Sunrise at the summit is one of the world’s best photo ops, and you will definitely want to make sure to have a good camera ready to go! Stock up on some unbelievable images to remind yourself of your travels and share with your friends and family back home.


What Kind of Camera Should You Bring?

Up on the Haleakalā volcano, you’ll see people taking still photos will all kinds of digital cameras. These typically fall into categories of DSLRs with viewfinders and detachable lenses and “point and shoot” unibody cameras without separate lenses. What you choose to bring is up to you. DSLRs offer the best quality images and customizability, but only if you know how to use them. If you’re going to simply stay on the automatic setting, you’re really better off with a point and shoot. These compact cameras now offer high quality images with very intelligent automated settings, and remember that they are much smaller and lighter than DSLRs. Maui Sunriders provides a backpack for your gear, but it’s still a good idea to travel light. Cell phone cameras are also always growing in popularity. They offer great portability and convenience, and recent models even have pretty competitive quality. Check out this brief list from tomsguide.com of a few of of 2015’s best cell phone cameras.

Framing and Composition

The rule of thirds

A simple illustration of the rule of thirds

Get creative with framing your photos. Centering your subject (i.e. the sun or your family) can create a dramatic powerful effect, but some of the best compositions offset the subject to the side. Often this can be done according to the rule of thirds. Simply superimpose a mental grid of nine squares over your image and line up your focal point where two of the lines intersect.

Capture the Energy

Think about the energy in your picture, and remember that the flow should always be moving inwards into the frame. Talking about “energy” may sound mysterious, but it’s really easy to see once you get the hang of it. Energy merely indicates the direction someone may be looking in or where the sun’s rays are radiating. Sometimes energy can actually refer to the direction your subject is moving (like on a bike!). Again, the motion should always be traveling inward into the open part of your photo. If your subject is too close to the edge moving outwards, your whole picture will feel cramped and awkward.

maui bike ride

Close-up framing adds energy and expression to this great Maui Sunriders moment.

Enjoy the Moment

Even with your newly honed photography skills, at Maui Sunriders, we still always like to encourage our patrons to enjoy the moment with their friends and families. Don’t spend too much time buried behind your camera or phone. Your pictures will never do the experience justice, and the moment will be over before you know it!

(Sunrise panorama by Hawaii Savvy via Flickr)