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 looking down

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


Shirakawa, Japan

A small, traditional village situated in a valley along the Sho River. Shirakawa-go is best known for it’s gasshō houses but has so much more to offer. We spent about five hours here and it still wasn’t enough time to visit everything. So much to see.

We went to where all tourists and photographers go to capture an image of this beautiful village, the observatories. There are two, the Ogimachi Castle Observation Deck and the Tenshukaku Observatory. Though the latter you are not permitted to use a tripod. I got told off by the local photographer. I didn’t argue.

I took panoramas at both observatories. Both images are good but I chose to share this image because I prefer the view of the village from this point. It was taken from the Ogimachi Castle Observation Deck. I stitched the eight images in Lightroom which did a very good job. Well, as long as you do the necessary out in the field. Meaning, levelling your tripod and overlapping your exposures by, at least, a third of the image, LR will usually do a good job. I converted the panorama to black and white and used my split-tone preset than added grain to it. The reason being, I think it would look great printed on rough or corse paper, giving another dimension and adding to the mood of the image. Wanting to somewhat recreate that, I added grain. I like it. I like it a lot. And yes, I think this is one of my favourite images of Japan.

panorama from 8 images | 28 mm, 1/50th second @ ƒ/11, ISO 100


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


Miyajima / Itsukushima Island, Japan

Absolutely stunning panoramic views of the Seto Inland Sea from the Shishiiwa Observatory atop Mount Misen. It was a beautiful sunny day with a bit of haze and very thin, low lying clouds only a few kilometres away. It was ethereal and mysterious. This is where the Miyajima Ropeway ends it’s ascend.

We spent a little too much time here and didn’t realised that we needed, at least, another hour for the return trip to the Misen Observatory. And that’s without allocating time for photographs. Very disappointing as there are relics and temples there. We had a long day trip ahead of us today and had to make a choice.

28 mm, 1/200th second @ ƒ/11, ISO 100


Miyajima / Itsukushima Island, Japan

There are three hiking tracks to the observatories on Mount Misen but if that’s not your thing, the Miyajima Ropeway is your only other option. It’s done in two phases and takes about twenty minutes. The first part are these cable cars that sit six people comfortably and the second, a larger car standing twenty people comfortably. Magnificent views from both of Hiroshima city and bay. Not to mention the beautiful Momijidani Park below. This ride must be stunning during the Autumn and Winter seasons. The ropeway stops at the Shishiiwa Observatory where there are gorgeous panoramic views of the Seto Inland Sea and Hiroshima Bay. Unfortunately, to reach the Misen Observatory, you have a 30-40 minute walk ahead of you. There is no other way to get there. The extra hour walk, not including the time for photographs, was out of the question for us. A little disappointed but we had a long day trip ahead.

I can’t stop wondering what this park would look like in Autumn with it’s maple leaves canopy in tones of red, orange, yellow…

46 mm, 1/160th second @ ƒ/11, ISO 100



photo of the day

The view from our room at the Meriken Park Oriental Hotel. A gorgeous hotel that kind of resembles a ship. We arrived just in time for blue hour and to capture this photo and a few others. The best view out of the hotel, in my opinion. The Meriken Park has everything you need in terms of food, drink and relaxation. The Mosaic just around the corner offers more food and drink options with views of the hotel and the city. All in all, a bit of luxury well worth the price.

10 second @ ƒ/11, ISO 100, 37 mm


Once you cross the Southern Cross Station bridge it splits left and right (check out my last post). This is the other side of Bourke Street. It leads straight to Docklands (Melbourne, Australia). A beautiful area and a must visit. I couldn’t resist shooting this view straight down the street.

Again, I went with a cinematic look. I think it suits quite well certain street photos. That and black & white.

1/320 sec @ ƒ/8, 25 mm, ISO 800


A view of the Southern Cross train station from the Bourke Street  bridge entrance. I had taken a panorama from a different angle just before but it wasn’t centred so I asked the controller at the entrance if he could let me in passed the the gate. I told him where I wanted to go and that it was going to take ten minutes max. He was kind enough to let me in and do my thing and even asked, as I thanked him on the way out, if I got the shot I wanted. Nice bloke. 

This panorama is made of 13 hand-held shots. I bumped the ISO quite high to compensate for the lack of light and made sure I had image stabilisation activated on the lens before I steadied myself as much as possible before taking the shots. The outcome is… OK. Always carry your tripod with you.

13 exposures at 1/20 sec @ ƒ/8, 18 mm, ISO 1600


In this photo you can see in the background, the buildings from my last post. From a different angle though. This is Jones Bay Wharf in Pyrmont (Sydney, Australia). There are a few restaurants and cafes with other businesses located in those warehouses. The old warehouses is what grabbed my attention with the modern yachts around it. If you’ve read my last post, you might have guessed this photo was also taken from the top deck of the P&O Pacific Pearl cruise Ship.

 I tried to get the shot centred but I missed it by that much. A simple, hand held exposure (except for the timing of the shot, apparently). The photo is nothing to brag about but I like the subject and it’s not every day you see things from this perspective.

Again, if you would like to see more photos of the cruise, just pop over to my Instagram @christopheroberthervouet or to which will direct you there as well.

1/200 @ ƒ/8, 38 mm, ISO 200