Celebrated Nature Photographer Dies After Falling from a Cliff

Nate Yeun

Nate Yeun, a well-respected nature photographer, has been found dead after falling from a cliff in Hawaii while out hiking.

Tributes have flooded in for the naturalist on social media who was passionate about documenting, and preserving, Hawaii.

Search organizers say Yuen went for a hike on Sunday but never came home, reports the SF Gate.

He was last seen at the Waimano Valley Ridge trailhead at around 08:00 wearing a maroon shirt and green cap. His car was later found by Honolulu police officers at nearby Pearl City High School, authorities say.

A large group of volunteers assembled to look for the popular photographer. One member of the search party spotted Yuen at the base of a cliff and his body was airlifted out at 11:00 on Sunday.

Natalia Hussey-Burdick, Chief of Staff at the Hawai’i State House of Representatives, shared the news on Facebook after being part of the search for Yuen.

“We did find him this morning, but he was already gone. Deepest mahalos to everyone who shared the call to action,” Hussey-Burdick writes.

“Hundreds of people across the islands showed up for him, in the same way, he would have done for you. Nate showed up for everything. No matter what the issue was, he was always there, fighting for the aina [land], the wai [water], and every living thing on this planet.”

Passionate Nature Photographer

Yuen’s Facebook and Instagram are festooned with colorful pictures showing stunning plants, landscapes, and lagoons from Hawaii.

He also captured amazing images of the birth of a Hawaiian monk seal pup, writing a supporting article too.

Yuen’s last Facebook post featured a photograph of the sunrise over a tidepool at Makapu’u which had hundreds of tributes underneath.

“Your beautiful images have brightened my day and deepened my love and appreciation for the ʻāina for many years. Mahalo for that. Rest in peace, Nate,” writes Brett Jones.

While Jennifer Hussong added: “I had nothing but respect and admiration for Nate Yuen, akamai [smart], pono [necessary], and an amazing photographer. What a loss to so many communities.”

His family has said that for now, the best way to honor Yuen is to volunteer or donate to the Sierra Club, Oahu Search & Rescue. Or any other cause the photographer supported.

Only yesterday, PetaPixel reported on another tragic death of a photographer in Florida when a dune collapsed on him.

Image credits: Header photo by Nate Yuen.