Sunset Beach is located on the north shore of O‘ahu and is nearly an hour away from Waikiki. This beach is famous for its epic surf and its long sandy beaches. During the fall and winter months, the surf picks up and the beach is covered with photographers and on-lookers. During the summer and spring months, the beach is popular with tourists and locals alike who lounge about on the beach and enjoy the much calmer waters. As a photographer, you will find this beach very photogenic regardless of the month. A few photography opportunities are discussed next.
Sunset Beach is one of the most popular spots on the north shore to take wedding photographs and other portraits during the sunset. The long sandy beaches and blue ocean make for an excellent backdrop for your subject and the sunset provide the additional flare and drama to the sky to complete the photograph. If you do not have a human subject, then you need to get creative to find a subject to really draw the viewer's eye to your photograph. I would invite you to take a walk either north or south from the main beach area (I recommend south) to find new subjects. Some ideas include footsteps in the sand, the ebb and flow of the ocean waves, palm trees and beautiful beach houses. For these types of photographs, it is recommended to use a wide angle lens to capture your foreground subject and the background all in focus. This will ensure that you have the depth in your photographs that will keep your viewer's attention.
Long Sandy Beach and Surfers
Surfers often stay out in the ocean during the sunset, which provides your ocean shots the additional subjects for your photograph. However, the surf breaks are quite a ways out from the shore, so you will require your best telephoto lens. As always it is recommended to also bring your tripod, to ensure sharp images.
Best Time to Shoot
The best time to shoot is at sunset and just after sunset. It is recommended that you get to the spot an hour before the sunset to scope out your composition and to take a walk along the beach. This beach is very crowded during the day, but most people leave before sunset.
Parking in the parking lot is readily available during the best time to shoot, sunset. During the day, this area is very crowded during the week and especially on the weekends. Parking may be difficult to find during the day.