Diving & Snorkeling: Hawaii

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Night Diving

Hawaii boasts some of the best night diving in the world. After dark, the reefs come alive with an awesome diversity of crustaceans and other critters that are hidden in the lava caverns, nooks and crannies during the day. Many are brilliantly colored, such as the flame-orange Hawaiian and bull’s-eye lobsters, the multicolored regal slipper lobster, the scarlet Spanish dancer and the Hawaiian swimming crab.

Night diving provides macro photographers with an excellent opportunity to get close to their subjects. Most reef fish are found in a dormant state in and around the coral, which allows you to closely observe and photograph many species that are skittish during the day. Many of the fish also take on different, more sombre color patterns at night.

There is no need to penetrate caves and lava tubes, since most nocturnal creatures will be roaming the open reef. Moray eels are commonly encountered hunting for their prey, while cowries can be observed in the open, utilizing their mantles as camouflage.

Those shooting with a Nikonos system will find a close-up kit or a 1- to 2-macro extension setup to be rewarding. When shooting a housed camera, a fixed 1-to-1 macro lens such as a 60mm or 105mm lens can also produce outstanding results. Be sure to rig a spotter flashlight onto your system so that you don’t find yourself shorthanded. Aiming the light beam directly at the animal may cause it to retreat. Photographers generally fare best when the subject is lit by only the outer glow of the light.


Published: 15 Jan 2007 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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Best Hotels in Hawaii

$995
Average/night*
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Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
$453
Average/night*
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Grand Hyatt Kauai
$479
Average/night*
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Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk
$419
Average/night*
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Koa Kea Hotel and Resort

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