The Four Seasons

This was a photo almost a year in the making; when I took the first of the four photos back in August, it occurred to me that I could in fact not take one, but four, depicting each of the four seasons.

The fall went without a problem and a cool looking picture in the bag. Winter was what was tricky, for even though it does get cold in Tokyo it hardly snows and even if it does it would at most be a day or two. There are years without no snowfall at all, too. And a picture depicting the winter is never complete without snow in it. So I was eagerly waiting for some snowfall, even a bit, and then… I was greeted with the heaviest snowfall in Tokyo in years! Not bad at all. However, the plans might have almost gotten ruined, for I fell ill during the exact days where the cherry blossoms peaked. However as soon as I was a little better I headed out with the camera and grabbed a decent shot, although past the peak, and thus complete the picture of my dreams.

Seasons in the Sun

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Dream On

Dreamy Night

Few months ago I took out a friend to dinner for her birthday. All that’s fine, but there’s got to be something in it for me as well, right? So, two birds with one stone and all, I picked Yokohama, close to the Minatomirai station which is without fail an excellent place for photography.

After a wonderful dinner we were walking around aimlessly and while my friend was admiring these colorful LEDs I managed to take 3 quick shots of her and she was kind enough to stay still…ish.

Processed these today, after about four or five months, which is something I like to do instead of processing them all at once. That way it helps me to take a different approach on someone similar themed photos and invariably that ends up in a better finished product. I merged the 3 images (EV0 +/- 3) in Photomatix and generated two outputs; one concentrating on lights and the other on the rest of the photo. Then after a lot of masking to clean up messy areas, imported them to LR and applied this cool filter. Finally, as always, Noiseware.

Placid

Placid

A few weeks ago I was in a photowalk with my favorite meetup group, the Night Photography bunch. It was a park near Shinjuku, Japan and some of the maple trees were lit up quite brilliantly there.

We walked around for more than an hour when we finally came upon this lake, where we were greeted with this gorgeous sight. It goes without saying I set to work there, and I especially loved this as there was a lot of water to work with; water always makes for interesting and breathtaking HDRs.

This is 3 bracketed shots (EV0 +/- 2) merged in Photomatix 5, but other than that I didn’t do much processing except for removing the top of a building visible in the background and cleaning up noise in Noiseware.

Nature’s Palette

Brilliant Colors

Yesterday was a pretty awesome day.

First of all, at work, we were able to meet the deadlines which is always an immense relief. Which also meant I didn’t have to stay till late, so I confirmed my availability for the meetup I was thinking of going, went home, grabbed the camera and headed straight back out.

This autumn I didn’t have even a single chance yet so this photowalk was a God given. We gathered near the gates of Rikugien Garden, which is not far away from Shinjuku, and headed inside in a while. It was a pretty nice place and while the pathways were a tad narrow we didn’t have any problem using tripods and was able to shoot a bunch of good photos.

As an added bonus I met a bunch of interesting and fun people again, which is always the case with these photowalks, made some friends, and ended the day with a much needed beer afterwards. It was past midnight when I finally got home, and it was pretty great day overall.

Bird’s Eye

Yokohama Bird’s Eye View

This photo wasn’t easy!

Couple of months ago, I paid a visit to Yokohama and took loads of lovely photos, some of which were pretty darn good HDR candidates. However, since then I learned about the view from the Yokohama Landmark Tower, and it looked spectacular, and naturally I wanted to go there with the camera in hand.

Yesterday, despite being pretty busy at work, I headed there with a friend, then found the entrance to the tower where you need to pay ¥1,000 and get in a pretty cool elevator that travels at 710m/minute, arrived at the observation room. It was spectacular!

However, there is a huge window (duh, obviously), and to make things worse there are TVs behind light of which is reflected on the window. In order to not focus on the window I had to get real close to the window, but with a tripod that’s no easy feat. However I managed that, but the reflected light from the window was still bothering me. So I made my friend stand behind me and the camera covering the light from the TVs and after several attempts finally found a pretty good angle.

Despite all that though there was still some reflected light from the window in the final shots which I could get rid of only after a through cleanup in Photoshop. This is 3 bracketed shots merged in Photomatix, and then like mentioned about a few minor edits in Photoshop. I didn’t use any more enhancements using other post processing tools though; the scenery was spectacular enough on it’s own right.