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Makapu’u Beach: One of the best sunrise spots on Oahu!

Makapu’u Beach Park is a great spots to watch and photograph the sunrise! We recently hosted a photography workshop at the beach and had an amazing time! Check out the images and notes below.

The morning started with a 2:30am wake up! Wow, that was early… Our goal for the workshop was to capture star trails and the sunrise… Makapu’u Beach Park did not disappoint. After a quick stop at 7-11 for coffee and doughnuts we arrived at Makapu’u Beach around 4am.

It was dark, very dark. There were a few cars parked up near the bushes but they appeared to be camping. The main beach parking lot was empty so we parked there. Our only light was coming from the Makapu’u Lighthouse and from a small building behind us. There were a few moving clouds, stars all over the place, and a slight offshore breeze. It was perfect conditions for a photographer. We were ready!

Tip: When it is very dark and time is counting down it is important to have all your gear ready to grab and go. The car light, frequent usage of flashlights, and time wasting away can be annoying for people around you. I recommend packing the night prior as if you were stepping on to the beach ready to shoot with your gear the moment you park.

There was a small dark pathway from the parking lot to waters edge. A flashlight was necessary to traverse down the path to avoid tripping on rocks. As we were walking everyone could tell it was going to be a good morning for taking pictures. There were a few clouds overhead which temporarily hindered our star shots. While we waited for the clouds to part we started getting creative with light painting, orbs (globes) and the occasional airplane and car trails. Within a few minutes we were shooting the stars with excitement.

To capture long exposure photographs you must have a tripod. The only alternative is to place your camera on a rock which will hinder your ability to aim, focus, and other important actions. I used my cameras remote to open and close the shutter but a two or ten second timer works just as good.

As the morning slowly brightened we started to see the islands and our surroundings. With a purple sky, crashing waves, and glowing stars, it was officially “go-time.” From that point forward we were running around the area looking for the money shot. There were so many to choose from. It was a lot of fun! I highly recommend this place for an Oahu sunrise.

This location has been added to our list of Oahu’s best locations for a Sunrise. That article can be seen HERE.

Interested in joining us on a sunrise workshop similar to this one? CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO.


Only $85 for a highly recommended software program. Use coupon code “KAIUMI” check it out: HERE


Best Spot to see a Sunrise on Oahu

Best Sunrise Spot on Oahu

Makapuu Beach Oahu at Sunrise

Makapuu Beach Park at Sunrise

Makapuu Beach Park Sunrise Oahu

Makapuu Beach Park and Lighthouse

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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