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Tokyo Fog

Tokyo in Harmony

I’ve shot a lot of images over my travels but I am finally getting around to learning how to print them myself. In the digital age, it’s so easy to live on the screen and ignore the finished product of our work.

If you don’t print images yourself, Personal Creations is an affordable way that ordinary people can easily print and hang their images for a number of occasions. For World Photography Day, they sent me a canvas of a favorite image.

I took this shot in Tokyo, Japan one night from the Mori Tower in Roppongi. It arguably offers the best view of Tokyo. The sun was setting and my favorite time of day in Tokyo is after sunset; it’s the time when the sky turns that perfect shade of blue and the skyline lights up. In the distance is the Tokyo Skytree in Sumida, towering above the city as a whole.

Tokyo has a harmony, an innate harmony that I’ve never experienced anywhere except for in the mountains. For a city, it’s fascinating to me how organic it is in terms of the elegance of its pace of life. I really like this image because the skyline is a harmonious shade of blue and the buildings all blend in together seamlessly. I feel the beauty of this outward harmony is reflective of the city.

When photographing cities, it’s hard to take pictures of skylines that aren’t in some way cliche or overdone. I used a telephoto lens here, around 300mm. By cropping the image down, I focused more on a smaller part of the view, rather than your typical snapshot style image of the vast skyline. By condensing the image, I was able to simplify the subject.

When shooting skylines like this one in Tokyo, it’s important to use a tripod to achieve the highest quality print. You can’t shoot good night photography without a tripod, this is step 1. With that said, I always significantly reduce my image size and image quality for this blog. In reality, this image is actually super rich in detail and color.

Also, make sure you stick around for the time after the sun sets. A lot of people photograph just the sunset but leave immediately after. This is unfortunate because you miss the rich blue sky afterward.

Lastly, before snapping away at the pretty sunset, just sit back and reflect. Do you notice any interesting patterns or metaphors in the image? What are you trying to say? Can you say anything deeper about the image aside from its obvious surface beauty?

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