Welcome to our Hawaii marine life photo gallery featuring the beautiful marine life found on Hawaii’s inshore reefs. The images here are chosen from nearly 8000 underwater photographs captured between 2012 and 2014 during several family trips to the Big Island of Hawaii. Most of these pictures were taken within a few hundred feet of shore and within the top 30 feet of water.
While first visiting Hawaii in 2011 with my wife and kids, I was stunned and fascinated by the vibrant colors and beauty of life underwater there. We hadn’t even planned to go snorkeling or diving and knew little about this. Our kids were so excited when they saw what was beneath the surface that they were yelling through their snorkels! We felt similarly; the underwater scenery was marvelous and breathtaking.
In an effort to take some of the experience home when we returned, I purchased some cheap Fuji disposable underwater (film!) cameras at an ABC store and took a few pictures, then our kids used the rest. Back at home on Whidbey Island in Washington State, we had these developed and anxiously waited for them to be ready, bringing back not-so-fond memories of photography in the pre-digital age.
After waiting nearly forever (an entire day!) the results were wholly disappointing yet still inspiring. We returned each of the next two years equipped with an Ikelite dive housing containing a much better Canon digital camera. It took a few dives to learn to use this, but the quality of the photos improved rapidly as I worked with it.
After numerous requests from friends and family for these pictures, I created this website so that all can enjoy them. Hawaii is a magical and special place to our family and the marine life there is a big part of that. I hope you can dive or snorkel in Hawaii to experience these awesome creatures in person and come to share our appreciation for them.
Hawaii’s coral reefs are home to many endemic creatures found nowhere else. Learn to enjoy them carefully and please support organizations dedicated to their preservation, such as Reef Teach. I hope to find a way to spend some time in Hawaii each year, returning with even better underwater photography equipment to capture images to share here.
Educational and non-profit organizations are welcome to use our images at no cost upon request, please contact us to request more information. You can click or tap image in our gallery to view a larger full-screen size, and we can provide extremely high-resolution versions of any image here upon request.
Please note: we have no formal training in ichthyology, and if you notice errors on this site, kindly point them out so we can make corrections.
Mahalo for visiting and please enjoy HawaiiUndersea.com!
–Kris Bruland and family