I was exploring along the river of Kyoto, Japan, just after sunrise when I stopped to rest for a bit. This little spot is on the bike trail and people were already up doing their morning exercise. I love cities at around 530-6am because they are completely different animals to just a few hours previous when people are out enjoying the night life. It was so quiet here on this stream as it trickled past me, so peaceful in fact that you could hear the flapping wings of the birds.
This composition is taken from the Gion District, known for it’s Geisha, looking across at the Ancient area of Pontocho. I visited the area the night before and it was filled with cobble stoned alleyways, little water canals, karaoke and traditional restaurants and Geisha tea houses. The night before it had rained and it was truly special the way the light from all the traditional street lanterns and modern neon lights reflected off surfaces. If you ever visit Kyoto make sure to explore Pontocho as it is a part of a Japan frozen in time and well worth taking a night or two and even a week ! to enjoy.
For the original Nikon D800 High resolution image as well as links to Museum quality Prints on Metal, Paper or Canvas click on the image below.
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How I made this Photograph
When I was in Kyoto I shot 5 bracket images on a tripod using a Nikon D800 + the ultra wide anlge lens the Nikkor 14-24mm. This image is complicated to explain how I made it… but if you know your digital editing It’s part digital blend, HDR tone mapping, part Lightroom and Part Filters in Photoshop. I combined pieces from each editing process using the 5 source images. The reason I didn’t just use method in particular is because the HDR edit didn’t work for this time of the day and I wasn’t entirely happy with the Lightroom edits either. So I combined them all !!! haha using mask Layers in Photoshop.
The Tonemapping software I used was
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The Filter Software I used was OnOne Perfect Effects 4
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And obviously I used Adobe Lightroom & Photoshop during the editing process
If you have any editing questions though you can ask them below,