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.

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.

Landmark Tower, Yokohama

I’ve recently been doing a lot of HDRs, but with or without I’ve never really explored the Black & White photography so thought I’d give it a try as well. This is the Yokohama Landmark Tower which is the tallest building (and the 3rd tallest structure) in Japan standing 972 ft and contains 73 floors. It’s a pretty impressive sight, and next on my list is to take a picture from atop that.

The photo is 3 bracketed shots merged in Photomatix 5 Beta (love their new align feature and overall great improvements) then processed mostly with Silver EfEx Pro. Of course the customary noise reduction by Noiseware followed.

Frozen in Time

The Mall

The Mall

Last Saturday evening I headed for the Yokohama harbor intending to take a few nighttime pictures of the Yokohama skyline around the harbor. However I made a mistake and went to the Yokohama station when in fact I should have headed to the next station to get to the best location for my intended shots.

But I didn’t want to get on another train and travel just one more station, so I exited the Yokohama station and walked around to find the best spot.

This mall was on my way, and it kind of looked cool, so I stopped to take a few photos there. Inside the red-ish part to the right of the building there was a Japanese wedding ceremony going on as well, but I didn’t want to barge in and disrupt their lovely time even though I would have killed for a few photos of the wedding.

This is again 3 bracketed shots merged in Photomatix, then added a few touches with Perfect Photo Suite and cleaned up noise in Noiseware at the end.

Yokohama City Lights

Serenity

Again the photography bug caught me last night, so I duly grabbed the camera and headed for Yokohama which is one of my favorite places in Japan. It’s got a little bit of everything; city lights, the sea, the harbor, a whole lot of people with your fair share of foreigners and in general there’s a certain lively buzz there. And especially at night everything comes to life.

So I walked around the harbor area for a quite a while but the huge camera and the tripod were a pain to carry around, and add to that the fact that I had forgotten to bring a sweater so with the speedy wind I was freezing to death. But it was all worth it; I could capture some pretty darn good shots, of which this is one.

This is 3 bracketed shots (EV0 +/- 2) merged in Photomatix, then some I made the sky a bit lighter in Lightroom and merged it with the Photomatix file again before finishing up in Noiseware.