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 trail, just when you reach the mountain ridge, there are two old WWII military bunkers (pillboxes). The bunkers were abandoned after the war and are now popular lookout points among the hikers.
I climbed to the top of one of the two bankers and set up my tripod. Now, if you check the right side of the mountain, which I placed in the foreground of the composition, you can see the second bunker where someone is sitting on its roof and enjoying the view.
Shooting and Processing
There was nothing special about shooting the scene. Shooting on a tripod, I selected a longer exposure (1/25 sec) in order to get a 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 the Topaz Detail plugin and, at the very end, just before saving the photo as the final JPEG, I apply noise reduction using Topaz DeNoise.
The issue with using any sharpening tools is that they always introduce extra noise, which is sometimes impossible to fully eliminate in the noise reduction step.
The technique I am testing right now is somewhat counterintuitive because it employs Topaz Details and Topaz DeNoise together to sharpen the photos. When I am fully comfortable with the new workflow, I will most likely create a tutorial dedicated to this technique.
Camera: Sony a6000
Lens: Sony 10-18
Focal Length: 10mm
Shooting Mode: Aperture Priority (A)
Shutter Speed: 1/25 sec
Tripod: FEISOL Tournament CT-3442 – Check my FEISOL Tournament CT-3442 Review.
Ballhead: FEISOL CB-40D
Processing: Lightroom Preset Based Workflow
Lightroom: import, tagging, contrast, color correction, cropping, export to Photoshop.
Photoshop: contrast, color correction.
- Topaz DeNoise was used to reduce digital noise (sky, water).
- Topaz Clarity was used to enhance details and boost colors.