PhoTophe

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Photography has changed the way I see the world around me.

Through it I discover new things and rediscover old ones. Like my island, New Caledonia.

This blog is just me sharing my world through my photography.

Hope you enjoy.

Posts tagged city
SHINJUKU PARK TOWER

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo skyline from the Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku. Amazing views, almost 360º. Even though there was a long queue and bag search before entering the elevator, we got up there fairly quickly and just in time for blue hour. The observation rooms huge and there a cafe in the middle. Worth going up if ever in Tokyo.

I’m not certain that all three of the buildings in this image are named the Shinjuku Park Tower because the Park Hyatt Tokyo is located in these towers too. What grabbed my eye to this scene was the roads that winds behind the towers which adda a colour contrast and helps lead the eye of the view into the image. It was a little challenging shooting this photo, actually all the photos, as there was a lot of reflection from inside the observation room. I set my tripod and camera as close as possible to the window, framed and set the exposure then used the 10 second self-timer to give me enough time to wrap my jacket around the camera and up to the window to avoid any reflection off the glass. It also gave the camera enough time to stop vibrating from the jacket being placed around it. The result, no reflection, sharp and a very happy me.

In regards to post-processing, I cooled the image quite a bit to represent what I saw at the time and added the Orton Effect to the three towers and the orange roads that wind around them. The Orton Effect adds a glow to an image or part of an image. It’s the first time I’ve actually used it and, to tell you the truth, I’m not sure if I like it or not. The towers seem slightly blurry even though they aren’t. I know it’s an effect primarily used on landscape photography to give a dreamy look and feel but I’ve seen it used in other genres too, like back-lit street photography, with great success. So there is a use case for it, I just have to figure out in which cases.

28 mm, 15 seconds @ ƒ/11, ISO 100

KOBE NUNOBIKI ROPEWAY

Kobe, Japan

We only had half a day in Kobe before moving on. We decided to visit the Nunobiki Herb Gardens in Fukiaicho, just outside Kobe City. So we checked out of our hotel and headed to Shin-Kobe Satation where we left our luggages in a storage place while we visited the gardens. It’s a 10 minute walk from the train station to the ropeway station. You can walk up to the gardens but I recommend you take the ropeway up and walk down. You can take the ropeway back down but the walk is easy, worth doing and most often in shade. The ropeway is a must as well with it’s stunning view of Kobe’s cityscape and the gardens below. There is a midpoint station you can get off at but we kept going to the Herb Gardens right at the top.

You’ll find stalls, boutiques and a restaurant once there. Flower and herb gardens amongst city views and beautiful architecture too. I didn’t take many photos up here, none worth sharing anyway, but I did film the area so keep a lookout for the video. The walk back down is quite pleasant too. All down hill so easy peasy. A few more gardens and waterfalls await your descent.

A beautiful place to visit, have a meal and even stay for a sunset photo. It’s open till 8:30 so plenty of time to get that perfect shot. Nunobiki Herb Gardens, I can highly recommend it.

28 mm, 1/100th second @ ƒ/11, ISO 100

NEW ZEALAND: NORTH ISLAND

AUCKLAND

LAST DAYS

So I have to start by apologising for not having added some dawn photos from Roselands Restaurant. No excuses, I just forgot. I had rendered and uploaded the video before I realised the beautiful morning was missing from it. But you’ll get to see them on the photo blog.

A beautiful, quiet morning in Waitomo this morning. Alain and I went for a walk and took a few photos before heading back to the camper-van for breakfast. Roselands Restaurant is situated in gorgeous, countryside surroundings. The light we had this morning made for beautiful photos. Some of my favourites of our trip.

Not much to show from our last three days in New Zealand. Which is why I decided to put it all into one video. We mostly shopped and ran around looking for specific things. So this video is a mish-mash of our last days.

We made a small stopover in Hamilton just to grab a couple of things. It was more a drive-by than anything else. Arriving in Auckland we stopped at a service station to empty out the grey water and toilets of the camper-van before returning it. We then made our way to the hotel. The Auckland War Memorial Museum is in the video because I’d intended to go to Mount Eden to shoot sunrise but because of the grey, overcast, rainy morning I decided to just wander around the city and found myself here. A decision I regretted as the sun poked through the clouds about an hour after sunrise. The park around the memorial is beautiful though. We checked out the Skytower and the casino where I got screamed at for filming. I stumbled upon the beautiful hall of the Grand Central Apartments which are situated next to Spark Arena. I met up with Jenny, a friend who worked at the Mexican Cafe, to catch on how things were going. Vegetation walls in a building and old architecture as I wandered near the quay heading back into the heart of the city. A DJ in a shoe store… nothing else to say about that. And on the eve of our departure, we had friend arriving to start their holiday. The teenagers wanted to checkout a nightclub but weren’t confident doing it on their own so we went with them. The teens were surprised that we recognised the music… at our age. Actually, they were old tunes remixed. No creativity these day. We felt a little out of place as we walked in when we saw we were the only “adults” in the joint. And felt even older when a guy walks up to us to say “Man, I thought I was the oldest guys here but you guys… f**k!”. We’ll just leave that as is. Early morning departure meant the oldies had to get their sleep.

So that’s it for our little camper-van trip around the North Island of New Zealand. Thank you very much for following us through my videos. I hope it’s helped you in some way, if not, then at least entertained you. I’m heading to Japan in a couple days but more on that on a later post. For the last time, a big thank you to Alain for the use of his videos and photos to help me tell a better story. Not to forget Manu and Paloma for a memorable trip and for letting me include them in the videos. And of corse to all of you for watching. Goodnight.

p.s. I haven’t mentioned it before, only because I hadn’t realised, but all the links I provide in my blog posts are NOT affiliate, commercial or sponsored links. I DON’T make any money from these links. I provide them as quick access to extra information, that’s it. If that ever changes, in any way, in the future, I will let you know. Promise.

COURBET PLACE ILLUMINATIONS

Courbet Place is a section of what most people refer to as La Place Des Cocotiers (Nouméa, New Caledonia). For a number of years now the Council has transformed this place with illuminations for Christmas. I had the chance to visit late on the last night.

I rushed around for a composition and took a few photos before the lights turned off. I was actually surprised they hadn’t done so already. This was the last photos taken just a couple of minutes before they did. I got down low to include as much of the arch as possible with the bells on the top third and the Fountain Celeste on the bottom third. The low ISO and small aperture gave me a long exposure of a few seconds. I didn’t want anyone in my composition thus had to wait a few minutes for people to walk out of my composition. I took this shot in the meantime and glad I did as the lights turned off shortly after. I would probably never have gotten the shot I was after so I’m thankful I got this one.

3.2 seconds @ ƒ/8, ISO 100, 28 mm