Golden Sunset

Golden Sunset

glittering gold sunset near Waikiki

Sharing this sunset from a few nights ago.

I’m standing on the rocks below Diamond Head, and the structure you can see on the hill at right is the Diamond Head Lighthouse. Most people view it from above, when they climb to the top of Diamond Head Crater on a hiking trail and look down from the pinnacle.

In the 1800s, with so many ships running aground on reefs and shoals during the night, something had to be done, and in 1878 a lookout station was built. Its first attendant, John Peterson (from Sweden), known as “Lighthouse Charlie,” was on duty seventeen hours a day, watching through his telescope for incoming vessels. He lived in a small cottage nearby and was paid $50 a month.

When a steamship ran aground in 1897, a stone tower topped by a fixed white light was built. In 1918, after Hawaii was annexed as a territory, the federal government built the current lighthouse, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. It stands 55 feet tall, 147 feet above sea level, and its 1,000-watt electric light magnified by a 7,300-candlepower lens can be seen 18 nautical miles away.

Categories: environment, Hawaii, History, nature, Photography, Stock Photography, Sunsets, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 39 Comments

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39 thoughts on “Golden Sunset

  1. Sharon Griffin

    Beautiful sunset, Jennifer. Hope you and Jerry are well.

    Sharon (Griffin)

    Date: Sat, 20 Oct 2012 02:22:19 +0000 To:


    • Hi Sharon, and thank you. I’m so glad you liked it. Jerry has been working so much I hardly see him (he’s covering for lack of personnel), but he did go with me to photograph this sunset, and he was just as awe struck as I was. He’s in the process of hiring now, so hopefully the marathon work hours will be over soon. We miss you guys and wish we weren’t a 6-hour plane ride away.


  2. Wonderful shot!


  3. jan bellinger

    It’s so beautiful that it does not seem real. Great job! Jan


    • I think that myself sometimes, Jan. And it’s so fleeting. That’s why I love photography—I can document these miracles of nature and make them last forever as images.


  4. Impressive Jennifer and loved the write up too


  5. Magical spot, Jennifer. And a magical lighthouse. I have been teaching all this week about the first lighthouse to be powered by electricity – Faraday a regular visitor – and the same place Marconi used to test his wireless technology. It is at South Fore;and on the White Cliffs of Dover. I do find it exhilarating to see how far and fast electricity spread.


    • It sure is a magical spot, Kate. I like walking on that beach even when the sunset is just blah.
      And there’s something about lighthouses, isn’t there. Something romantic and adventurous, a bygone era. Oh, the stories they could tell (and do).
      Speaking of the spread of electricity, I must tell you that when Hawaii was still a kingdom before the overthrow in 1893, foreward-thinking King Kalakaua installed electricity in his palace even before it was installed in the White House in Washington, D.C.


    • Really? Okay, then, I must do it. Hawaii’s history is fascinating, and, I think, unknown to most people outside the state.


  6. I’ll be in Waikiki for the first time very soon. Can hardly wait now that I’ve seen this beautiful image … Thanks for sharing. … D 🙂


    • Aloha, and welcome to the Islands in advance. We love our visitors 🙂 If you’re coming between now and December, you’ll have great weather, as we’re not scheduled for much rain until early next year.
      What am I saying? Even rain is beautiful here. Keep us up on your trip, won’t you? I’d love to hear about your adventures.


      • Thanks! I’m really looking forward to seeing a different part of the world. Hawaii is a scheduled stop between here (Ontario) and Australia, both there and back. Waikiki going and Maui coming home. Some de-compressing time between destinations … 😉


    • You couldn’t find a better stopover 🙂 I hope you scheduled at least a couple of days in each place. After that, I feel sure you’ll want to come back for more. (Australia is pretty neat, too)


      • Yes … three days in each spot. Anything you can suggest that is must-see in such a short period of time? (Bearing in mind I need at least a day to do absolutely nothing 😉 ) We have great guide books, but it’s a challenge to choose what to see. There’s just so much!


    • While you’re doing that absolutely nothing in Waikiki, you might be lounging on the beach, or taking a catamaran ride (very fun) or enjoying a shave ice (snow cone), or listening to Hawaiian music at a beachside restaurant (Duke’s is good), and maybe going to a show in the evening (I love Society of Seven). For the other two days, be sure to hike up Diamond Head for the view (easy hike), go snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, visit Iolani Palace (wonderful history), and see the Arizona Memorial. Those are my top picks. The rest depends on what you like to do. If you have any possibles, I can let you know what I think. As for Maui, see the sunrise on Haleakala (you’ll have to get up like at 3:30am, and take a heavy coat or blanket. It’s cold up there). The Road to Hana is very famous for its waterfall-fed pools, but there and back will take most of a day. Take a whale-watching cruise (in winter); our humpbacks are very playful. See extreme surfing and windsurfing in huge winter waves at Ho’okipa Beach near Paia. And visit Lahaina for it’s myriad of kitschy souvenir shops and whaling museums. It used to be Hawaii’s capital during whaling days. Like I said, you’ll need to come back and stay longer. We have Kauai and the Big Island, too. Both amazing. If you have any questions, I’ll be happy to advise 🙂


    • Have a wonderful trip and let me know how it goes 🙂


  7. How beautiful! Thanks for sharing the story.


  8. What a gorgeous sunset, Jennifer. 🙂


    • Mother Nature’s artwork was stunning that night. I’d like to say we see these all the time, but truth is, they just come along once in a while, depending on how the clouds line up. Maybe that makes us appreciate them more.


  9. Spectacular sunset Jennifer and loved reading about the background too 🙂


    • Delighted you enjoyed it, Marianne. I can see from the comments that I will need to do more background stories about Hawaii, and that will be my pleasure 🙂


  10. beautiful and great colors 🙂


    • Thanks, joshi. A little adjustment in Lightroom 3, especially in the foreground, and a bit of work in Photoshop was necessary to bring out those colors the way I saw them. But you know how that goes 🙂


  11. Beautiful colours in the sky. I had to look twice to see the lighthouse – all in all a very good photograph.


    • Thanks, Mike. I know what you mean about the lighthouse. Both it and the foreground look darker here than on my original (so that you don’t really notice the golden sunlight reflecting in the water on the foreground rocks). I know now to make the darker areas a bit lighter before posting.


  12. I’ve been to Hawaii several times but never went to the top of Diamond Head. I guess I’ll have to go back and see some of the things or places on the Islands that missed. Beautiful sunset.


  13. Sometimes things just have to fall into place for a photographer to be in the right place at the right time to get the shot. Such was the case with this sunset. I’m usually watching the evening sky through a cityscape of high-rises, but got lucky this time. Oh, yes, you should definitely return and do the Diamond Head hike. The city has recently upgraded the path to the top, and the view is stunning from up there. We love our return visitors. If you do come back, let me know what you’ve seen and what your interests are, and I’ll suggest a few things that you might enjoy 🙂


    • p.s. I just tried to go to your blog and look around, but kept getting a page that said no archives were available. Where can I find your blog?


  14. splendid shot!!!congrats!!!


    • Thank you, Pavlos. And I’d also like to thank Lightroom 3 and Photoshop CS5 for making this shot possible 🙂


    • Thank you again, and true enough. There really is no such thing as a “pure” photograph, which exactly replicates the scene as it was. Even point-and-shoot cameras do their own brand of internal processing, so some manipulation is always in play. Photographers used to argue about this endlessly. Perhaps they still do. But I’m willing to make good use of the tools available to me 🙂


    • Enabling us to be so much more creative….and to not have to turn our bathrooms, kitchens or closets into smelly darkrooms 🙂


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