If you live in a place where you’re not blessed with year long summers, like in Sri Lanka, then spring is probably your favorite time of the year. It certainly is for me. After practically hibernating inside for the entirety of winter it’s such a great feeling to be out again in mild weather. The other day I was with the Tokyo Drink & Click bunch and we were roaming around a park in Ueno, Tokyo, where I came upon these many brightly lit lanterns. The photowalk itself was shallow DOF themed, so obviously I couldn’t miss this.
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.
Destination could be obscure, but the journey can make it worth it. That’s what this photo is trying to tell me, or at least that’s what I feel.
I was at the Tokyo station the other day and was attempting to take three bracketed shots for an HDR here, but accidentally pushed the shutter button and ended up with an out of focus shot.
However I still kept it, and after a little bit of Lightroom touches, it kind of looks cool. I think.
Last weekend was boring; it was raining throughout Saturday and the skies cleared only during the Sunday afternoon. And me being me, spending two days in a row indoors isn’t something I can endure, so in the evening I picked up the camera and headed for the Tokyo station in order to capture some city lights. Guess what, Tokyo never disappoints.
This is the North Exit of the Tokyo station (if I remember correctly), and this classic looking building was renovated very recently to resemble its pre-WWII status, not more than two or three years ago.
There were too many people walking in front of it admiring and taking a lot of pictures so it was not very easy to take a picture without ghosts, and this was the best I could do after 10 or 15 minutes of waiting.
Three shots (EV0 +/- 2) merged in Photomatix, then further processed in Lightroom and Perfect Photo Suite with the final touches from Noiseware.
These are two more photos from the last week’s “Drink & Click” event in the neighborhood of Harajuku Station, Tokyo.
The first one was a pleasant surprise. As mentioned in the previous post, Google had brought some models and we (well, the others) were photographing them while walking along the streets with them. Practically, they were taking us wherever they pleased, and at one point there was a rather dark alleyway to which they ventured into. I was thinking to myself “there’s nothing here!” when we turned a corner and the lovely building in the first picture greeted us!
The second picture has an even better story behind it. Like I mentioned before Trey Ratcliff was attending the party, and when I was getting ready to shoot the second picture I noticed he had only just finished taking more or less the same one. I made a mental note to keep and eye for that photo, whether it’ll turn up in his portfolio, and he didn’t disappoint. A couple of days later he had it up in his Google+ stream which was pretty damn well processed. So I attempted to emulate what he had done, and predictably fell short of the mark, but still I like the way it turned out.
If you’re interested, his photo can be found here.
Last week a photowalk named “Drink & Click” was going to be held in Tokyo, during which time Trey Ratcliff was also going to be in Town. The organizer of the photowalk happened to be friends with Trey, so he invited Trey and somehow Google joined in as well. Perhaps because the Google+ head Vic Gundotra was in town and they work closely with Trey. Either way it turned out to be sort of a proper Google+ event.
Google had brought some Japanese models with them so we could walk along the streets and take pictures as much as we liked. Unfortunately I’m in a transition from Canon DX to Nikon FX, so, I only have a Nikon 16-35mm wide-angle lens with me which is more or less useless for that sort of photography.
So I ended up photographing landscapes and ironically, plastic models.