The National Wildlife Federation

Donate Donate

Photos of the Week: Hawai'i Wildlife

  • NWF Staff
  • PhotoZone
  • Mar 27, 2017

Check out some of our favorite photos from past National Wildlife photo contests. Each week we'll celebrate nature and wildlife from a different state. This week we're featuring the wildlife and wild landscapes of Hawai'i!

Photographer Michael Adler took this landscape photo in Waimea Canyon State Park on Kaua'i Island using a Canon 1DS with a 22-70mm lens. He writes, "Waimea Canyon is one of our favorite places in Hawai'i. We continued to return to this lookout during our four-day visit, and late in the afternoon on our last day we were rewarded with a rainbow."

Underwater photographer David Fleetham writes, "The Galapagos shark can reach twelve feet in length and is listed as "potentially dangerous." This one was attracted with bait off the North-shore of the island of Oahu." The Hawai'i resident used a Canon 20D with a 10-22mm wide angle zoom lens. Love sharks too? - See more National Wildlife Photo Contest shark pictures.

Nature photographers Cathy and Gordon Illg shot this image of a brightly colored 'apapane sitting in an ohia tree in Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge using a Canon EOS 1D Mark IV with a 500mm lens and 2x teleconverter. Read more about Hawaiian Birds with Ranger Rick!

Hawai'i native and photographer Bruce Omori made this image of encroaching lava in Kalapana, Hawai'i using a Canon 1Ds Mark III with a 100-400mm lens on a tripod. He writes, "Kupukupu ferns are usually the first sign of life after an eruption."

Underwater photographer David Fleetham also photographed this day octopus in Maui, Hawai'i using a Canon 40D with a 10-17mm fisheye zoom lens in Ikelite housing with twin substrobes.

Photographer Cliff Beittel made this portrait of a Laysan albatross pair displaying at sunset in Hawaii's Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge using a Canon 1Ds Mark III with a 500mm lens.

Earl Stewart writes, "We were vacationing on the big Island and these beautiful geckos crawled up onto our deck every afternoon and enjoyed the moist fruit in the sun." The Florida resident used a Sony A7R with a 200mm lens.

Marine nature photographer Mark A. Johnson took this "split-level" photo of a green sea turtle in Oahu's Kailua Bay using a Nikon D3000 with a 17-55mm f/2.8 lens in underwater housing. He writes, "I wanted to capture a something special, so I set my zoom on its widest setting, focused on the turtle while making sure to have the palm trees also in the frame." Read Sea Change for Sea Turtles, from National Wildlife.

Scenic photographer Durand Johnson took this photo of "sunrise above the clouds" in Haleakalā National Park with a Canon 5D Mark II and a 24-105mm lens on a tripod. He writes, "We stayed up all night to take Astrophotos, and were then rewarded for our sleeplessness by this beautiful sunrise the next morning." Read more about the award-winning photographer, from National Wildlife.

Hawaiian photographer Jack Jeffrey writes, "Several māmane trees were in bloom in the park and several species of honeycreepers were visiting the yellow flowers and taking nectar. I positioned myself so that the background was blurred and medium tone. At one point, late in the day, an 'i'iwi visited several flowers, took nectar, posed, and stuck out its tongue to clean its bill. I got one frame and the bird was gone. The bright reds and contrasting yellows make for a great shot." He captured the moment in Haleakalā National Park using a Canon 20D with a 50mm f/4 lens and a 2x extender on a tripod.

Marine wildlife photographer Doug Perrine made this portrait of a young Hawaiian monk seal in Kohala, using a Canon 20D with a Tokina 10-17mm lens in Subal housing. The resident of Hawaii writes, "This young monk seal was born in the main Hawaiian Islands, unlike most members of this critically endangered species, which mostly live in the remote Northwest Hawaiian Islands. This seal started to approach divers and eventually became too friendly with humans and had to be relocated to the NW islands." Read National Wildlife's Do Hawaiian Monk Seals Have a Prayer?

Photographer Durand Johnson made this image of a lava glow in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park using a Canon 5D Mark II with a 24mm lens on a tripod. He writes, "The lava deep within the crater is glowing and lighting the steam rising from the crater as well as two low-hanging clouds. Visible in the sky are Alpha and Beta Centauri, the Southern Cross, and a meteor trail."

Ocean Allies photography team writes about their photo of a Pacific humpback whale in Maui, "This was a moment in my life where I couldn't believe what I was seeing! To photograph a breach of a whale is so hard, but to think that all the elements came together for this picture. This is why I love photography so much. There is truth in the saying about a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, this photo is proof of that!" The Hawai'i based photographers captured the moment using a Canon 7D camera. Read National Wildlife's The Art of Whale Watching.

Conservation photographer Randy Bartlett shot this image of a juvenile 'i'iwi - an endemic Hawaiian honeycreeper - who "was curious enough to let me get a few frames while he was sipping nectar from the yellow māmane flowers," in Haleakalā National Park with a Canon 6D and a 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 lens.

Marine photographer Mark A. Johnson took this photograph of a storm wave hitting a cliff in Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park in Kaua'i, Hawai'i using a Nikon D300 with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens.

Wildlife photographer Rebecca Jackrel made this portrait of a Laysan albatross chick as it "waited patiently for its parents to return with food," in the Midway Atoll NWR using a Nikon D3s with a 24-70mm lens.

Cathy and Gordon Illg also shot this Hawai'i photograph of lava dripping into ocean waves in using a Canon 1D Mark IV with a 100-400mm lens. "Watching these two iconic forces of nature together - crashing waves and new land being formed - is truly awesome." Read Hawai'i at the Crossroads, from National Wildlife.

Leslie del Prado photographed this Japanese white-eye in Honolulu, Hawai'i with a Canon XSi and a 70-300mm lens. Introduced to Hawai'i in the late 1920s, this invasive bird is now found on every Hawaiian island and poses risks to native bird populations.

Wildlife photographer Christopher J. Crowley documented the "commensal behavior of a banded coral shrimp bravely providing cleaning services inside the mouth of an Indo-Pacific viper moray" at a high rock dive site in Kona, Hawai'i using a Canon 5D with a 100mm macro lens and twin flashes, in Seacam housing.

David Fleetham writes, "I had finished a dive off Molokini Island near Maui when this humpback whale calf left its mother, who was submerged nearby, for a close look at the camera. It circled me several times before returning to the mother." The photographer used a Canon 5D Mark II with a 17-40mm zoom lens in underwater housing. Read National Wildlife's Tuning in to Humpback Whales.

More from the National Wildlife Federation:

NWF Affiliate: Conservation Council for Hawai'i (CCH)
NWF Blogs about Hawaii and CCH
Find a Park: Hawai'i
National Wildlife Federation's Pacific Regional Center
Nature's Witnesses: Powerful images of wilderness can inspire conservation.

Get Involved

   Please leave this field empty

Happening Near You

You don't have to travel far to join us for an event. Attend an upcoming event with one of our regional centers or affiliates.

Learn More