Waimea Bay Sunrise and Future Teases

This photo was taken on the first morning that I was in Hawaii.  I woke early, due to the 4 hr time difference from my usual, and I was frustrated because of some family stress from the night before.  All I knew was that I wanted to get out and salvage the day.  We were staying close to Waimea Bay, so I headed there immediately, arriving before sunrise.  I remember that I was easily unhappified (heehee, made a word) and generally thought most of my photos were subpar.  Then the sun rose, and the sky changed.  I took some liberty here, the colors were amazing but not so vibrant, but it was exactly what I needed to turn my head around.  I was walking on the beach and was able to sit down and photograph the beauty until the colors faded… much too fast, unfortunately. But I got this shot.  And it processed well in HDR, so it was worth it!

More info on the site… Waimea Bay is a beautiful, beautiful spot on Oahu.  It is my favorite beach for swimming in the summer, and the whole look of the bay is gorgeous- during the day it has the most amazing blue and green clear water.  If you are lucky, you can see dolphins swim through the waters, or people jump off the jumping rock (behind me, out of this photo).  The problem is that it is hugely overcrowded, every day.  Even this day… there was one woman who was walking on the beach (she was in this shot but got cloned out, near the rock embankment on the beach if you want to try to find her).  As soon as the sun rose, people started to arrive.  Local fisherman mostly, but a few people who decided to go sunbathing at 5:30am….  not kidding.  Maybe they were there to swim, but they looked like they were settling in!

This photo seemed pretty technical to pull off, but it taught me a lot!  I actually completed it and flattened the image (made it so I couldn’t make changes to the layers) then realized there were some glaring mistakes… which were impossible to fix.  Sigh.  So I started again… I first processed the 3 exposures in Photomatix to produce the HDR image.  This I put into Photoshop, and started to explore what it was capable of.  I cloned some obvious problems out (woman walking, a stick on the beach, a rock that looked out of place, etc).  I sharpened the image with unsharp mask, then used Topaz Adjust to increase the vibrancy.  The setting I used also darkened the greenery, so I spent a lot of time carefully masking the greenery so the lower level, with brighter plants, could show through.  I also masked the beach area so that it wouldn’t be as affected when I used noiseware.  Imagenomics Noiseware Professional was the next step, and it worked well on the sky and water, although I needed to clone some clouded over spots out there as well.  At this point, I was able to bring in the original, correct exposure image and mask through to some undamaged clouds in that picture (I had some halos on clouds from producing the HDR).  Finally I flattened it all and moved it to Lightroom for final adjusting… some exposure and brightness adjustments and added clarity and vibrance and I was done!

I still have many Hawaii photos to show, but I will be trying to mix in others as well.  Tomorrow will be 3 photos- a colored photo of a ceremonial rock at a heiau (ancient Hawaiian site), a black and white version of a similar rock, and finally a black and white and textured version of yet another rock.  Some of the photos are single images, and some are HDR’s.  It’s a neat juxtaposition, and actually taken on the same morning as this photo, but about an hour later in the day.  I also have ready a beautiful mountain waterfall image taken in Ouray, Colorado, just a few hours from my home.  I will be showing more Hawaii photos and I am posting them at my website- www.kelleybard.com/hawaii for anyone who wants to view them.  You can also find my HDR collection at www.kelleybard.com/hdr.  This photo is specifically found at

www.kelleybard.com/places/e25741eca#h25741eca if you are interested in seeing a larger version.  I highly recommend HDR’s viewed LARGE.  I will also have this posted at my facebook page (Kelley Bard Photography) and HDRspotting.com, which has amazing HDR images to view.

Thanks for visiting my blog, come again!  Mahalo and aloha.


About Kelley B.

I am a Durango, CO photographer who specializes in portraiture and wedding photography. My business is Kelley Bard Photography. You can find me around town, gardening, or on my website at www.kelleybard.com. View all posts by Kelley B.

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