DLWS Kauai – ‘Opaeka’a Falls

'Opaeka'a FallsDay 1 @ DLWS started at ‘Opaeka’a Falls 6 o’clock in the morning.  This is truly s spectacular location with steep canyon walls and jungle vegetation.  With the correct framing, no one can tell this was taken from a lookout right next to a busy road.  Now, someone decided to build a house right on top of the fall; which totally ruins the picture.  Thanks to Photoshop, no one seems to mind.  The problem for me (a people shooter) was –  I got bored really quickly.  I can frame the water fall so many ways before I realize it just doesn’t change very much. 

I started to experiment by putting vegetation in front of the water fall.  Eventually I found this shrub with purple flower which sticks out across the frame if I position my camera right.  As I was playing with auto-focus and depth of field, a bee flew by – eureka!  For the next 30 minutes, I just sat there waiting for the bees to land on the flower.  Talk about patience…

Bee at the fall

Post processing for these two pictures was pretty simple – brighten the subject (waterfall, bee), then darken the surrounding.  The goal is to lead viewer’s eyes to the subject.  This can be done easily using curves and masks in Photoshop.  If you look carefully, there is a spider web between the branches.  I need to figure out a way to enhance it; however, between shallow DOF and darkened surroundings, it’s not going to be simple.  We’ll see.


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