eadster
Topic Author
Posts: 2125
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 7:31 pm

Honolulu Photography

Fri May 11, 2012 10:52 am

Hey all!

I'm off to Hawaii in August and sourcing locations to do a bit of photography around HNL. Before I start to plan any days in particular, I was hoping someone on here might be able to provide some locations on where is good for photography, maybe even a meet and greet if there are any of you on here that are located there!

Anyway, any info would be greatly appreciated!
 
sovietjet
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Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2003 12:32 am

RE: Honolulu Photography

Fri May 11, 2012 2:53 pm

I will be there at the end of May and would like some info as well. Particularly if it is at all possible to get good shots of the military traffic from Hickam.
 
dlowwa
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RE: Honolulu Photography

Fri May 11, 2012 5:05 pm

The best shooting opportunities are actually from within the terminal. Other than the gate areas, most of the terminal is open air, so there is no glass to contend with. The two walkways to the central concourse and and the walkway to gates 14-23 are usually best, but there are limited opportunities from other locations within the terminal.

From outside the terminal, the little parking lot at the end of Lagoon drive is the most accesible and best for shooting reef runway departures, though it will be backlit for most of the year, and you might have to fight haze. You'll need a ladder as well. There's also Lagoon Park and Sand Island, but the aircraft will be pretty high in the air, and most likely backlit. In short, there aren't a lot of great places to shoot from outside the terminal. If you're lucky, the trades might be blowing and you'll get opposite direction ops, but that's not too common (8s are usually in use for normal winds)

Quoting sovietjet (Reply 1):
Particularly if it is at all possible to get good shots of the military traffic from Hickam.

Unless you can get on base, no. Military traffic usually uses the reef runway, but you would need a really long lens for the fast movers, and as mentioned above, haze/backlighting will be a real issue.
 
HNLPointShoot
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RE: Honolulu Photography

Sat May 12, 2012 11:33 am

(Coincidentally, another Aussie e-mailed me asking for HNL info, so hereʻs what I have.)

The Lagoon Drive parking lot is an excellent site for spotting, but it is considered airport property and will require a photo permit from the Honolulu Airport Managerʻs Office. In my experience, theyʻve waived the permit fee (about $100/day of access) in exchange for an agreement to not sell pictures commercially (i.e. for financial profit.) A lens capable of 150-200mm (35mm equivalent) will suffice for the parking lot (I personally use a Canon EF-S 55-250mm with a EOS Rebel XSi [450D] when Iʻm there), and the best time to go is during May through August (for reasons previously stated) and before 9 AM or after 3 PM to avoid heat haze.

For those who do decide to obtain a permit, make sure to also include the Interisland Terminal parking structure in the permit terms for a views of of the interisland ramp.

For people with long lenses who donʻt want to deal with permits, the sidewalk of Lagoon Drive (a public road not under airport jurisdiction) can work for both 8L and 8R departures, subject to where the sun is positioned. This isnʻt something Iʻve tried myself, but only because I donʻt own a lens long enough to make it work.

Another location that might be viable with a long lens (500mm 35mm equivalent or longer) is out in Ewa Beach, near the 8L approach path. I donʻt go there myself because I donʻt have a lens that long, and there are utility poles and wires that partially block views of landing aircraft, but it does provide a vantage point from the south of subject aircraft, which means it can potentially work during the parts of the year when Lagoon Drive does not.

Quoting sovietjet (Reply 1):
Particularly if it is at all possible to get good shots of the military traffic from Hickam.

Itʻs fairly easy to catch a KC-135 or C-17 if youʻre there at the right time, but something little like an F-15 is harder by an order of magnitude. Youʻd need a long lens (400mm minimum from the parking lot) and a bit of luck.

Quoting dlowwa (Reply 2):
If you're lucky, the trades might be blowing and you'll get opposite direction ops, but that's not too common (8s are usually in use for normal winds)

The tradewinds (which come from the northeast) are normal winds. The runways occasionally reverse direction when there are Kona winds (from the southwest or southeast.) Incidentally, Kona winds also mean itʻs likely vog from Big Island will be blown over the rest of the state, which (at its worst) can make Honolulu look like a bad day in Los Angeles.

Other aviation-related opportunities include the Pacific Aviation Museum at Pearl Harbor, and a company up at Dillingham Airfield offering flights in a Boeing Stearman. Iʻve seen pictures in the DB of another aviation museum out in Kalaeloa, but I donʻt know anything about them. There will also be an air show at Kaneohe Bay MCBH featuring performances by the Blue Angels on the weekend of September 29-30 of this year.

[Edited 2012-05-12 04:43:01]
 
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clickhappy
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RE: Honolulu Photography

Sat May 12, 2012 7:21 pm

$100/day to shoot from Lagoon Drive? Wow! What exactly do you get for this $100? Anyone know?
 
gabik001
Posts: 238
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2005 9:16 am

RE: Honolulu Photography

Sat May 12, 2012 7:26 pm

Also Iroqois Point is good place for both 8's arrival. Part of it is not accessible. Lagoon Dr is good IMO too but before 9am and afternoon (avoiding backlit and haze). I was lucky and get some arrivals at 4R.
As mentioned above terminal shooting is best. Get to the airport 1 hour earlier that usually you do before departure and enjoy the time to get ground shots. I did it when I was there 5 years ago.
I regret that I did not get scenic flight around the island ...
Canon 50D gripped + Canon 70D + 17-40 L + 24-105 L IS + 50 f/1.8 STM + 100-400L IS USM + Minolta X300 w/ 35-70 f/3.5
 
HNLPointShoot
Posts: 226
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2007 3:32 pm

RE: Honolulu Photography

Sun May 13, 2012 3:54 am

Quoting clickhappy (Reply 4):
$100/day to shoot from Lagoon Drive? Wow! What exactly do you get for this $100? Anyone know?

The $100/day is what Hawaii DOT Airports Division charges to grant permission to shoot commercial photography (such as for TV stations and film productions) on airport property. Like I said, they're willing to waive the fee for hobbyists, so people like myself don't pay a cent. I should also add that after obtaining the permit, they ask for a phone call before heading out just so they can give the security people a heads-up that they know you're there. (An hour or so before arriving on-site is acceptable.)

If youʻd like to see what the permit and attached conditions look like, I've uploaded it here.
 
eadster
Topic Author
Posts: 2125
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 7:31 pm

RE: Honolulu Photography

Tue May 15, 2012 11:22 am

Thanks all for the info here - Sounds like there are a few opportunities which is good - I'm looking forward to it

Quoting HNLPointShoot (Reply 3):
Dillingham Airfield offering flights in a Boeing Stearman

This I will look into very closely! That would be a great thing to do!

Quoting HNLPointShoot (Reply 3):
Iʻve seen pictures in the DB of another aviation museum out in Kalaeloa, but I donʻt know anything about them.

I'll research this bit too!

Thanks again to all that provided info!
 
eadster
Topic Author
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Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 7:31 pm

RE: Honolulu Photography

Fri May 18, 2012 2:22 pm

Oh one other thing - Are the aircraft that are "gate guards" at the Kanehoe Marine Corps Station accessible?
 
HNLPointShoot
Posts: 226
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2007 3:32 pm

RE: Honolulu Photography

Sat May 19, 2012 7:34 am

Quoting eadster (Reply 8):
Oh one other thing - Are the aircraft that are "gate guards" at the Kanehoe Marine Corps Station accessible?

I'd say no, unless you know someone involved with the military. Wheeler AAF and Schofield Barracks *might* have an "open base" policy (check before you try to enter either base), but definitely not Kaneohe Bay. The only time the general public is allowed in there is when they have a special event like an airshow or a Bayfest concert.

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