My sunrise - Akihabara, Tokyo

A HDR of the sunrise from my balcony in Akihabara this morning.


I realized when I went out to photograph the first sunrise of the New Year along Tokyo Bay that I had actually never even tried a sunrise shot from my own apartment. So this morning I rose just after 6am and fired off a bunch of images. As suspected from my home there are several tall buildings fairly close to me limiting the area of skyline I can actually get. Fortunately the sun came up just to the right of a big building near me and I was able to shoot between it and another on the other side to get this frame.


I also realize now my abilities with making a good HDR are still very limited. I wanted to produce a HDR that doesn't necessarily look like an HDR but I just couldn't do it well as I wanted with these sunrise shots. Obviously the huge difference between the sun and dark foreground make it difficult but I'm sure I can improve on this. Not sure how to do that yet, but I'll figure it out eventually.


That all said I still like this image because of the rays of light reaching out over the city along with the light on the top edges of the clouds.

  • Ulises Moreno 7y

    Que excelente Foto! esta foto esta nominada favor de adherirla (What an amazing picture! It has been nominated, please add it)

    Solo fotos invitadas (Invite only images)
  • Chris Hutchinson 7y

    great image Justin, the sun looks fantastic!

    as for making the hdr more realistic, what brackets were you using? try narrowing them a bit... I found mine looked a LOT better when I switched to -1,0,1 instead of +/- 2
  • jamesjustin PRO 7y

    Thanks for the tip Chris. This was a 5 bracket +/-2 stops but I actually took out one (can't recall if it was -1 or -2) frame when I did the tone mapping. I've also shot a number of HDR with just a +/-1, which I agree usually works just fine for getting a "realistic" HDR. In this case I still think somthing else is going wrong. Probably the base line exposure used was not quite right. I also probably don't know enough about how to use some of the variables you can tweek in Photomatix.
  • /\ltus PRO 7y

    You nailed it from the apt then; well done!
  • Pete 7y

    Looks good to me - stunning view.
  • jamesjustin PRO 7y

    Thanks Altus and Beechlights. I like it a lot too...just somehow think it could have been even better. Still I certainly appreciate everyone's comments.
  • Alfie Goodrich PRO 7y

    Chris has a point. Shoot five and space them with one stop. The people shooting three usually space them with two stops. For something with really high dynamic range, like this, seven spaced with one stop could be worth trying as well. The settings in Photomatix are daunting as well. Are you using version 3.something? The latest one is even more confusing and, IMHO, turns out pics way noisier than the older version 2.5.4, which I use.

    There is a nack to these things and a fair bit of pos-pro to do in Photoshop as well, some localised burning and dodging - especially of the tops of buildings which are close to much brighter light.

    Next time we catch up, watch me do one if that helps.

    Great shot though and that view from your balcony is amazing.
  • jamesjustin PRO 7y

    @Alfie...yep, version 3 of Photomatix. I'll have to follow along with you next time you do one when we're out together. Thanks.
  • M.Bob 7y

  • Artigazo  5y

    Hi, wonderfull shot.
    Sky is great, the colors are beautyfull.

    I invite to view my galery and some photos.
    Artigazo 

    Thank you for your visit and comments.
  • Artem PRO 4y

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Taken on January 3, 2009
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