Himeji – The White Castle

Two Photos Published in Camerapixo Magazine

Camerapixo magazineWoohoo! I’m really happy and proud to announce that two of my photos from Japan (from Fushimi Inari Taisha and Hiroshima Memorial Park) were published in the most recent issue of Camerapixo magazine, titled Hot Shots 10 We Inspire. As always I strongly recommend viewing the issue as Camerapixo magazines are full of fantastic photography, which can also be great source of inspiration.

You can view the issue here:


Photo: Himeji – The White Castle

Himeji Castle, near Osaka, is arguably the most well-known and the most beautiful feudal castle in Japan. It’s also the best preserved one as unlike most other castles it was never destroyed by wars, fires nor earthquakes. Thanks to its elegant white appearance, it’s also known as White Heron Castle.

The castle itself is very beautiful but I was a bit unlucky with the weather when I was there. It was very cloudy all the time so taking good pictures wasn’t easy. Crowds of people enjoying their hanami (party held during cherry blooming season) didn’t make it any easier. So I decided to capture black & white image.

Himeji - The White Castle

Camera and post-processing info

In this case I had to use focus stacking technique to achieve good focus both on cherry blossoms in the foreground and on the castle in the back so I took 2 exposures – one focused on the foreground and one focused on the background.

I started editing in Adobe Lightroom where I fixed distortion and chromatic aberration and then opened 2 of my exposures in Photoshop. There I blended them using layer masks and brush tool to make sure both blossoms and castle are in focus.

Then I used ON1 Effects 10 plug-in to convert the image to Black & White. Conversion was very simple as the castle was already white, cherry blossoms were white-ish, the sky was completely overcast (so yes, it was grey). Basically the conversion to black & white was about reducing saturation to 0 and then improving contrast and clarity a little bit to add more punch to this image.

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: 105 mm
Aperture: f/13.0
Exposure time: 1/80 s
ISO: 100
Number of exposures: 2
E.V. Step: 1.0
Flash used: no
Tripod: yes
Filters: no
Technique: black & white, focus stacking
Software: Magic Lantern, Capture One 9, Photoshop CC 2015, ON1 Effects 10.5

2017-01-17T19:42:24+00:00 July 6th, 2016|Posted in: camerapixo, Japan|