Diamond Head Lighthouse in Hawaii

Looking down at the Diamond Head Lighthouse on Oahu in Hawaii

The Diamond Head lighthouse is seen from the top of Diamond Head on the island of Oʻahu in Hawaiʻi, seen here during our June 2023 visit. From way up here, the lighthouse looks rather small.

Named Lēʻahi in Hawaiian, you probably recognize Diamond Head from all those beach photos from Waikīkī, with the volcanic mountain looming in the distance. The lighthouse out in front of the mountain is not as well known, and as you can see, the mountain towers over the lighthouse.

I love the view of the blue water, with the waves breaking as they near the shore, all under a beautiful blue sky. But if you came here to see the lighthouse itself, here is a better view:

Looking down at the Diamond Head Lighthouse on Oahu in Hawaii

As you can see, it is a lighthouse with a traditional lighthouse look, along with some support buildings around it. We drove past the lighthouse a few times on the road that you can see, which runs along the bottom perimeter of Diamond Head, but as you would expect, the gate was always closed and locked. I suppose we could have parked by the side of the road to try to get a photo of it, but this view from up high suits me just fine.

Hawaii Trip 2023

Size vs. Importance

Compared to Diamond Head, the lighthouse down below is rather small. But which one is more important? That depends on the situation. If you are a boat out in the water in the dark of night wondering where the shore is, the lighthouse is much more important than the large mountain. If you are a lookout watching for ships approaching, the height of the mountain might be more important (see photos from the lookout in Part 8 of the trip report).

Size sometimes determines importance, but not always. Height might be good, but not always. If the lighthouse were placed on top of the mountain, it might be more visible. However, boats would run aground because they did not know that the lighthouse was not right at the shore, so that would be a problem. The lighthouse might be smaller and lower down where it is, but it is definitely important right in that spot.

Sometimes you might think that just because you are one person, you are not important. You can’t reach millions of people. You do not have a large following. But if you are serving your purpose where you are, you can definitely have importance to those who need you. You might not be able to reach millions of people, but you might be of great use to a few people.

Ignore the numbers. Make a difference where you are, however you can, to whoever you can reach.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” - Matthew 5:14-16

About the Photos

You may have already guessed, but the second photo is a crop of the first photo. I did not have a zoom lens with me. The less I had to carry up the mountain, the better! Fortunately, I was able to crop the high-resolution original photo to produce the second photo.

For the main photo, I did some of my usual processing on it to give it that colorful look that I enjoy. However, I did back off of the processing just a bit when I cropped the photo to get just the lighthouse. Up close, it all looked just a little overdone. So while the second photo is mostly just a crop of the first, there are a few very minor differences. Sometimes things do not look quite the same up close as they do far away.

Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Raw Therapee and GIMP.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: Rokinon 35mm f/1.8
Date: June 20, 2023
Location: Diamond Head, Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi


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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through Burnsland.com, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.