Over the years, I have visited the Hawaiian Tropical Gardens on the big island of Hawaii four times. Located near Hilo, it gets around 160 inches of rain a year. It is a tropical RAIN forest. Every visit has been on a brilliantly bright day, no clouds and no rain. This visit I was hoping for at least a cloud cover to help darken the gardens like it typically is … no such luck!
Onomea Falls is one of the special beautiful places in the garden that I enjoy most. My intent was to create an image of the falls in a dark setting as it typically is in. It was dark, but bright hot spots from open spots the canopy were located all around the area. I was not going to leave disappointed again. I took my time, worked my way around the area, played with filters and exposures and left with something I could work with. Back at home I combined images to reduce the hot spots and keep the shadow details. I converted to B&W (as was my intent when I took the images) and did a little selective dodging and burning.
I recently visited the Hawaiian Botanical Gardens, near Hilo, Hawaii. My mission was to photograph creatively. I did not focus on the overall beauty of the environment around me. My focus was on separate scenes, small vignettes, and macro detail while using creative photographic techniques.
For this image, I took multiple exposures covering the range from the bright water and sky to the dark shadows. When I brought them together into an HDR, all the tonalities were captured. However, I lost the feeling of the dense tropical rainforest setting. So I decided to play a little with Topaz’s new ‘Studio” software. I used the watercolor effect to create this image.
I haven’t given up on the natural presentation of this image yet. It will require a lot of luminance masking with layers to get the natural image that I saw in my mind. I will do this at a future time when I am in a very patient mood.
During a recent trip to Bend, my wife and I did a little exploring around the area. We took a drive to Tumalo Falls during the middle of the day. The mid-day sun did not do this beautiful waterfall justice. To capture the bright greens without washing the bright water out, I blended two exposures together; one taken for the water and the other for the green trees.