd re-iterate what others have said about being careful of break-ins; you'll see broken glass at parking spots.  Besides not leaving anything valuable in the open, I'd also be careful about what people can see you doing in a parking lot, like putting valuables in the trunk where others may be watching.

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    Re: Headed to Hawaii -- let's talk gear / locations
    « Reply #42 on: January 09, 2014, 10:37:08 PM »

    Cali_PH

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    Re: Headed to Hawaii -- let's talk gear / locations
    « Reply #43 on: January 09, 2014, 10:40:47 PM »
    By the way, if I recall correctly, winter time is Big Waves time so you may have ome nice oppotunities of North shore, where there are some surf competitions I think. However, I don't know if this may make snorkelling harder...

    I believe you're right.  The gf and I were in Maui in December a few years back and the waves were bad.  Still, she HAD to go snorkeling so we tried it.  The rental people were saying how it was fine, great time, etc., but we couldn't see a thing, and the waves bashed my gf against sharp coral and she cut her legs up a bit.  Fortunately we returned out equipment quickly and got our money back.  Later, I was told by some locals that it wasn't a good time for snorkeling, and not to trust the rental people :p

    bholliman

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    Re: Headed to Hawaii -- let's talk gear / locations
    « Reply #44 on: January 10, 2014, 06:58:09 AM »
    Great thread!  We are planning to visit Hawaii either this summer or in 2015, so I'm bookmarking this thread for ideas.

    We will need to go there in June or July.  What are the advantages and disadvantages of this time of year in Hawaii?

    Thanks
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    Re: Headed to Hawaii -- let's talk gear / locations
    « Reply #44 on: January 10, 2014, 06:58:09 AM »