I am pretty sure this is in no way a unique shot as about 5 million people have probably stood beneath this sculpture with camera pointed towards the sky, but this is my take. I used a 7 shot DRI for the sky and HDR for the sculpture and building. I cheated a little bit and cloned out a small amount of some random building on the bottom left side of the shot.



Prison For a Day

Today should really be spelled twoday for me right now. You see, my day began at 5am Thai time on Friday to see my lovely wife off to Bangkok International for her flight, marking the end of our 2-week tryst through paradise. Once the inevitable checkout time came, I too headed to the airport to sit and wait for 11 hours before boarding time, but this was a special 11 hours because I was sick for most of that time.

I eventually pilled myself up, snapped a few photos, and embarked on the rest of my journey back to Turkey and now about 48 hours since the start of my day, I am trying to post this HDR of my personal prison for a day that is about as heavily baked as my mind feels right now. I’ll be ready to travel again tomorrow, although, responsibility tells me no!

Prison For a Day

Tokyo International Forum Redux

I had to go back into my extremely neglected archives so that I can vary my recently posted photos a bit instead of nothing but Turkey, I need to get away from work and go on a trip! That will be Thailand to meet my wife leaving in exactly in one week. This will be a second attempt at getting good pictures in that country as my first one was what prompted me to get a DSLR after my P&S became full of dust particles that ruined almost every picture I took the first time I was there. Anyways, here is another one of my favorite buildings–if not my favorite–in Tokyo, the Tokyo International Forum. The first batch I had processed I went really heavy on the orange hues for some reason. I have quite a few that I shot with a fluorescent white balance under these incandescent lights which gave a very blueish result.

Tokyo International Forum Redux


Zombie? This picture isn’t a zombie, I am a zombie. I have a bunch of pictures I have been meaning to process from the beginning of the Japanese flower viewing season (hanami), but I have been operating on a temporary graveyard schedule with my wife this week which has proven difficult to get used to. Since my waking hours are spent in a drooling stupor– completely devoid of any and all motivation in life– I will have to post a photo devoid of any cherry blossoms or nature.

This is looking up at the Sanno Park Tower which is the same building I took the photo in “The Process” blog posting from about a week ago. This photo is frustrating because it looks like crap in my Flickr stream when it is a smaller size which seems to be the complete opposite of how most photos look in a smaller size. That and this photo has a bit of a “murky” cast that I was not able to shake.


The Process

My wife serves as a photographic consultant for a lot of my photos. Usually I will have two versions of the same photograph with varying levels of processing. I need her to balance my preference out because the synapses in my brain are definitely more excited by scenes that contain some element that you would most likely not see with the naked eye if you were standing at each scene. She prefers a more natural or lifelike look when viewing photos. Eventually one picture makes it to my recycle bin and the other goes online.

Tonight I over ruled her and this processed abomination won over the realistic looking version. I created a DRI out of 3 exposures then applied some sharpening and LucisArt ‘sculpture’ processing to it. Then I imported it back into Lightroom because I really like the ease at which it allows you to selectively desaturate your work. The 3 most important sliders to achieve this look are blacks to about 60, vibrance to 40, and saturation to -70. From there I slightly tweak each slider and the individual color channels. This look makes for some pretty neat portraits as well.



I took a trip to Akasaka last Sunday with the wifey. She wanted to see one of Tokyo’s renowned hair stylists so she could show up and ask for a haircut and style that would be most appropriate for her facial structure and hair type; the kind of makeover you see on TV where they tell you how they are going to cut it instead of the other way around.

I dropped her off and took a little walk about to an area I had been before. For once I left my tripod at home and really, really regretted it. Pretty neat little area, but I still keep getting my ass kicked by my D80 overexposing shots, but on the LCD screen they all look like they are spot on. I need to permanently dial it to -1 EV whenever I am using spot or center weighted metering which is about 95% of the time. Luckily, I bracketed a lot of shots and ended up with a few that should turn out okay.


And if anyone has a wife with naturally curly, caucasian hair and was wanting to get a ‘makeover’ from a trendy stylist in Tokyo.. Well, 3 hours later, wifey looked like someone put a high-powered tazer in her hair and juiced it up with 1,000 volts of electricity. Basically, what I am saying is… Beauty is subjective!


Well it is true, I have been doing lines again.

Shinjuku Government Building

I still remember the first time I did lines was when I was at a castle in Turkey about 3 years ago. My equipment was very amateur and I had no idea what I was doing. Eventually it takes over you, but I am still in control.

Tokyo Intl Forum

Now a lot of our money goes to my habit, but I can stop whenever I want. I swear.

Cocoon Building