Hawaii Photography

Far past Makaha lies an almost remote section of beach called Yokohama Bay. The name originally given to the beach by the native Hawaiians who lived and fished there was Keawa’ula. Keawa’ula means “The Red Harbor” and was likely named that because the area is known for becoming a squid breeding ground. The squid were known to turn bright red during mating. Though populations are not enough for Keawa’ula to become red with squid these days, at one point in history, Keawa’ula would flourish in natural wonder during the mating season. Thanks to the heavy influences from Japanese fisherman who dubbed the beach to what many locals now refer to simply as Yokes.  In the few miles between Yokohama Beach and Makaha lies a remote stretch of mountains that are home to throngs of mongoose and wild boar. On top of and inside of the mountains there are many things to see including abandoned military bunkers and even an old army tank. This photograph from Oahu, Hawaii is of a Waianae mountain peak near the entrance to the bay. The Yokohama surf spot is known throughout the world for famous waves during the winter months. These waves are a great attraction to surfers from all over the world who seek the adventures surfing these waves have to offer. This surf spot may appear, at times calm and even as a gentle spot for novices but the beach doesn’t always have lifeguards and has a reputation for being a very difficult place to surf when waves pound in off a southwest swell.  
Yokohama Beach wasn’t always a pleasant place for tourists to watch surfers. The white sand beach have no shade and most of those planning to stay on the beach should bring an umbrella and sunscreen.
Local urban legend indicates a history of famous zombie warriors called the nightmarchers. According to the legend, the nightmarchers were the ghosts of ancient Hawaiians and the fiercest in every battle. They carry kukui torches and come down from these mountains on sacred marches to ancient battle sites or to carry a soul to Ka’ena Point, a place Hawaiian’s believed was a “jumping off” point for souls or in the Hawaiian language leina. Many locals still say they fear the nightmarchers even to this day. On one adventure a group of our Hawaii photography staff met with a lady named Lei’ Ko’Opii who said that she had witnessed the nightmarchers coming down from the mountain and marching straight to Keawa’ula. Even if our photographers had a chance to see the nightmarchers we would not be able to take a picture because according to legend, taking a photograph of the nightmarchers may cause instant death. Lei also recommended that if we did see nightmarchers not to panic. If it so happened that we became trapped in their path, she recommended to lie flat on our faces to show the nightmarchers respect. Other than that it is best to avoid the nightmarchers at all cost! Pictures of Hawaii

In Hawaii there are huge influences from Buddhism engrained into the very way locals live Aloha. This is in part thanks to a well-rooted Buddhist organization called Soka Gakkai International or SGI for short. This group of individuals practice a philosophy called kosen-rufu, which roughly means to spread the modern teachings of Buddhism “like a cloth” in an effort to enrich as many lives as possible. This is an extended goal Josei Toda brought to order, meant to share the Lotus Sutra with the whole world. 
To this day sharing Buddhism is the main goal of the Soka Gakkai. 
The modern teachings of Nicherin Daishonen have become widespread through-out the Hawaiian Islands. References to the philosophical beliefs are present within many modern art works and literature. 
Living Aloha is a great example of the subtle nature of Buddhism found inside of island culture and a hint from beyond. 
Many of the principles of Buddhism are great practices for living daily life. The essentials to practicing Buddhism involves studying the teachings and chanting “Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo”. Through this social self-empowerment, one can experience the meaning of living Aloha as a heightened philosophy. 
The history of Buddhism is rich and the formation of Soka Gakkai International started before turmoil surrounding World War II arose. As a militant state of Japan arose from the ashes of deceit, political powers sought to silence their opposition. This included the founding members of SGI. Founded by Tsunesaburo Makiguchi as a vehicle for education reform the Nicherin Buddhism practice embodied the lotus sutra and embraced chanting portions of the sutra to gain the benefits of the ancient teachings. Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and his associate were imprisoned when, the new harsh Japanese regime enforced by the state, mandated Shinto teachings to become the state religion. Though Makiguchi died, his legacy lived on with Josei Toda who took the Soka Gakkai International to new heights with a refined effort that spread Buddhism to every country around the world. Today the organization has over 90 SGI-USA centers and can be found in over 120 countries with approximately 12 million members in total. The Soka Gakkai International even has an ecological research facility called the Amazon Ecological Conservation Center in Brazil built to preserve the natural value the Amazon has in everyone’s life. These Buddhism beliefs found within the organization are the core principle to radical transformations of the human condition.  

Those who practice Nicherin Buddhism can be found scattered throughout the islands within all walks of life. The power of Buddhism is really a simple capability to empower lives here on the earth and can be applied to any walk of life no matter what the circumstances are. Practicing the religion requires a dedication to learning and a will to make a positive change in one’s self. When one can change themselves for the better, they can start making positive changes in the outside world. Soka Gakkai International is, in a manner of speaking, is the conduit for human change and easily one of the most subtly influential practices in world culture today. Without benefit of learning this practice, it can be hard to imagine how the teachings help draw one’s own road map for success. The practice itself is a beautiful art for self-improvement with one of the unique characteristics being a categorization of the states of life conditions. This “Buddhist set of lenses” is only one of many treasures in this world left here from thoughtful ancient practitioners. The most powerful of whom can be found inside everyone, everywhere. Pictures of Hawaii

“Why is Hawaii good?” you might ask. You will find the answer to the question everywhere on the Hawaiian Islands. It’s all good. From the North Shore shaved ice to the beaches of Waikiki this tropical paradise has about everything, even the most luxurious Hawaii all-inclusive resorts and island tours. Our handy Hawaii guide will share some of the secrets found here in the Hawaiian Islands. Each Hawaii Island is completely surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, a body of water, so immense it is simply described as enormous. No matter where a trip to Hawaii ends up, each and every one of this blog’s photographs are a representation of the tropical beauty the islands have in store for everyone.
The greatest beaches in the world are found here on the Hawaiian Islands where the mornings can begin in the calmest swimming holes and end watching the high magnitude waves that drive surfers to the edge of their capabilities. These sports are feats of daring athleticism requiring riders to compete on the awestruck power of the most dangerous crushing force the ocean has to throw at them. Waves. Rippling beyond an imaginations deepest thought of how dangerous surfing could become. These glass-like marble faces catapult surfers, all while entirely at the mercy of nature’s uncontrollable power. 
Don’t be surprised when visiting Hawaii at first. Hawaii is different than any other state in the country. The true natural vibrancy aside from the breathtaking tropical fauna is one of the many blessings the cultural infusion has established here on Oahu, the whole islands being a great example of the great American melting pot. The sharing of ideas is a tribal fusion from all over the world bringing together a multitude of minorities to share in the riches of the land. Hawaii’s cultural influences are subtle, overpowering and unmistaken. It can be easily misidentified and a must see for the senses. 
Hawaii never seems to get tired of being constantly busy! The cities are always bustling with activity even in the early morning hours. On Oahu it is easy to escape to beach and gain the feeling of relaxation without being too far from the city.
Few vacation destinations in the world can come close to the luxury found on Maui. Maui is a prime location for those who like an area that isn’t too crowded and just right for the drive. Maui even is host to the islands only Krispy Kreme donut factory. Yup, the only one! Aside from the standard flavor of guilty pleasures. Some island restaurants provide Hawaiian delicate cuisine such as the Humuhumunukunukuapua’a Restaurant in Wailea, HI.The Humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa or the Reef Triggerfish is also better known as the Hawaii state fish. The delicious sweet meat makes this fish highly sought after by reef divers. The best way to prepare Reef Triggerfish is by grilling outside with the skin on. Once scaled the skin is tender enough to be eaten whole without any difficulty. These special delicacies are hard to forget especially if tried fresh and finding a few local fishermen to get the inside info doesn’t hurt either. Along with the fresh seafood there are many facts about traveling to Hawaii, such as Triggerfish, that make this just one of the millions of options left to exploring this almost untouched tropical paradise.   Pictures of Hawaii

This photo from Makaha beach in Honolulu County, Hawaii looks like a setting from a dry savannah. The west side of the island is one of the most interesting micro-climates and is a natural habitat for all types of exotic creatures. 
Hawaii photos like this one show the dry, arid climate from the Waianae coast. Rain only falls during certain times of the years on this side of Oahu. When rain does fall there can be flash floods all over leeward valleys such as Makaha Valley and Waianae Valley. 
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Learning about the Hawaiian Islands can go a long ways in understanding the generations old legends found here in this rich tropical culture. With the local landscape, as strikingly beautiful as it is, good photographs are everywhere. One of the best places to take quality pictures is located by the Makaha beach resort, home to a feral population of peacocks. The Makaha beach resort is one of the options people can have for cheaper trips to Hawaii. This fun environment offers all the nature of the country while still having access to the amenities found in the cities of Honolulu and Kapolei. From the Makaha beach resort it is only a 45 minute drive to Honolulu or 30 minute drive to Kapolei.  
Bring a camera to take pictures of Hawaii’s beautiful Waianae coast! 
The tropical landscape is even more stunning than can be described, even for those who don’t have the professional photo equipment to use for pictures, there are many stunning opportunities for photographic moments that can be captured and even edited with smart phones. Friendly locals on the west side are usually very helpful in finding directions and inside information on where to go in the neighborhood of the Makaha beach resort. The parks on this side of the island are usually very quiet and uncrowded. Making a perfect tropical getaway for those looking for quiet tropical adventure on the islands. 
From Makaha beach there are numerous beautiful photo opportunities in clear sight of the Waianae Coast to the Nanakuli and Maili beaches.
The beaches near Makaha are some of the most pristine beaches in all of Hawaii. These exotic locations are home to sea animals such as the Green Sea Turtle who call some of the Makaha beaches a home and nesting ground. One of the best places to stay in Makaha is at the Makaha Valley Towers where vacation house rentals can be found for reasonable prices. There is always a selection of beautiful ranches in Waianae Valley that are sometimes available as vacation rentals by owners in the area. These owners put their homes up as time share vacation rentals and in the Waianae and Makaha valleys these vacation rentals can be some of the most affordable travel advice by far.

The Makaha surfside is a world premier location for surfers looking for the most challenging surf spots. The rugged beach coast is the toughest surfing in Hawaii. On some days when the swells converge on each other even the surf reports are tough to indicate whether the actual conditions of the waters are safe. When in doubt do not go out is a saying that can be heard quoted around Makaha. When in doubt seriously consider your safety before surfing the outskirts of Honolulu county.   Pictures of Hawaii

This is the far leeward side of Oahu on a stretch of sand called the Makaha Surf Beach. 
The reef here is a natural treasure but can become treacherous for those who dare surf too close. Many of such surfers who visit Hawaii either boogie board, surf or stand up paddle board. All can be found at Makaha surf beach catching regular waves as high as 13 ft. right next to the tiny island in the center of the photograph. The water next to the reef is fairly shallow but a good wave barreling in will surf you right into Makaha beach. There is no doubt that the best places to surf in Oahu are located right here in Makaha. 
The famous local Hawaii surf challenges are held here at Makaha Surf Beach to determine the best local surfers in the area. 
In the distance Mauna Lahi Lahi is visible poking out of the horizon. A twenty minute hike to the top is a place where according to legend, Kamehemeha once stood to direct his naval vessels towards the shore and also served as a lookout to see if any enemies were approaching from the sea. Today Mauna Lahi Lahi overlooks much of the Waianae coast and even has a clear line of sight to the Makaha Surf Beach. 
The sea spray from these tropical reefs can be refreshing. In places around Makaha there are small tidal pools that can provide a perfect place for a nice dip and Hawaii photo opportunity. This particular reef was home to many sea urchins who live on the side walls of this tropical tidal pool. Urchins have a small amount of venom in their spikes; any cut from them is very uncomfortable. Though urchins are not deadly, none of which, would have made a great tropical experience at all.
Honolulu, HI is one of the biggest paradise cities in the world. All over this island, including Makaha, people from around the world gather to see and experience Aloha. At the height of the tourist season, the city can be filled with hotels and those enjoying a Waikiki dream vacation.
Our version of tropical paradise is one that welcomes guests into the splendid sensation that is from the true essence and meaning of living Aloha. Hawaii has more to offer than any of the other tropical islands in the world. The best part of the Hawaiian Islands is the experience of exotic travel without leaving the United States. In order to see the real exotic tropical paradise the islands have to offer. One should try to explore each and every island as much as possible. Tropical resorts found on any of the Hawaiian Islands are always of the most luxurious quality available. If travelling through a Hawaiian airline look for cheap travel deals after spring when airlines are promoting to boost revenue.  Pictures of Hawaii

One of the many monarch butterflies photographed here in Hawaii is pictured above. Each year there are thousands and thousands of weddings in Honolulu and the surrounding Hawaiian Islands. At some of these weddings, there are ceremonies where hundreds of monarchs are purposely released. It is usually for when the bride and groom arrive at the reception. People on the islands believe that this has helped contribute to the population of these monarch butterflies found throughout the Hawaiian Islands. Another theory of the surprisingly large populations is that these butterflies might’ve lost their way from California. Eventually they make their way to the Hawaiian Islands and find the environment a home to thrive in. However, the monarch has been shown to migrate to their primary breeding ground in Mexico from the islands. An amazing feat indeed!
Hawaii is paradise for these little creatures.  
In the fall months the Monarch butterflies can be seen nesting in trees and amongst what the locals call Pelé hair, a wispy moss that hangs from the tree limbs. These butterflies seem to be quite at home in the tropical climate finding all the essentials they need to be successful. The Monarch typically does not live longer than five weeks but certain generations make a long trip to a breeding ground in Mexico. These monarch butterflies can live up to 8 months before they die. Rather than breeding right away these monarch butterflies begin the journey to Mexico without wasting any time to ensure they will make it. 
Monarchs have an interesting defense, poison. 
The Monarch butterfly has a natural defense it gains by feeding mainly on milkweed, a highly poisonous plant. Though it is harmless to the monarch caterpillar, the milkweed poison stores inside of the young caterpillar and traces can be found even inside of the butterfly as well. This makes the monarch poisonous to all predators who try to eat it. 
Hawaii is an interesting place to photograph monarch butterflies but the monarchs seem to do extremely well in the tropical environments. Monarchs have been known to be capable of travelling thousands of miles to their breeding grounds and it is an amazing task for such a tiny insect to travel such monumental distances. During spring when the monarch chrysalis’ are dotted along the trees a sense of an elegant survivalist is cast by this mighty butterfly. By fall these butterflies have already begun their journey back to Mexico and across the Pacific Ocean. It is a far from the comforts found in Waikiki and certainly is not as first class as Hawaiian airlines but without this journey the monarch’s would not be able to be the thriving species they are known to be to this day. As much as these creatures have thrived in Hawaii, they know that their time is limited and soon they will have to make a journey in order for their species to survive. Pictures of Hawaii