PHOTO OF THE DAY- “Shibuya Sunset”, Urban Sunset View over Tokyo HDR

Heading up to the roof of the Mori Tower lays out full 360° views of Tokyo city, Japan, in front of you. I focused my Camera on Shibuya Station looking down the busy streets. Shibuya is kind of like the Times Square of Tokyo and it’s energy and excitement is something everyone should experience at least once. The tower I was on was smack bang in the middle of the city and there were this many buildings in every direction you looked, it’s absolutely massive. It was funny because they had a disney special on the roof top and every 15 minutes this song would play with a laser show and there were these dancing figurines. I only heard the song 4 or 5 times but it must have sent the staff crazy! haha, I chatted to one of the staff who was about my age, and he rolled his eyes about the music. He was much more interested in hearing about the surf and Sydney Harbour back in my home, Australia.

I noticed whilst I was in Japan that I was able to stare at the sun for a much longer time and capture photos of it whilst it was close to the horizon, something which is much harder to do here with the harsh Australia Sun. It could be a combination of a variety of elements like Longitude and Latitude, Season, Smog from such a large city and other atmospheric conditions. On this occasion though the sun set lasted an hour or so and in this frame it has already dropped behind Mount Fuji off to the left. The size of Fuji is really small from up here and it is just a dimple on the horizon, but I did take a couple of shots of it as well in other images.

After the full image below I posted a crop image from the original to show how much detail is in this one image. This is a 1000 pixel high image of a +7000 pixel image, so the original has so much more data in it.

Here is a cropped detail from the original image showing how much detail is in the original image.

Shibuya Sunset, detail

Software Used:

Photomatix PRO – Is a MAC and PC HDR software for creating stunning HDR images. They have a free trial, but if you end up buying a copy of Photomatix you can get a 15% Discount with the coupon code LukeZemePhotography

 On1 Perfect Effects  An amazing Filter program to stylise the image. a standalone Filter program which can also be launched from Lightroom, Photoshop or Aperture

Imagenomic’s Noiseware 5– discount code “LukeZemePhotography” for a 10% discount.

Editing and Shooting Info for Photographers:

This is a 5 bracket HDR shot on a Nikon D800 +  28-300mm shot at 112mm, ISO 100 and f/5.3. People have bad things to say about the 28-300 but I love it for travel and if you realise it’s a Landscape lens and work around it’s short comings then its fantastic, it prices at around $1000. At the location I also tried to argue taking my tripod up on the roof but due to safety reasons I didn’t win the argument and I had to pay for a locker to store my tripod instead haha. So I rested my camera on one of the fence post’s and placed my lens cap from my 14-24mm lens underneath the lens of the camera to support it and shot my HDR brackets. I’d also wanted to go back to Shibuya for blue hour so it wasn’t a big issue for me in the end as I could shoot quite fast shutter speeds, but limited by what compostions I could come up with. If you wanted to do 1-2 minute long exposures up there though at night it would get difficult as people rest on the fence and would be bumping it all the time. For long exposure work at night in Tokyo I would try finding another location.

I edited the 5 images using Photomatix Pro and the guys and girls from HDRsoft have been kind enough to offer my readers 15% discount on all Photomatix Products, just use the discount code LukeZemePhotography.

I always then Layer my tonemapped image from Photomatix with the 5 originals and mask in elements from them, collapsing the layers until Im left with one.

Using the Filter program On1’s Perfect Effects from my Photo Suite I then used a combination of Filters including Amazing Detail and Magic Desert. Here is an example of how I would layer in certain elements from an OnOne Filter with various opacity brushes. I’ve made the mask visible by making it show in Red but you can see the various opacities in different sections of the image. I sometimes do this within the Perfect Effect’s software as it allows you to mask with its Perfect Effects Brush (amazing brush), perfect brush and it’s perfect bug. These can be all done on Multiple layers too but other times when I know I will be working a lot on a Layer I like to come back into Photoshop in case I have to save and come back to the image later.

Screen Shot 2013-03-23 at 2.07.24 PM

Also there was a bit of noise in the image too so I did a final pass with the extremely powerful Noiseware 5 from Imagenomic, and they’ve actually also offered you guys a discount on any of their software Plugins for Photoshop, Aperture and Lightroom using the code LukeZemePhotography. You should head on over to their website and take a look at what they have Link to Imagenomic.

Hope you enjoyed this post on Tokyo Japan,

cheers Luke

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