Sandy Beach is my favorite beach in Hawaii. This is where the action happens and you can always be part of it. When I discovered it for myself, I had no idea that it was a famous place. Only after I almost broke my back trying to catch the wave while bodysurfing, I googled it and found out that the beach has the nickname “break-neck” beach. The bodysurfing on Sandy Beach causes more injuries per year than any other beach in Hawaii. It did not stop me from surfing there but I became more careful and alert.
The day I took featured photo I spend entire afternoon on the beach chilling and waiting for sunset hours. Suddenly the rainbow appeared from nowhere and only after it was fully visible, the rain started. It looked very unusual: bright blue skies, the sun, the rain and the rainbow.
I rushed to the Halona Hole observation point to be able to capture the rainbow over the Sandy Beach. It was challenging. The rain was quite strong and with the gusting wind I had to wipe my lens after every shot. I managed to take only couple of shots before rain started to pour and I had to retreat.
First, I merged 3 bracketed shots in Photomatix but I was not happy with the result. The sky and the rainbow did not look very good. Photomatix is not famous for rendering beautiful skies.
Then, I decided to blend 3 bracketed images using luminosity masks in Photoshop (for more details check my Review: “The Art of Digital Blending”). The result was much better. The sky, clouds and the rainbow looked great but the mountains the beach looked kind of lifeless.
This is when I blended 2 resulting images together, taking from HDR image I produced in Photomatix, part with the shore, the beach and the mountains.
Deconstructing Featured Photo
Camera: Sony a6000
Lens: Sony 10-18
Focal Length: 10mm
Bracketing: 3 shots ( -2, 0, +2)
Tripod: FEISOL Tournament CT-3442 – Check my FEISOL Tournament CT-3442 Review.
Ballhead: FEISOL CB-40D
Processing: Digital Blending with Lminosity Masks
Lightroom: import, tagging, contrast, color correction. I produced 3 separate images and exported them to Photoshop.
Photoshop: I opened 3 bracketed photos directly in Photoshop and placed each image on separate layer. Then, I used luminosity masking techniques to blend everything together. I used the Stamp Tool to mask tree branches on the left side of the photo.
- Topaz DeNoise was used to reduce digital noise (sky, water).
- Topaz Clarity was used to enhance details and boost colors (foreground elements).