PHOTO OF THE DAY- Transcendence, HDR Photography in Tokyo Japan

More often than not of late my images have gravitated towards creating a dream, not unlike a space between what is and whats not… and maybe this staircase is a literal metaphor for that transformation in the body of my work as an artist.

This ancient staircase ascends into the temple of Kiyomizu-dera, a buddhist temple in eastern Kyoto. Fresh rain turned the dials up on my senses to 11 as I was ambushed from all around. That crisp air feeling, which you can only experience after rain, filled the air with a combination of the garden growth and the all the smells from the temples such as the many incense sticks and lanterns being burnt. The path is lined with these beautiful trees that have leaves thinner than tissue paper and its that time of the year when they are just beginning to turn earthy tones due to onset of Autumn.

I love the way HDR photography is able to take something as simple as a stone surface and bring it to life almost in a tangible way. The technique is able to create depth and shadow unlike standard photography where this image would have turned out either a bright tunnel or a dark indecipherable jumble. I was able to use a new feature, radial filter, from Lightroom 5 to focus your attention onto the staircase. It’s a bit like a spotlight and I can see it being very useful within my workflow. I showed a before and after of the use of effect just after I posted my image “transcendence” , enjoy 🙂

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

– NIK collection

 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

Image Location:

View “Kiyomizu-dera stairs” at night HDR print in a larger map


Cheers, Luke

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