Sunset at Lime Kiln Point

Sometimes a sunset just turns out awesome!

Last summer we spent nearly a week on San Juan Island, off the coast of Seattle in Washington State.  It's a gorgeous island, and the little town of Friday Harbor is quaint and beautiful.  We love it there.

We were up there as part of our crazy big traveling summer, and thus had our own car with us. (Yes, that's a long drive from Texas.)  So we did what we weren't able to do on our last visit to Friday Harbor (when we did NOT have a car) - that is, we drove all over the island and explored it in much more depth than ever before.  It was awesome!

It's interesting how many places you can find to explore when you are on an island.  You would think it's not much, but it really is - at least here it is, I should say.

One place we enjoyed quite a bit is Lime Kiln Point State Park.  It's on the west side of the island, which is great for sunset, and with the dramatic setting on the water and that lighthouse too, you could say I was enjoying it quite a bit.

We spent two sunsets here, but this one was by far superior to the other one.  As you can see, the sky put on quite a show for us, and I was snapping away happily with a huge grin on my face.  It's not often you get light like this, is it?

All three of these images are 3 exposure HDRs processed in Aurora HDR Pro from Macphun.  It's a lovely product that gives me fabulous results, and frankly I have a lot of fun processing my images in it.  That last photo I really pushed quite a bit.  It was a nice sunset, but it wasn't quite that colorful.  But I was having fun, and experimenting with a lot of layers and effects in Aurora, and just decided to go for it.  Call it an artistic interpretation, if you will.  I do like my colors.  :-)

The thing is that when you shoot RAW, the before photos always look a bit flatter and less saturated than they really were.  The same is true of this one.  The left version below isn't really a good representation of the colors at the moment.  So as I was bringing them back, I added some artistic flair, just for the sake of the art.  It was fun. 

Here's a screenshot showing the photo before and after:

As you can see, I added 4 layers on top of the original image.  In the first one, I added a Dreamy preset, then I did a little split toning, then ran some denoise across the sky, and finally had to reduce the reddish/orange saturation a bit.  Altogether this was just a few minutes of work, and I wouldn't even call it work since it's so much fun!

If you would like to learn more about Aurora HDR, just click on the banner below and you will be directed to their site.  Or, feel free to leave a comment with any questions - thanks!