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The Barbers Point Lighthouse is located in one of Hawaii’s busiest industrial areas and is a little hidden gem that not many visitors (or even locals) get to see. It is co-located with Germaine’s Luau which is deep in Kapolei’s Campbell Industrial Park. You may be hesitant driving here but once you arrive get ready for a beautiful piece of Hawaiian history.

Barbers Point Lighthouse Photo Walk

Wow, the sunset turned out fantastic! Our backdrop of the lighthouse, palm trees, and crashing waves looked like a painting!

The Barbers Point Lighthouse photo walk started at 5:30pm and everyone arrived with stories about their day and the dreaded H1 freeway traffic. I was impressed that almost everyone showed up on time! We started with greetings and introductions then moved into my recommended settings based on the Barbers Point environment.

We had visitors from Australia, Canada, our Military Ohana, and local Hawaii residents! It was great to meet new people and especially nice to see returning friends!

First Stop

Our first stop on the photo walk was located in a cluster of silhouetted palm trees where we discussed the usage of a flash as the fill-light. This technique is perfect for sunsets when your subject (ie; model, tree, boat, car, spouse, etc) is between you and the sun. An external flash (not the in-camera pop up) is highly recommended for these type of situations. Family photographers make a good living using this technique. Here is an example of when I would connect an external flash to get the desired results.How-to-use-the-Canon-430EX-II-Flash-Speedlight

I use the CANON 430EX II FLASH and it does a great job. The next level up would be a CANON 580EX II FLASH which has more features and a stronger output.

I will be hosting a sunset flash photography workshop in the near future so stay alert for dates and details!

Second Stop

Our next move was down the beach towards the lighthouse. I wanted to capture the Barbers Point Lighthouse from multiple angles and I am confident we did just that. With the sun to our back everyone realized the side we just came from was a much more appealing angle. Luckily we had a local fisherman who let us snap some pictures of him walking around and throwing net. We spent about 15 minutes on that side and then moved to the base of the lighthouse.

 Third Stop

It was at then we realized the moon was directly overhead. A moon and a lighthouse with blue sky is pretty cool. Being so close to the lighthouse can make for a difficult shot unless you have a wide angle lens. Without a wide angle it is almost impossible to capture the entire lighthouse in one shot. We had to back up to create the desired scene.Barbers-Point-Lighthouse-Kapolei-Oahu

I talked about two different wide angle lenses which are recommended for crop sensor cameras. To the right is an example of the Sigma 10-20mm lens with a Canon 50D camera shot from 15 feet away.

The CANON 10-22mm F-3.5 to 4.5 and the SIGMA 10-20mm F-4 to 5.6 lenses are both awesome! They range from $429 for the Sigma and $649 for the Canon. Either choice is well worth the investment.

 Last Stop

The sun was going down fast and the colors were getting really nice so we rapidly moved towards our final set-up location. This was our last spot and was perfect for capturing the sunset. It was seriously like a photographers fantasy scenario (my fantasy land). Every photographer loves lighthouses; but you throw in a sunset, palm trees, crashing waves, and a concrete platform for our set-up, we got a winner!

The crashing waves flowing over the reef and rocks made for nice shots as well. We discussed how to capture the moving water with awesome results. One particular setting for a milky/foggy appearance was AV mode, F-20, and ISO 100. This example allowed the camera to decide on a long exposure (shutter speed) which created the desired effect. With the lighthouse in our background this turned out to be a perfect situation.

We ended the Barbers Point Photo Walk with a group picture, big smiles, and of course, a memory card full of amazing images!

Interested in the five other Oahu lighthouses? Check out our article on Oahu lighthouses.


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Chris Rose
My name is Chris and this is my super cool job. We set-up & facilitate photography tours, workshops, and free photo walks for residents and visitors to Hawaii.
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