On a recently family vacation, we went to Waikiki beach for a couple of weeks. Waikiki is an urban beach so it’s not the kind of place to get away from it all on a quiet and remote area. It does, however, have nice hotels, restaurants and stores right on the beach. The whole family finds it exciting since there is aways something to do. I wanted to get early morning photographs of the beach, maybe with a nice sunrise in the background. I’m really not an early morning person but luckily jet lag worked to may advantage for the first couple of days as I was still on Austin time. Unfortunately it was a bit more cloudy than I hoped for and it even started raining for a few minutes. Also, at this time of the year, Diamond Head, the iconic volcano visible from Waikiki beach blocks the first rays of sunrise. Despite this, I made an image which I think is interesting. It does have a distinctly urban feel even though its taken on a beach.
My Thought Process
I like how long exposure images renders water silky, smooth and shiny. I setup my tripod nice and low to get the sweep of the beach leading up to the hotels. I used my Sigma 10-20 lens to get super-wide views. It is especially important for wide-angle images to have points of interest in the foreground, middle and background since the wide-angles increases the distance from front to back. I used the sand texture and footsteps for foreground interest. The hotels and the distant mountain acts to fill in the rest of the scene. This is also a HDR image so I took 3 images at different exposures and later blended them together in software.
The images were taken with a Canon 7D with both the Sigma 10-20mm lens. The 3 images were taken as 18MP JPEGs. The HDR was created in Photomatix. Layer blending using Pixelmator. Additional post processing in Apple’s Aperture 3 program included some sharpening, increasing saturation and adjusting the white balance.
Taken at: f13, 3 exposures, -2, 0, +2 exposure compensation, ISO 100 at 10mm