East Coast of O’ahu from Makapu’u Lookout (Hawaii)

I took this photo while in Hawaii at the end of the January. That was the day when the rain started at least 20 times. Sometimes it was just for a couple of minutes and a few drops of the water but when I reached the Makapu’u area of the O’ahu, it was practically a storm with the heavy wind and pouring water.

I spent at least 40min in the car at Makapu’u Lookout parking waiting for the rain to stop. It was totally worth it.

Hawaii. O’ahu. Makapu’u Lookout
Loc: 21.309611, -157.657027

 Shooting & Processing

Because of the spots of the really bright spots and some areas of the dark clouds I decided to shoot for HDR, taking 3 bracketed shots (-1, 0, +1) on a tripod.

For the processing, I used Lightroom HDR based workflow. 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 workflow, applying Golden Gate present from my Landscapes Collection (you can always download Free Lightroom presets here).


Deconstructing Featured Photo

Camera: Sony a6000
Lens: Sony 16-70mm
Focal Length: 41mm
ISO: 100
Aperture: F9
Tripod: FEISOL Tournament CT-3442  – Check my FEISOL Tournament CT-3442 Review.
Ballhead: FEISOL CB-40D

Processing: Lightroom HDR Preset Based Workflow

Lightroom: import, tagging, HDR Merge, preset based processing (HGolden Gate preset from Landscape Collection)
Photoshop: contrast, color correction, cleaning and removing distracting elements (parking lot, houses) with the help of the Stamp Tool.

Photoshop Plugins: 

  • Topaz DeNoise was used to reduce digital noise (sky, river).
  • Topaz Clarity was used to enhance details and boost colors (rocks mostly).
Archiving: I save all my photos as JPEG (quality: 100%) at full resolution and with the help of the Lightroom plugin, I synchronized them with my portfolio on SmugMug for safekeeping, sharing, image hosting and online sales.

Do not forget that my FREE Lightroom Preset Collection is always free for all subscribers to my newsletter.