Hawaii Fine Art Landscape Photography | A Tropical Paradise

Hawaii Nature and Ocean Photography

Hawaii is the perfect escape from the USA mainland. A short flight from the mainland transports you to a tropical wonderland, swaying with palm trees and dripping with lush rainforests. Hawaii is known for its stunnings beaches, jagged tropical mountains, and rich island culture. It has been my ongoing goal to photograph the many emotions of these wonderful islands, and do justice to their immense beauty. 

Hawaii is made up of six major islands Oahu, Maui, Kauai, The Big Island, Molokai, and Lanai. Each island has its own character and beauty. Here is a collection of some of my favorite images featuring each of the Hawaiian islands. 

Explore the entire gallery of Hawaii Landscape and Seascape Photography here.

Kauai Nature and Seascape Photography

Kauai is the most rugged of the six islands and is full of immense beauty and photography opportunities. It is home to the jagged 'Napali Coastline' that cuts off access to the northern coast of the island. Very few places in the world have such jagged mountains that fall thousands of feet directly onto the beach. Kauai is also home to the "wettest place on earth;" the Blue Hole receives a staggering 450" of rain every year. This immense rainfall is what makes Kauai such a lush island and gives it the nickname, "The Garden Isle." Please enjoy this collection of some of my favorite fine art photographs from Kauai, Hawaii.


Genesis Kauai Hawaii Landscape Ocean Photography by Lijah Hanley.


"Genesis" Tunnels Beach, Kauai, Hawaii 

Fine Art Edition of 100

Tunnels Beach may be one of the most beautiful places I have ever laid eyes on. The perfectly green mountains that rise up from the turquoise waters, all the while surrounded by palm trees. Being in such a beautiful place, I can't help but think of Genesis and where it all started.


Sacred Valley, Kauai, Hawaii Landscape Photography of the Napali Coastline.


"Mystic Valley" Kauai, Hawaii

Fine Art Edition of 100

A blazing sunset lights up the Kalalau Valley in Kauai. I think this image perfectly exemplifies the flourishing flora of Kauai that gives the island its "Garden Isle" name. 


fine art photography of waterfalls in kauai with a rainbow.


"Jurassic Falls" Napali Coastline, Kauai, Hawaii

Fine Art Edition of 100

Flying down the Napali coastline in a doors-off helicopter was an incredible experience.  We were heading towards the Napali coastline, when a rainbow appeared over these waterfalls, and blew my mind. I had planned on spending the entire flight over the Napali coastline, but this was definitely worth the detour. These waterfalls are one of the great benefits of the colossal rainfall that Kauai, Hawaii receives every year.


rainbow along the napali coastline in Kauai Hawaii. Fine Art Nature Photography by Lijah Hanley.

"Sacred Valley" Kalalau Valley, Kauai, Hawaii

Fine Art Edition of 100

The weather is constantly changing along the Napali coastline. This constant shift in weather conditions creates the perfect environment for rainbows in Kauai. Spend an hour hiking in this valley and you will be amazed at the number of rainbows that appear and disappear during your time there. 


fine art nature aerial photograph of Kauai.


"Soaring Over Kauai" Kauai, Hawaii

Fine Art Edition of 100

The northern coast of Kauai, photographed while hanging out of a doors off helicopter. 

Fine art landscape photograph of the Napali coastline in Kauai, Hawaii.

"Napali Blues" Kauai, Hawaii

Fine Art Edition of 100

The jagged cliffs of the Napali coastline falling thousands of feet into the turquoise waters of Kauai, Hawaii. 

Maui Nature and Seascape Photography

Maui is the second largest island in the Hawaiian chain. It is home to a plethora of incredible beaches, the Haleakala crater, and the infamous 'Road to Hana.' Maui has been the island that I have photographed the most, and one that I hope to return to, to continue capturing its diverse beauty. Please enjoy this collection of some of my favorite fine art photographs from Maui, Hawaii.

Fine art photograph of a curling wave in maui hawaii

"The Curl" Maui, Hawaii

Fine Art Edition of 100

Sunrise light reflects off a glass like wave in Maui, Hawaii. This image was captured using a camera in a waterproof housing. I was able to put myself right in the breakzone of the wave, and capture this image right before this wave picked me up and smashed me into the sand. 

Photography of a large seaturtle asleep on a beach in Maui Hawaii.

"Aloha" Maui, Hawaii

Fine Art Edition of 100

A large sea turtle sunbathing on along a beach near Lahaina, Hawaii. 

Fine Art Photograph of tropical water at sunrise in Maui Hawaii

"Exodus" Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

Fine Art Edition of 100

Tropical blue water flows under of a coastal arch along the Kapalua coast in Maui at sunrise.

Fine art photography of Mala wharf at sunrise in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii.

"Mala Wharf" Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

Fine Art Edition of 100

Sunset under a dilapidated cement pier in Lahaina, Maui. It's amazing how the right light can make an old pier come to life and explode with color.  


Fine art photograph of palm trees at sunset in Maui, Hawaii.


"Sunset Palms" Napili Beach, Maui, Hawaii

Fine Art Edition of 100

Perfect palm trees silhouetted against the tropical sunset at Napili Beach in Maui. The island of Molokai can be seen in the distance.  


photograph of surfboard fence in Maui Hawaii.


"Donald Duck Dynasty"Paia, Maui, Hawaii

Fine Art Edition of 100

This surfboard fence has become somewhat of a tourist attraction on Maui, but it can only be viewed from the road. Not satisfied with the view from the road, my Grandpa and I waited patiently at at the end of the long driveway that was blocked by a gate, and eventually someone drove out from the house. It turned out to be the owner's daughter, and we asked her if it would be okay to go back and talk with the owner. She responded by saying, "absolutely, but we are not liable if you get attacked by one of the 12 pit bulls....." Then she drove off. We cautiously walked to the back of the property where a quaint house was located, and we were greeted by a very unique man who said his name was Donald Duck.  To my relief, he ended up being very nice, and showed us around the property where he had more than 900 surfboards. We got the chance to talk with him all morning, and even had the pleasure of having breakfast with him. I must say, he was probably the most interesting man I have ever met, and I cannot thank him enough for being so nice as to show us strangers around his property and let me photograph it.

The Big Island Landscape and Seascape Photography

The Big Island is very different from the other Hawaiian islands. It has many of the tranquil environments of the other islands, but that is contrasted by the fierce and fiery volcanoes of Kilauea. These contrasting environments make the Big Island an absolute pleasure to photograph. You can be photographing a palm tree laced beach one hour, and a jagged lava spewn cliff the next. Please enjoy this collection of some of my favorite fine art photographs from The Big Island of Hawaii.

Fine art photograph of Kilauea Lava on the big island of Hawaii.

"Crimson Cord" Kilauea, The Big Island, Hawaii

We woke up at 2am every morning and would start the hike out across the black landscape. It was incredible hiking across miles of dried lava rock with the only light coming from the glow and plume of the distant lava ocean entry. The red glow, and sulfur plume almost looked like Armageddon on the horizon. Equipped with thick hiking boots and breathing respirators, we arrived at the ocean entry about an hour before sunrise. From a rock outcropping, we had a perfect view of the lava as it literally boiled the ocean waves. A half second exposure added a slight motion blur to the outgoing wave in the foreground. The juxtaposition of both incredible beauty and ominous power shown in this scene has made this image a personal favorite of mine.



Fine art photography of palm trees along the puna coast in Hawaii.


"Puna Palms" Big Island Hawaii

This picturesque area along the Puna Coast in Hawaii no longer exists. A year after this was taken, this bay fell victim to the very force that created this area originally, the active volcano, Kilauea. It's easy to take an area for granted, but you may never have the opportunity to photograph it again! 

The Milky Way over the Mauna Loa Observatories on the Big Island of Hawaii.

"The Watchmen" Big Island Hawaii

The drive up to Mauna Kea is really a nail-biter. Mud, washboard, crazy steep inclines, and thousand food drop offs mark every turn on the way up to the telescopes at 14,000 ft elevation. The drive is absolutely worth it once you get to the top; the stars are some of the best in the world! These observatories are constantly exploring the stars from the middle of the Pacific Ocean. 



Fine art photograph of Lava in Hawaii.


"Molten" Kilauea, Big Island Hawaii

A waterfall of Lava flows into the ocean, and boils the ocean waves.


Oahu, Hawaii Landscape and Seascape Photography

Oahu is the island that has the most untapped photography potential for me. We have big plans to photograph this beautiful island more extensively. 


Fine art photograph of Large waves on Oahu


"Perseus" Oahu, Hawaii

"Jaws" the famous cove on the north shore of Maui, is home to the largest waves in the world. Every year, many surfers attempt, and few succeed at riding these monster waves. After many days of heavy rain, we hiked down to this bay at sunrise. The heavy rains had turned the trail into two miles of 6in deep mud slogging. The trail was difficult, but we were treated to some very unique stormy conditions with a rainbow.


Want to see more? Explore the entire gallery of Hawaii Landscape and Seascape Photography here.


Meet the Photographer

Fine art Photographer Lijah Hanley

Lijah Hanley is a full time landscape photographer from Vancouver, Washington. In 2009, when he was 13, his work was recognized by National Geographic, and he had the incredible opportunity to study with world renowned photographers Bruce Dale and Amy Toensing in the Amazon Jungle. While in Peru, he had the opportunity to explore all types of photography, and learn from some of the most talented photojournalists in the world. Then in 2013, Lijah had the opportunity to study with National Geographic photographer Stephen Alvarez in London.

Since his time with National Geographic, Lijah has honed his photography, and focuses on capturing landscape images primarily of the United States. In 2015, Lijah and his wife, Gabby, converted a Dodge Sprinter into an RV, and set off to photograph the United States. Three years, 100,000 miles, and 48 states later, they are still chasing the light!  His work is inspired by passages such as Psalms 19 which says, "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands."  Thank you for taking the time to read about his journey, look at a sample of his work, and help him achieve his dream of making this the beginning of a life-long career and a never ending adventure.

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"We purchase a limited edition piece from Lijah Hanley, and could not be happier! He offered excellent customer service, helped out choose the perfect piece and size. It brightens up our home every day! The vibrant colors and depth of the print is mesmerizing!"

                              -Robert Lacy