This is another photo from my scenic Lanikai Pillbox Trail sunrise hike in Hawaii (O’ahu). This time I was shooting toward the North with the town of Kailua below.
At the top of the trai, when you reach mountain ridge, there are two old WWII military bunkers (pillboxes). The bunkers were abandoned after the war and now they are popular lookout points among the hikers.
I climbed to the top of the one of the two bankers and set up my tripod there. Now, if you check the right side of the mountain, which I placed in the foreground of the composition, you can see the second banker with the person seating on its roof and enjoying the view.
Shooting and Processing
There was nothing special about shooting the scene. Shooting on a tripod, I selected longer exposure (1/25 sec) in order to get smooth effect of the moving grass in the foreground. Actually, I took another shot with the shutter speed at 1/125 sec but it did not look as good as the version with blurred grass.
Lately, I’ve been experimenting with the new technique of sharpening photos. In my current workflow, I sharpen images at the end of my processing in Photoshop. First, I apply sharpening, using Topaz Detail plugin and at the very end, just before saving photo as the final JPEG, I apply noise reduction using Topaz DeNoise.
The issue with use of any sharpening tools is that they always introduce extra noise and sometimes it is impossible to fully eliminate it in the noise reduction step.
The technique I am testing right now is kind of counter intuitive because it employs Topaz Details and Topaz DeNoise together to sharpen the photos. When I am fully comfortable with the new workflow, I am probably going to create tutorial dedicated to this technique.
For the processing I used Lightroom preset based workflow, using one of the presets from my Landscapes Collection (you can always download free presets here).