Making the Best of a Rainy Hawaiian Night

Waikiki Shines at Night

Waikiki Shines at Night – Honolulu, Hawaii

On my recent trip to Hawaii, there was bit more rain in the first few days than I anticipated. Not large storms but passing showers a couple of times per hour. While it didn’t slow our activities down too much, it was an additional hassle for the me, the family photographer. I didn’t particularly want to get my Canon 7D DSLR wet, though the camera body is supposed to be water resistant. What really slowed down my photography was constantly wiping off the water drops from the front of my lens. Lucky for us, the rain showers mostly ended after the first several days.

I took this photograph on the first night in Hawaii. The rain actually worked to my favor in this case. I always wanted to take an urban city image with wet streets. The wet streets adds an extra shine and creates great reflections of the city lights. To get a good effect, you want a decent amount of lights around to produce those nice reflections. You would think its easy to get a shot of the city at night after a rain shower but it proved harder than I thought, at least in Austin, Texas where I live. You see in Texas, we usually don’t have nice, light passing showers. It’s an either or thing. We have long period of no rain and then suddenly we get huge gully washers. You don’t want to be caught outside, especially with expensive camera gear when the clouds open up. I once heard the Texas weather described as “period of long drought broken up by floods”. On the rare occasion that might make a good, post-rain image at night, I was nowhere near the downtown area. The suburban area in which I live is too dark and boring for an effective urban image. For this reason, the rain in Waikiki was a real treat. I was waking around Waikiki with tripod in hand and another one of those quick showers passed by. While I ducked into a store, the 10 minute rain shower transformed the area into this reflective jewel.

Next time you are in a downtown area at night and caught in a light rain shower, you may want to see if you can get some great urban reflections.

[View my entire Hawaii Photography Gallery]

My Thought Process

I looked for a street with lots of ambient light. I liked this street since it had a bit of a curve. I framed the image so that the road formed a leading line into the distance that would draw the eye through the image. I also position the tripod low to get closer to the shiny street. I usually like to have some stuff in the foreground for some interest. Nothing too exciting in the foreground in this case, but at least the textures and manhole covers add some detail.

Image Details

The images were taken with a Canon 7D with the Sigma 10-20 lens on a tripod. I made 3 18MP JPEG images of the scene at different exposures for later HDR blending. The HDR was created with software called Photomatix. I did additional layer blending in Pixelmator. My final sharping, white balance adjustments and color saturation increases were done with Aperture 3.

The image was taken at f13, 3 exposures, -2, 0, +2 exposure compensation, ISO 100 at 10mm

Related Posts – selected by me

These are some other posts I made about my trip to Hawaii.

The Grandeur of the Royal Hawaiian
Waikiki Hotels Early in the Morning
Looking both ways on Waikiki Beach

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