Details About Anders Winning Photograph at Kukio Beach Hawaii

May 24th, 2012

Since Anders gave me such a great detail Description of how he created this month’s winning photograph, I decided to make his detail description a separate post. The following is Anders description:


  • Canon 5D MK II
  • 24-105 lens pulled all the way out to 24
  • 2 Speedotron strobes at full power 800 watt seconds

This home is at Kukio beach on the Big Island of Hawaii.  Recently, I’ve been very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with the real estate company that lists the homes here.  The challenge with all of them is this giant great room with a panoramic view of the ocean and a very bright sun.  I’m somewhat new to lighting and as much as possible try to follow Scotts book like a lighting bible.  But for rooms like this, I don’t think its possible to do it right with speed lights, so I’ve been renting these old speedotrons from a local photo store and try to apply the same process with more power.  For this room I had one strobe camera right in a soft box at full power and placed as high as I could get the stand to go.  Hence the hot spot in the upper right.  I had another behind an umbrella camera left at full power and full hight.  Of course this shot is a blend.  The following are the exposures I used to create the final shot.  This is what the looked like after some raw processing in adobe camera raw.  All shots were f7.1 and iso 400.


I layered these in photoshop and spent some time masking the door, windows, and table.  Its all hand blended, no HDR or fusion.  I now wish I would have spent more time in post to get the masking just right but I was on a time crunch to get these done, and this is the kind of thing you could spend all day on.  So got it to a point that told the story of the space and moved on to the next shot.  If I could do it again (I might just do that) there are some very valid critiques I would love to address.

I think the hot spot in the upper right could be brought down to match the overall tone of the room.  Thank you Scott

The saturation outside is a little much.  Saturation is such a dangerous tool.  It is probably the easiest one to overdo. The upper windows don’t match. They should be darker than the sky in the door.  Thank you Mike

I didn’t spend much time on white ballance at all as I thought it looked pretty good to begin with.  I always like to find a nice balance then warm it up just a touch beyond reality.

There is also some haloing due to making my mask too soft.  You can see it most on the left side of the door where the ocean meets the wood.

The transition from in to out could be smoother.

Anyhow, Im so stoked to win.  Thank you to Larry, and the Jury and for all the nice comments.  If anyone would like to play around with my raw files for this shot and practice some blending I would be glad to share them.


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5 Responses to “Details About Anders Winning Photograph at Kukio Beach Hawaii”

  • Anders,

    I am and have been impressed by your work.



  • I’m so happy I found this blog. What a great resource, thank you!

    I have no clue what you are talking about, but I like the wood work details and that view is breath taking.

  • Anders and Larry, thank you so much for this excellent post. You don’t imagine how helpful. This is so great to learn more.

  • Anders,
    Well done, man. Not an easy space, you deserved the win.

  • Thanks Everyone! Ethen, I’ve been seeing your landscape shots all over the place here on the big island. Especially the Mauna Kea snow shots. Loving it.

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