The Kuhio Beach Hula show is one of my favorite activities on Waikiki Beach. I’ve been shooting it for years. The show starts just before sunset and the melodious mix of island music, the ocean waves, the warm rays of sunset, along with the Hula performances, make for an unbeatable combination. They have different shows on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and I attend them all.
On my most recent trip, I want to do something different. I wanted to capture the mood of the event instead of merely documenting. The palm trees around the relaxed venue, the ocean, the modern high-rise hotels and, of course, the setting sun all combine to make this a special place. It’s more than just the Hula show.
While easy for people, the camera has a tough time recording the range of color and light. There are techniques like HDR, which might help but it’s not ideal in this situation. Instead I decided see how much I can push a single photo with post processing. The results surprised me. Even a smaller micro 4/3 sensor on my Olympus is a lot more capable than I imagined.
What resulted is a vibrant scene which matches my feeling of the event. And with any luck, it’s another small step from being just a photographer to someone who captures mood and feeling, like artists often do.
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