Tag Archives: cityscape

Schlesisches Tor Station


Well, the plans to book flights by the end of the weekend have fallen through, but still I think I’ve actually picked a date to leave. Still umm-ing and arr-ing about whether to go to both Cambodia and Vietnam, or just Cambodia. In the meantime I thought I’d post an image from my urban gallery. I’m not quite sure why I like this one, but I think it is because it could be from any city in any country and it is only the writing that gives us a clue as to its origins. It’s the fact that it feels gritty, that it’s a little mundane that I like. Like everyone else, I like to photograph the exotic sights of far off places, but, for me at least, urban photography means photography away from the such tourist areas, in districts where the locals live, play and work. And irrespective of country or continent, such districts all look remarkable similar. A great testament to the fact that, across the World, we all all pretty much the same.

On the technical side, this was meant to be a blue-hour shot, but I was seriously delayed photographing some metro station and woefully underestimated the time to get to here from there. So blue hour had gone and the night sky was in full force. I wanted the red fire hydrant to dominate the foreground and even although the station is far bigger and brighter, I think I’ve achieved that. I decided on the mono conversion as without the deep azure of the sky the upper part of the frame lacked any interest and the red and white car lights, the traffic lights and warm lighting from the station all competed for attention. Too messy. Simpler to de-complicate the image by removing the colour and relying on the light and dark to tell the story. I’d be interested in what you think…

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West Shinjuku at Dusk


West Shinjuku at dusk


Well, I was hoping to get out in Cambridge for some night photography but the consultancy work ran on longer than expected. So instead I thought I’d post from a couple of years ago of another well-known city.

Tokyo is often credited with being the inspiration for the futuristic cityscape in the 1982 film Bladerunner. Alas, it would seem that this is an urban myth and director Ridley Scott simply based his vision on an industrialised Los Angeles, albeit one where global population migration meant that, in his vision of future Los Angeles, there were large Hispanic and Japanese populations. So I’m guessing that it’s because of all the Japanese signage that people make the Tokyo cityscape connection. That said, as dusk falls and the neon lights up, you simply cannot help but think Bladerunner…

The low light conditions meant that a one second or so exposure was required but I didn’t have the tripod with me at the time. The image was taken by holding the camera as steadily as I could on one of the bridge railings and trying to time it so that the groups of people who were constantly crossing the bridge weren’t causing too much vibration. During post production I created an HDR image off the single shot to  push the colour saturation – it felt appropriate given that many feel slightly overwhelmed by the full-on nature of Tokyo the first time they visit it.

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