Trip Dates: February 24 - March 1, 2019

Fee: $4400  - Includes six days of photography on the islands, inter-island flights, permits, and local guides. Does not include hotels, meals, or your flight to Hawaii.

Deposit: $1000 to be applied to the final balance 

Target Group Size: 5 participants

From: Hilo, Hawaii

Imagine walking through a misty forest, feeling dwarfed by 30-foot tall ferns, as rare colorful birds feed on flowers near the trail, then finishing the day at a restaurant overlooking an active lava cone after dark. That's the beauty and wonder of the Hawaiian Islands, truly a natural paradise. 

We will spend the first three days on Hawaii, "The Big Island", in the upper elevation grassland and rainforests. We will then fly to the mountains of Kauai, seeking out endemic forest birds, seabirds, and beautiful exotics. 


Day 1 - Endemic forest birds on the Big Island

Day 2 - Exclusive access to the Hakalau Forest guided by the famous Jack Jefferies (all inclusive).

Day 3 - Search for endemic Honeycreepers on the Big Island.

Day 4 - Fly to Kauai and then photograph Hawaiin Stilt, Hawaiian Moorehen, and other special waterbirds

Day 5 - Photograph Albatross almost close enough to touch. Then spend time with Tropicbirds, Boobies, Frigatebirds, and other pelagics. 

Day 6 - Guided hike searching for some of Kauai's endemic forest birds and honeycreepers.


The gallery below are some favorites taken by me:



The gallery below are some beautiful images by previous participants on our Hawaii Photo Tour. 


Cell service:
Service will be good near our accommodations, and may drop in and out as we pass through mountains

Physical Activity Requirements: Moderate activity. This trip will require several hikes into field. I have a slow 1.5 mile hike planned for three mornings.  For the rest of the trip we’ll be shooting near the car most of the time.  Participants will need to follow Matthew in their own vehicle to the shooting locations. Carpooling is optional.

Each participant must have their own transportation. I can help arrange car rentals. Carpooling will be optional. Usually each participant follows me in their own vehicle through the forest. Once I find a cooperative bird, we pull off the road and start working on a setup.

What to pack:

  • Tripod
  • DSLR camera
  • Your longest lens (600mm minimum when you count crop factor and tele-extenders)
  • Flash is recommended for forest photography
  • Extra memory cards or laptop to download images
  • Rain gear
  • Waterproof shoes recommended in case the grass is wet
  • Baseball cap or safari hat
  • sunscreen
  • Binoculars if desired
  • Bring a sample of your own work if you like. It can be fun to share during lunch break to get to know each other’s work.
  • A positive attitude. One negative person can put a cloud over the whole trip but good attitudes are contagious as well!



Likely Species:

  • Hawaiian Duck
  • Hawaiian Coot
  • Hawaiian Moorhen
  • Hawaiian Stilt
  • Pacific Golden-Plover
  • Hawaiian Hawk
  • Ruddy Turnstone
  • Hawaiian Noddy
  • Laysan Albatross
  • White-tailed Tropicbird
  • Red-tailed Tropicbird
  • Red-footed Booby
  • Great Frigatebird
  • Red Junglefowl
  • Black-crowned Night-Heron
  • Japanese White-eye
  • Spotted Dove
  • Zebra Dove
  • Common Myna
  • Red-crested Cardinal
  • Hawaiian (Short-eared) Owl
  • Erckel's Francolin
  • Kalij Pheasant
  • Omao
  • Anianiau
  • Apapane
  • I'iwi
  • Hawaiʻi ʻamakihi
  • Palela
  • Hawaiʻi ʻelepaio
  • Kauaʻi ʻelepaio
  • Japanese Bush-warbler

Endemic forest birds are of top interest for this trip, but also extremely difficult to photograph. If we walk away with two to four quality shots of the endemic forest species, we will have done quite well. We will certainly photograph some of the beautiful exotic species as we encounter them. The sea birds will be a wonderful break from the difficult forest subjects, but challenging in their own way. 

To sign up for the Photo Tour, please add the deposit at the top of the page to your cart and check out