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 night
YASAKA-JINJA

Kyoto, Japan

Our long day in Kyoto and beautiful night in Gion ended with this photo of Yasaka Shrine. Though it was late, around 10 pm, there were still a number of people going in to visit or worship. A stunning shrine located on a main road and surrounded by greenery. Behind this entrance is a huge park with many shrines, gardens and ponds. Magnificent.

I took two photographs of this shrine. This one and another with light trails in the foreground. The light trails weren’t criss-crossing the way I liked so I kept this one. I went with a desaturated look with one of my split-tone presets added on top of it. It’s the same preset I’ve used on a number of other photos from Japan. Now, I wasn’t sure about keeping the dead space in the foreground but without it, the mood of the image changes. It becomes cramped and busy. Not forgetting the aspect ratio changes to panoramic. Keeping it, I found, pulls the viewer back, showing a more tranquil scene. Less busy. Showing a few people instead of a small crowd. Makes all the difference.

We were going to catch a bus, just to the right of the image, back to the motel but when I saw a cab approaching, we jumped in that instead. Home in 10 minutes, fantastic. And the cabs are super clean and quite affordable. We hesitated taking them for the first two, three days of our trip, thinking they were expensive. Hearing they were expensive. Not the case at all. The only time we caught them though was to head home quickly at the end of a night. More sleep. Sleep is important hahaha! Goodnight.

28 mm, 1/30th second @ ƒ/2.8, ISO 3200

ITSUKUSHIMA TOWN

Miyajima / Itsukushima Island, Japan

The staff at Hotel Kikunoya, where we stayed, were very friendly and helpful. Really can’t say enough great things about this place. They have their own onsen and restaurant. We had dinner in this street though, in Itsukushima Town. The town pretty much shuts down after sunset and only a small handful of restaurants stay open for tourists. It looks very empty here but I promise you it’s packed with tourists and locals during the day. We wandered down this little street and ultimately back up to a restaurant called Mametanuki. The owner speaks English and is, maybe, British but the restaurant is very much Japanese.

Though this is a long exposure photo, I had a couple walk in the frame and stopped just long enough to appear as ghost figures. So I used the first shot I took of the street to mask them out of the frame. Otherwise, it’s a single exposure.

It’s these types of streets and alleyways that really make me feel like I’m in a different country, a different world. We both wished we’d organised, at least, two nights here. So much to see and visit.

41 mm, 25 seconds @ ƒ/11, ISO 50

ITSUKUSHIMA SHRINE

Miyajima / Itsukushima Island, Japan

Check out my last post if you haven’t seen the torii to this magnificent Itsukushima Shrine. When we arrived for sunset, I was a little disappointed to see it was low tide but glad it was for this shot. Though my friend was cold and we were hungry, we stayed a little longer after blue hour to capture more images. We were only here one night thus wanted to make the most of it. I wanted a centred composition with the reflection but to get it I had to get my feet a bit wet. Well, I tried to avoid it but it was a failed mission. I got the shot I wanted and that’s all that counts.

I have to say I’m blown away by my new camera and lens. It took me a long time to get it but the combination of the Sony a7 III with the Tamron 28-75 mm ƒ/2.8 is just awesome. In regards to this photo, though taken a 30 seconds and ISO 50, the raw file was very dark. Everything behind the shrine and the foreground was in darkness. The dynamic range on the raw file was amazing. I was able to bump up three stops of light noise-free without loosing any sharpness. I’m literally blown away by this camera lens combination and the quality of the images.

28 mm, 30 seconds @ ƒ/11, ISO 50

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

NIGHT ZOO

As I mentioned on my last post we had dinner at the cafe in Taronga Zoo in wait for it to reopen just after dark for Vivid Taronga Zoo. It’s beautiful and amazing and a must do if you’re ever in Sydney while it’s on. And the kids will be inthralled.

A little challenging for photos especially for positioning and framing. You’ve got to have a lot of patience. Many times I had to wait for people to move and a few times for photographers as they had the perfect spot for the shot I wanted. Because there are a lot of people around, you need to be aware your surroundings. You don’t want someone bumping into your gear or taking a kid out with your tripod or backpack. Be careful and tolerant. And talking about the tripod, a must as all of my images are long exposures. It’s the way to go if you want sharp photos.

A big thank you to my friend and her kids for their patience. They endured the cold temperature for at least an extra hour, instead of being warm and cosy back at the hotel, to give me the chance to capture everything. Merci.

STROLLING VIVIDLY

Who remembers Vivid Sydney? Unfortunately I didn’t have the time to photograph the iconic buildings during this event and I’m sure you’ve seen them either in person or through social media already. I managed a few photos. We (my friend, her two kids and I ) had decided to check out the lights in Circular Quay on the way down from Woy Woy since it was the last day of Vivid Sydney. We had spent the day up there visiting my sister and her little family. It was thanks to a man that had struck a conversation with me, while I set up for my first photo, that I found out about the Botanical Gardens. Well, we had to check it out. I was disappointed I wasn’t able to take many photos along Circular Quay. It was just too crowded. There were thousands of people doing the same thing as we were. It was a lot better once we entered the Botanical Gardens though. And I’m so thankful to the man that approached me as the stroll was just magical. There is so much to see, hear and do during Vivid Sydney that I’ll have to dedicate a trip back just for that. The little we did was such a great experience.

Just a quick shout out to my friend and her kids for their patience. I know it was exhausting for them to wait while I set up my gear, waited for the right moment to capture an image, reviewed the image and do it all over again if I wasn’t satisfied. Especially after an already long day. Thank you very much to all three of you.

BEACH TRAIL

Following on from my last post, I walked over to Poe Beach (Bourail, New Caledonia) and tried to capture stars above the seascape. In this scene I really wanted to avoid trailing stars and try to capture pin sharp ones and lots of them. To do that I needed a faster shutter speed than my last photo Poe Trail, that is an eight minutes exposure and bring that down to eight seconds or round about. Doing that meant I needed to bump up my ISO and I thought about opening up the aperture but I wasn’t sure I could get the foreground and the stars in focus if I did. So I left it at ƒ/11 but even now I’m not sure if that I a good idea or not. Unfortunately the higher ISO introduce too much noise, the faster shutter speed gave me a dark exposure and a slower one, star trails.

So this photo is the best (of the worst) that I was able to capture. Again, a super long exposure of eight minutes and yes, star trails too. I light painted the foreground though in this photo. The image was a little flat and I wanted to give it a little more depth and hope it would balance the foreground with the billions of stars in the sky… yeah, that didn’t quite happen. I think the slow passing clouds prevented the capture of all those beautiful stars I could see. I like the light painting though. Not too much, not too little. It seems natural, no?!

Well, though I had a lot of fun trying to capture the night sky, there was tomorrow’s sunrise to photograph so back to the tent I went.

480 sec (8 mins) @ ƒ/11, 18 mm, ISO 100

POE TRAIL

So from where the photo was taken on my last post, this view would be about thirty-five/forty metres behind me. From this photo, the Camping de Némo is on the left, Poé Beach on the right and I’m standing in the middle of the road that runs through the Camping de Poé along the beach.

I wanted to use this road as a leading line to a night sky with billions of stars and use the full moon to illuminate the foreground but this was the best I could do. I experimented with different settings but all the images were either too noisy or too dark and all had a lot of speckles. As with this one and another similar photo that I will share on my next post. My entry level camera isn’t very good in low light and I haven’t got any experience in this genre either. But I had lots of fun and will definitely give it another go.

480 sec (8 mins) @ ƒ/11, 18 mm, ISO 100

NEMO'S CAMP

Back in April a friend of mine had friends visiting from France. They were going to tour around the island for a couple weeks. Their first stopover was the Sheraton Deva Spa & Golf Resort (Bourail, New Caledonia). It fell on a long weekend for us and my friend wanted to head up and spend some time with them. We didn’t stay at the resort as we are both saving money for an upcoming vacation. So we decided to try a camp site we had never been to called Camping de Némo.

It’s located just behind Camping de Poé and only a five minute drive to the resort. I must admit, upon arrival, I wasn’t to thrilled about the camp site. Though it’s limited to twenty or so tents, the area is quite small. Poé Beach is only fifty metres away, which is great, but you have to cross Camping de Poé to get to it. I would have preferred to camp closer to the beach but my friend had her two girls with her and the camping de Némo is family oriented. In the end it was a better choice. Not only because her kids met and played with other kids but because they have a fantastic bar/snack. Including the friends from France, we all ended up dining there that night and I think I speak for all of us when I say we highly recommend it. They have a nice variety of dishes to choose from that are well presented with a good serving and scrumptiously delicious. The service was good and so was the price. Well worth a try.

And talking about trying, I tried to take a photo of the camp site without annoying or disrupting anyone and this was the best I could do. You can see the elevated bar/snack in the background. I stayed up late trying to snap some photos of the night sky and though I’m not too thrilled about the images, I will share them with you in upcoming posts. Just to show you what wasn’t too far away.

120 sec (2 mins) @ ƒ/11, 18 mm, ISO 100