Posted on Jan.12, 2012, under Travel
(Nikon D700, 28-300mm at 44mm, ISO 200, 1/250 sec @ f/11)
The shot above shows a portion of the north east coast of Oahu, Hawaii. My family and I recently visited Hawaii and one day while the rest of the family was off on a kayaking trip, I rented a car and took a drive around the island. It’s hard to get good landscape images when you are on vacation with others simply because schedules don’t always allow you to be in the right place at the right time to capture the best light. Instead, you just have to shoot what you are given. On my drive around the island I stopped at this small beach park. It was very windy that day and it made for some really nice surf. I took several pictures at this beach and when I was leaving I walked over to this area which was located underneath some trees. I liked the way the foreground plants and the tree framed the surf and the distant hills. Unfortunately the light was rather strong and created some haze in the distance, but I still liked the view so I took the picture.
The picture presented a complicated scene, very dark foreground, very bright background. I had my tripod with me and I could have shot this as an HDR, but with all the wind I thought there would be too much blurring due to motion and I wasn’t looking for the smooth water shot that blurring might give me. Instead, I created two versions of this image in Lightroom. One with a brighter foreground, one with the darker foreground. I opened both images in Photoshop as layers and then used layer masks to brighten areas of the scene that I wanted to be brighter. As I worked on the image I thought that it might look good done more as a painting than as a photograph. I used Topaz Simplify with the Buz Sim preset to create something more painterly. I wasn’t completely happy with that, so I decided to blend my painterly version with a normal version, creating a hybrid of the two. The end result is what you see above.
Please let me know what you think, or ask any questions you might have about the image or the processing below. Mahalo!
Copyright ©2011-2012 James W. Howe – All rights reserved