Osaka Castle at Night
Just after leaving Shiratani Unsuikyo cedar forest and Yakushima island I headed to Osaka city. Even though I arrived there when it was dark already and Osaka Airport is located around half an hour car drive from the castle, I still hoped to see illuminated Osaka Castle surrounded by blooming cherry trees so I took a taxi. I managed to arrive on time and still had a bit less than 1.5 hours of shooting time. That was enough. Unfortunately blue hour was long gone but illuminated cherry trees and the castle still looked gorgeous!
Taking the photos was very difficult. It was middle of sakura season after all! So there were crowds of people taking photos (and I mean crowds), partying under the trees and walking down the alleys surrounded by cherry trees. Fortunately my new Manfrotto tripod is quite high so most of the time I was able to shoot above people heads 🙂 You can expect its review soon by the way.
Here’s one of the images I captured on that very evening. It shows Osaka Castle surrounded by cherry trees in full bloom. As there was huge difference in brightness between illuminated castle and very dark trees and sky I had to use HDR or to be more exact – Exposure Fusion which in my opinion produces much better results at night than tone-mapping. I took 5 exposures, 1 stop apart and merged them in Photomatix Pro 5.1 using Fusion/Real-Estate tool. I applied finishing touches in Photoshop CC 2015 using ON1 Effects 10 plugin.
BTW if you would like to learn how to create such images yourself, make sure to read my HDR tutorial:
And finally here’s EXIF info for this image:
Camera: Canon 5D MK III (read my review)
Lens: Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS USM
Focal length: 82 mm
Exposure time: 10 s (“middle” exposure)
Number of exposures: 5
E.V. Step: 1.0 EV
Flash used: no
Technique: HDR, Exposure Fusion, long-exposure
Software: Magic Lantern, Photomatix Pro 5 (Fusion/Real-Estate), Capture One 9, Photoshop CC 2015, ON1 Effects 10