Light on Glass

The eye is able to catch many of the fine light details when we look around us. We see the shades of dark as well as the reflections of light. Often with a camera it is difficult to capture these two contrasting points, but by taking multiple exposures at different light levels and then merging the photos together we can create a more dynamic image.

HDR Photography opens up a new dimension to capturing images. Grains of wood and stone pick up the light and reflect it many ways, whilst glass also performs well at throwing off reflected beams of light.

I used the original sky from the middle of 3 photos I took here at -1EV 0 and +1EV. (This is before I realised my camera wouldn’t take 3 shots at -2 0 +2 for me and I had to start taking 5 shots to get the range I wanted). This was one of my first photos I actually liked the sky color as it was a blue and not gray.

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A walk past the local Shrine

This was more of a snapshot than a planned photo. I was walking past this local Shrine on my way to take some photos of the many cafes in Daikanyama, when my mind starting wondering what the brickwork and wood would look like with a bit of HDR and tone mapping.

I took this shot without a tripod, but since it was in the middle of the day there was plenty of light which meant the shutter didn’t need to stay open for too long. You can see a nice patch of blue sky above the Shrine which shows what a nice day it was. The Shrine itself was surrounded by buildings which gave it a coming out of the shadows into light feeling.

I had already set the camera to take 5 exposures in preparation for the cafes later, so the standard range of -2 -1 0 +1 +2 came out. I took these as RAW files rather than have the camera process JPEGs on the spot. I am not sure yet whether there is a great advantage here.

A few things I would like to change if I went back to take this shot again. The brickwork at the front of the Shrine was my reason for wanting to take the shot in the first place. This has not come out clearly, mainly due to the lens. I used a 24-120mm Nikkor lens down towards the 24mm end, but the corners of the image have been blurred away.

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Yokohama Port Tower

There are so many great scenes of Yokohama, but my favorite area to visit is Yamashita Koen. On a weekend there are many people walking in the park enjoying the deep blue colors of the port, the light blue of the sky and the greenery of the park in between.

Yokohama celebrated its 150th year of opening to the West a year ago and Yokohama Port Tower was renovated at that time. After all my visits to Yokohama I still haven’t been up the Port Tower to see the view.

This photo was one of my early shots. When I merged the photos I choice the sky from the middle shot since the combination of the 3 photos made the sky look very strange. I feel like the sky is a bit too bare here though and maybe some extra cloud would have been nice.

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Art in Yokohama

I have visited Yokohama a number of times and each time seem to gravitate towards a regular course of Yamashita Koen, Minato no mieru koen, China Town and then the Minato Mirai area. The Ferris Wheel at Minato Mirai seems to have a strange gravitational pull about it, particularly when the sun goes down.

This trip was to try out a few HDR techniques in a setting where I already knew how the camera would perform with standard images.

A number of photos I took came out as I thought, but some others gave quite interesting results. It always pays to experiment with new technology before thinking about where it will take you. The couple of days in Yokohama were an exciting time to think about the future of photography and how people view the world around them as a captured image.

You can see a few more of the images from this day here.

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HDR Photography

I have been experimenting recently with HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography after viewing some of Trey Ratcliff’s works (StuckinCustoms) and have been enjoying the process as well as seeing the results.

This is one of my favorite places in Japan. Sometimes I go here just to stand and watch the people go by. A great spot to view from is across the road from Hachiko, in the tower of the Excel Tokyu Hotel. If you are lucky enough to stay here, you can get a great view of the crossing from your room or in the elevator lobby area.

Looking down the people busy themselves crossing the road whether it is sunny or rain. Shibuya is a fast moving place and there is always lots of action on the street.

I will be making a number of these photos available for sale as limited edition prints shortly. You can also buy copies of all photos in differing sizes and formats through Smugmug.

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