I took this photo while visiting Hawaii for the first time. The highlight of the trip was early morning hike along the Hanauma Bay Rim Trail on O’ahu Island.
It was a beautiful and warm morning but when I reached the top of the crater the wind became extremely strong and gusty. I had to hold my tripod with the both hands to minimize the camera shakes and to prevent it from flying away.
The light of the scene was very dynamic with the bright sun and the dark shadows. I knew from the beginning that in order for me to pull this shot I had to shoot for HDR. I took 3 bracketed shots with 2EV intervals (-2, 0, +2) plus I used exposure compensation -1EV so the actual exposure values of the shots were -3, -1, +1.
I keep experimenting with my editing workflow trying to streamline it and make it more efficient.
For today’s shot, I decided to stay away from pure Natural Look. I wanted to try something more creative and maybe even edgy.
First, I merged 3 bracketed shots for HDR using new Lightroom Merge tool. I outlined this technique in my latest tutorial “Lightroom HDR – Natural Looking HDR In Lightroom”.
After I produced HDR image I used a Lightroom preset based editing.
After I played with ToolKit adjustments and compared 4 version again, the obvious winner was Broken Clouds look.
Preset: Clock Tower
Preset: Tropical Morning
Preset: Broken Clouds
Deconstructing Featured Photo
Processing: Lightroom HDR Preset Based Workflow
Lightroom: import, tagging, HDR Merge, preset based processing (Brocken Clouds preset from Landscape Collection)
Photoshop: contrast, color correction, cleaning and removing distracting elements with the help of the Stamp Tool. I used the Content-Aware Move Tool to move the sun area slightly to the left.
- Topaz DeNoise was used to reduce digital noise (sky, ocean).
- Topaz Clarity was used to enhance details and boost colors (mountain, grass).