Hawaii Travel Guides

Vacation Photo Tips: How To Capture The Perfect Maui Sunset Shot

You’ll have plenty of chances to take gorgeous, envy-of-Instagram photos while on Maui. Here are some of our tried-and-true tips for getting that perfect Maui sunset shot.

1) Be on the West Side of the Island

This may sound obvious, but sunsets are better photographed on the West side, and sunrises on the East side. Generally speaking, the mountains are just a little too tall to get the perfect outline without being on the correct side.

When in Lahaina for the day; make sure to hang around for the sunset.

3) The Coast is Your Friend

The northwest-facing shores and bluffs past Kapalua (West side) provide some of the most stunning sunsets on Maui. Be sure to check it out after a horseback ride or dinner at Sansei’s restaurant.

4) Use the Outer Islands to Frame your Shot

Since most coastal photos on Maui will include either Molokai or Lanai, plan on using the island shoulders to help establish a clean, organized photo.

Note: The cover shot for this uses this technique, featuring Lanai

5) Play with Long Exposure and Hyperlapse

If you are shooting the ocean, you can create really interesting and beautiful images from your phone. Utilising a long exposure will help smooth out the motion of the water, and Hyperlapse (from Instagram) helps you create fun time lapse photography.

Make sure to keep your photo steady when using a long exposure. Propping it against a bench, or rock will do. Better yet, use a little tripod.

6) The One Exception to the West Side Rule: Mt Haleakala

The sunset from Haleakala is almost as stunning as the sunrise, and you don’t have to make a reservation to see it. Plus, the stargazing from the summit is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. If you’ve ever wanted to try a long exposure photo, that’s the place to do it.

7) Four Great Places to Watch the Sunset:

  • Lahaina Harbor
  • Kapalua
  • Kaanapali Beach
  • the Kahana region

8) And finally…

Don’t forget to enjoy the sun setting over one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Featured photo: Lanai, from Launiupoko Beach Park, Maui – © Jonathan Sherwin


We hope these tips help you to get that perfect Maui sunset shot! Share your photography tips in the comments section below.

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