Yokohama: the Lights

Yokohama, Japan

I probably have mentioned this quite a few times, but let me say it again; Yokohama is one of my most favorite places in Japan to hangout. There’s a lively buzz around any time of the day and night lights are simply breathtaking. So I hardly ever miss an opportunity to go there, with or without a camera. This is a photo from sometime back, a day I braved the cold and spent a good few hours circling more or less the entire harbor area shooting to my heart’s content, and as you will probably agree, it was totally worth it!

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.

Winding Escalator

Ground Floor

All Floors

Japan is famous for notoriously long escalators, and now you know why. This is an escalator found in a mall next to Minatomirai Station, and as you can see it runs three floors with each section at least 30-40m long! So, obviously, I had to take a picture of this.

I processed these two photos again and again, and I’m kind of proud how they – particularly the first one – turned out. At first I went for a glowing look, but felt that was too much so saved my work and left it sit there for a day. Then I picked it up again, got rid of the glow and made it sharp, focused on the escalator area more and increased saturation + brightness there and finished up with Noiseware. This time around it was better, but the walls were too grainy. So I dug in again, increased the glow and the saturation again so that the walls looked just right and then merged with the earlier version so I had the non-glowing clear escalator with smooth looking walls. I thought I was done, but looking at the whole thing in the small iPhone screen made me realize that now the walls were too yellow and bright, and hence the contrast with the bottom half was just not right. So I duplicated the layer again, got rid of some of the brightness and color and phew… finally I was done.