The 10 architectures in Tokyo you have to visit

Welcome to Tokyo!
Tokyo has no shortage of sight seeing spot and unique architectures.
You never be dismissed wherever you go, but I’ll introduce some of my favorite places, just in case you are too indecisive to go.

You can also read my interview in the latest Tokyo Weekender.


Fading Icon

The highest newly rival “TOKYO SKY TREE” is much popular these days.
However don’t forget the ever time icon Tokyo Tower.
Capturing a famous icon with a unique way is always challenging, but still you have some room for it. I could do with my way style, so you do.


Different Kind

It’s not a tower actually but a unique building in Shinjuku.

The official name of the architecture is “Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower“, which is educational facility run by Mode Gakuen.

It’s not fully opened for visitors, but just looking for its unique exterior, you actually don’t need to enter the facility.

But don’t close the facility too much with your tripod, then a security come for stopping your activity. Take a moderate distance from it.

3.Tokyo Metropolitan Government

Revelation by Yoshihiko Wada on

We Japanese call it “Tocho” in short.
It’s a massive and gigantic architecture. It looks like a fortress.
However security was not so strict that you can use your tripod or ND filters for long exposures.
Designed by Kenzo Tange.

4.Debeers Ginza

Distorted Reality
The building is curved and distorted, not by an natural disaster but was designed initially so.
Ginza is so very fashionable district, where pretty neat and clean, that your wife or girlfriend are happy to come with you to “De Beers“, a diamond company. Just take care not to inside the building with them.

5.Hakozaki Junction

HIGHWAY KING -Calculated Chaos 1-

Junctions are the last resorts for people who are get tired of shooting popular sites.
Hakozaki is the most popular, chaotic look of junction, and there are many attractive siblings nearby.
I’m sure just try to visiting all the junctions, your time in Tokyo would be gone.
Do you want to know more about Hakozaki? Please check my old post.

6. The Rainbow Bride

The Land of Connections Ⅰ: Over the Rainbow

This is one of my favorite bridge in Tokyo. It’s so popular that I bet you’ve already have seen it in so many photo somewhere in the Web.

Still you have to visit there on your own and try to shoot your version of “the Rainbow bridge”.

7.Ariake Junction

Tha Last Hydra -Calculated Chaos 5-
After shooting the rainbow bridge, if you have a little time, why don’t you stop by Ariake Junction?
Is Junction an architecture? Maybe, maybe not. I don’t care of the definition of “architecture”, . I just care about “beauty” of the structure.

The combination of the highways and pillars certainly forms the city scape in Tokyo, where you should not miss while your stay in the mega city.

8. Tokyo International forum

S.O.D sense of dimension:Ⅰ by Yoshihiko Wada on

If you had a bad weather while your stay in Tokyo, why don’t you go to anywhere inside: Tokyo international forum is the best place for you.

The well designed, Si-Fi looking interior definitely catch your eyes. I bet you can spend whole day there.

9. Tokyo Sky Tree

The Landmark

After all you should not miss now the highest tower in Tokyo. Just go and climb the tower, so you can get the astonishing view.
Get tired of the crowd there? Just having 5 minutes walk, there is the famous spot, on the small bridge, where you can shoot the complete reflection of the tower.


I’ve been introducing some of my favorite and popular places, but if you crave a unique image, find your favorite place where you can’t find in any guide books or the Net.

So here is a blank space for you.

Just walk around the hotel you stay, or just go to an non-sight seeing spot with your hunch. I always can find an interesting subject around or on the way to my initial destination. And always, it was much interesting for shooting them than already-shot-staled popular subjects.

TIFA 2017 Discovery of the Year: Interview

The original source is here: TIFA 2017 Discover yof the year, Yoshihiko Wada
I also blogged about the theme of the series before.

1. Since your TIFA 2017 Architecture entry “The City of Juncture” does not include people, do you believe that human element should be excluded from Architecture Photography? Why or why not?

It depends. Generally, you should avoid people in your frame because human elements so strong that it easily distracts the main subject. In most of the cases they are pedestrians or tourist so you can solve the problem with long exposures. However sometime human element can put a unique drama in you picture if it executed carefully. Sometimes I put a human element in my works, so I don’t think human element should be excluded totally.

2. What’s your process when shooting architectures? Do you research the structure prior to shooting it?

I do research: especially when and where the light come from. A Great light makes a great photo; it can be said every genre of photography. I also google for the pictures of the location. This is not for copying, but avoiding similar picture which has already taken. It’s difficult to shoot for popular architectures; you forced to have a similar composition. But try put “your vision” in the picture even though it’s subtle. I hate a blind copy. It means you abandon your creativity. Having said that any homework never excels an”inspiration” on the field. Internet or Google map is useful but you should not rely on them too much.

3. What do you consider essential skills and equipment when photographing architectures?

First of all, you have a interest for architectures or cityscape. You can never refresh with walk around messy city areas instead of hike in the green nature. At those areas, the atmosphere usually bad so does smells. I often wearing masks for avoiding exhaust gas while I am in the middle of the city.
Since often you have to stay a same location, like under a bridge, for hours and hours, so “perseverance” is crucial factor; more perseverance you have, better pictures you’ll get.
When it comes to equipment, you had better to have a PC lens. A 24 mm is my recommendation. My 90% of works were captured Nikon’s pc-e 24mm. Ah, don’t forget using best filters for long exposures. Never use cheap one.

4. Let us know your workflow after shooting. How much role does post-processing play in your photographs?

It’s difficult to say “how much”, but I can’t imagine for creating my work without any post-processing.

Usually I take a month or two for finishing my piece. Maybe around 50 hours or so for photoshop tasks, including adding layers, making masks, dodge and burn, etc, etc. It takes much time or less, depend on the scale or work.
Sometime it takes for finish more than a year after shooting. I don’t want compromise.

It depends on a photographer and his or her style for post-processing, but I thought you should take much time for making convincing images. I’m not saying about “photoshop”, but saying about actual “time”. It’s important away from your PC. “Time” makes you objective and gives you an fresh idea. I get an interesting idea while I commute, reading books or watching movies gives me an idea for next project. When I get tired with current project, I do another project or wash the dishes. All your activity in you life are connected. I never publish my work the night after shooting. There’s nothing finer than aged wine, isn’t it?
It was almost two years ago, when I took the first picture of “The city of Juncture.” It supposed to a single work, but for making it much convincing image, I though it should be series. For shooting all the pictures and convincing post-processing, It took 2 years for publish but it was worth while.

[tg_gallery_slider gallery_id=”2503″]

5. Take us back to the time you discovered your passion for photography.

I started photography almost 5 years ago. I just craving fresh air, I wanted start a new thing.
Since I’ve been involved with sound for a long time, graduated from a music college and worked as both composer and sound designer(current my profession) : Seeing the world through the camera was pretty exciting. I’ve been totally hooked on the new way of expressing myself beside sound.

6. What kind of photography do you identify with besides Architecture Photography?

My first obsession was shooting “water falls”. I went to so many water falls every weekend. The sound of stream relieved my stress. I still shoot them when I want to get away from city noise.

7. Can you share with us your overall experience in photography?

“Acceptance”and”Persistence”, both I mostly learned.

I usually spent a few hours at the same locations. The great result makes me happy, but often, even with through research and great effort, the result ended up to a mediocre. The result are hugely depend on the weather and light on that day, which I can’t control. Even though the end result were different from what you expected, you have to accept it. When you are satisfied with it, that’s OK, but if you were uncomfortable with it, just give it a next try. Having a good picture, you just keep doing it. After all The sun rises tomorrow and life goes on. “That is life and photography, isn’t it?

8. ​Are there any photographers that inspire you?

I was inspired and learned a lot from “Joel Tjintjelar” and “Julia Anna Gospodarou“.
Their high-contrast architectural photography is pretty modern and stylish. Their B&W creation were so different from others what I’ d seen before. I’m sure if I did not see their photos I would not do architectural photography so deeply today. Unfortunately I haven’t had their workshops before; I just read their book and observe their works carefully.

9. What is your dream project? Why?

Taking a few month vacations,and shooting various type of architectures in Europe.
Sounds like really a dream for me!

10. What is your advice to emerging photographers?

Don’t rush. Don’t compromise.
Don’t care “Like”. Make your own work.
Copying is not a bad thing for the first place. You can learn a lot from them.
Though, please put your” essence” or “spice” in it.
Even though it was very subtle, keeping the little differences makes your work pretty different from others in the end.



Blade Runner 2049

I watched the movie the othenight. It was soooouuu Good.

Despite of the result of the box office (I don’t believe in, or rely on that), I really loved it.
The whole visual was astonishing, sound and music were remarkable.

Since the original “Blade Runner” is one of my favorite movie, so I was pretty happy to see the amazing sequel.

As a sound designer I ‘m all ears when it comes to sound. If you are interested sound, check it out the behind scene of the movie.

80’s SiFi movie

I enjoy seeing the recent CGI SiFi movies, but my favorite movies are all from 80’s.
Blade runner(1982), Terminator (1984), Tron(1982), Aliens(1986), Back to the future(1985), Dune(1984),The Fly(1986).. etc etc.

They look oldish and cheap now, but they still gives me what is important for being creative.

It’s obvious I love them because I experienced them through all my teens, when most influential term of life.

Those movies surely had impacted my sense of beauty that I later know through my photography.

Fading City by Yoshihiko Wada on

Fading City(2013) :This was from my early works. At that time I did color alternation until what I was comfortable. Later I knew these color were my love from SiFi movies.


SiFi Color

One time I noticed that my night photography had hugely influenced by my favorite SiFi movies.

Like or not, more or less, intentionally or unintentionally, an artist work alwyas come from he or her experience;

For me what I’ve seen, what I’ve listened; especially visual and sound are most important aspect of creating an art.

Below two images were born from my love for 80’s SiFi movies.

NEO OSAKA by Yoshihiko Wada on

Neo Osaka (2014): 


REACTOR by Yoshihiko Wada on

REACTOR (2014):

Learn the color rule

You can find your favorite color combination just with your sense, feeling, but using Adobe Color Wheel, you can much faster find your taste with rational way.

This is the great free tool which you can learn the color rule. You don’t have to follow the rule always, but most cases the rule makes sense and convincing.

The images below, I alternated colors based on these color scheme, using only Lightroom.

Original: WB=Tungsten


EX1: Blue & Yellow


EX2:Green & Orange


Visualize your world

These days it’s super easy to capture a great night shot thanks to great cameras and lenses.
But If you are not satisfied with just having a beautiful picture, why don’t you add your favorite taste to them.

Listen your inner voice carefully. Keeping make the subtle difference, you will find a big difference in the end.

BLADE NIGHT 2013 by Yoshihiko Wada on

“BLADE NIGHT 2013” by Yoshihiko Wada



Into the Dark

Abandoned Tunnel

Egeyama tunnel was an old river tunnel which was closed many years ago;

Just one day in every Autumn, they open the abandoned tunnel for public.

I visited twice there, and every time they gave me a great experience.

Ghost of Lemmings by Yoshihiko Wada on

The reflection of the paddle was so amazing that you never forget the moment. “Ghost of Lemmings” by @YoshihikoWada



When and Where ?

The Entrance of the tunnel. Many were waiting the opening.

Usually the event takes place in mid November: this year on 12th. Nov.

The tunnel locates around Kobe, near by Egeyama-park.

I’ll guide you

Anybody can visit the tunnel, though the location is a bit tricky for tourists.

That’s why I thought it might be helpful for travelers who want to visit this great abandoned tunnel, if I would guide them.

So I planned the small tour.

I’ll pick you up and take you guys to the location,and of course gives you some tips for shooting.
If you are thinking of visiting there by yourself, I’ll give you some tips beforehand.




Fortunately they allow us, photographers, to use tripod.
The inside of the tunnel was not pitch-black, but you can’t get any quality photo without a tripod.

Since the pass was bumpy and wet, plus other people or photographers, you should take care of where you set your tripod.

the explore is just beginning. More gorgeous scene is awaiting for you.


Many people come to the tunnel to shoot on the day.
So it would be merely impossible to avoid people to shoot.

If you want an image without people, there is two way:


multiple shoot:

to shoot multiple shots and, merge them during post processes
You can find many pages for describing the technique, so allow me to pass to description and let me just introduce one.

How to remove people with multiple shot?


Long exposure:

You can’t eliminate people with long exposure completely. A photographer settle for his or her shoot, and stack the place for a while.

So I recommend to shoot them as an essence in your image. Blurred people sometime gives the image much unique than a completely clear image.


Alone in the Darkness by Yoshihiko Wada on

Add people as an spice for your image. “Alone in the Darkness” by @YoshihikoWada.


Keep Secret

Actually I don’t want so many people come to the tunnel.

Since the place is getting popular, the place is getting crowded with unruly photographers.

So I recommend to come to the place as soon as possible before they closed the tunnel for good.(I wish it never happen.)

Anyway I myself is going to visit the tunnel again, so if you are luckily on that day in Osaka or Kobe, why don’t you join the tour?


How Long ?

“Long exposure” quite varies.

a second for waterfalls, 5 minutes during daytime  , both are called “long exposure photography”.

Is there the “best” longtime exposure for each subjects?

After all it totally depends on you, and what is your desire for your image by doing a longtime exposure.

They say there are no rule for the photography, but there is some theories for longtime-exposure photography.

Let me say some Knack depends on my experience.

Waterfall, Stream: 0.1 sec.-30sec.-1munutes

I love streams. My obsession for long exposure photography just started when I saw a silky waterfall image years ago.

After shooting hundreds images of waterfall and streams, I assumed that at most “1 minutes” is enough for a waterfall shooting, though, I rarely set 1 minutes on the timer. Usually “10 seconds” is so enough for capturing a silky water flow.


4sec. with a polarizer filter + ND8.
I needed to avoid the splash, and shortened the exposure time.

D800E,16-35 f4G ED VR(16mm),ƒ/13, 4s, ISO 100
Filters: PRO1D-ND16, C-PL


55 seconds.
For enhancing the reflection of the fresh green to the water, 1 minutes exposure really worked here. Too much exposure makes blow out the highlight in the water, but

NIKON D800E,70-200 vr2(70mm) ,f11,55s,ISO 100
Filters:C-PL, ND400

Autumn Whim

Akame valley, Nara.

You can see those vortex, when you are in the autumn creek.

D800E,PC-E NIKKOR 24mm f/3.5D ED,24mm,ƒ/8,30s,ISO 100

The difference between the exposure time.

1/2 sec., 8sec.,30sec.(Left to Right)


In this case you aim 30 seconds for the first time. If you feel the vortex was not enough, double to 60 seconds.

Daytime Longtime exposure:

60sec. - 3 min. - 10 min.

What effect do you want for  your image with doing a longtime-exposure?


60 seconds:

From my early works:

Souls of the Castle

I didn’t have a big stopper at that time, I set ND400( 9stops)+ND16(4stops).

However 13stops were not enough under the hot summer day,  I had to stop down to F16 for gaining 65 seconds. Usually around 60-seconds is not enough for the silky, creamy sky. On the contrary, sometime the remaining shape of clouds will make the images much unique beyond our expectation..

09/06/2013, 12:43 Osaka Castle.
D7000, 10-24mm (18mm)
ƒ/16,65 sec,ISO 100ND400+ND16


120 seconds


I stayed the hotel “Parc 55” during my first visit to San Fransisco three years ago.

I wished if there were some clouds in the bottom half of the sky, the image would be much balanced.  What do you think?


D7000,10-24,10mm,ƒ/13,120s,ISO 100



Art Tower Mito, Ibaraki, Mito art museuam

Clouds were moving  from bottom right to left up.

The 120 seconds’ exposure  made the clouds so smooth that gave the image a rich texture.
D7000,NIKKOR 10-24mm(10mm),ƒ/13,141s,ISO 100


Tips1 : diagonal line

I composed the tower and the clouds diagonally. Carefully observe the direction of the clouds for better composition.



5 minutes (300seconds)

Since “B&W fineart-style longtime exposure” pioneer Joel Tjintjelaar introduced the idea of “F8 and 5minutes’ “hyper longtime exposure, “5minutes” become the longtime exposure standard especially in cityscape, architecture genre.

In the typical sunny day, achieving “F8, 300 sec.” requires 16stops.

Previously stacking filters are most common usage for 16stops, however since Formatt-Hitech introduced “Firecrest 16”, which was so thin and neutral, hyper long exposure photography became the norm today.


D600,16-35mm f/4G ED VR, 16mmƒ/10, 336s,ISO 100, Firecrest 16

During the longtime exposure, a bird came and stayed for quite long time. It was just an accident but the bird made the image much unique. Thank you!!


Using an “exposure calculator” App really helps you.

There are so many apps for that purpose, and you can pick one  you love.

I’m an Android user, so I just recommend Exposure Calculator, which I rely on. It’s quite handy and free!

Usually, the calculation plus 20-30 seconds produces the better result.


 10 minutes (600 seconds)

5 minutes are enough for most situations, though some time you have to have over 600 seconds long exposure.  I’ve had several cases for around 10 minutes exposure so far.

Especially during the cloudy day with ultra wide angle lense tend to get longer exposures.

Since an ultra wide angle lens captures sky widely, having creamy clouds  start  to end requires much time.


D800E,14-24,14mm,ƒ/8,601s,ISO 100

The Land of Redemption by Yoshihiko Wada on



Calculated Chaos Part4: Singularity

D600,14-24,14mm,ƒ/10,603s,ISO 100


Calculated Chaos Part4: Singularity

Keep try

We can control the weather.
I had 6-times 5 minutes+ a 10minutes  longtime exposure at this time.

When I almost gave up, the ideal clouds came up. I often encounter these similar cases.

“Never Give UP” matters.

Tips3: Direction and speed (of the clouds)

To settle the composition, you have to observe carefully the clouds:

・”From and Where” the clouds go?

・Speed : Slow or Fast? If the clouds moving slowly, you need to have longer exposure.


Experiments give you “Experience”

I’ve had so many failures so far, and will have many. Some time I forgot to screw ND filters , after  checking the composition without any filters, and exposed 5minutes! Of  course the entire image got just a white out!!  But there are no failures in the photography, they were all just experiments.

Without experiments you never improve your photography.

I hope my experiences will help your next experiment. See you!


Finding Mirrors

As a cityscape photographer, reflections are very important key elements for me (or everyone?). I always seek them and try to include one for my composition.

A reflection can turn an ordinary subject into an extraordinary one. Also reflections give famous landmarks or unique architectures, which have been captured by many, much unique perspectives. Let’s pay attention to reflections around the subject which can make your photo different from others.

So where can you find reflections?

1.Windows (and glasses)

There are no shortage of windows in the city. There is a building, it has windows. A well polished windows work like  mirrors.

Black Mirror by Yoshihiko Wada on

Fukoku-seimei building, Osaka, Japan
Nikon D800E, AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED
16stops(10stops+6stops) 300seconds exposure.
165mm Firecrest ND for with Lucroit 165mm system for ultra-wide lenses

The windows made abstracted  pattern across the street.

Black Glass by Yoshihiko Wada on

Fukoku-seimei building, Osaka, Japan
D7000,AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED
Firecrest 16 Filter (77mm), 200 seconds exposure

A well designed architecture, especially having many glasses, has many vantage points. When you are capturing an unique architecture, examine the architecture before settle your tripod.


There is a point where you can shoot a perfect (virtually ) symmetry. To get a better symmetric image, you need to close the windows as much as you can. when you find a nice reflection on the window, you should make one step  further for the building.

Twilight Mirror by Yoshihiko Wada on

Twilight Mirror,D600,AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR,No Filter

From the Observation floorUmeda Sky building , I shot this with the lens actually touching the window.

ATTACK ON HARUCAS by Yoshihiko Wada on



S.O.D  sense of dimension:Ⅰ by Yoshihiko Wada on


Tokyo International Forum: actually the original image was upside down.


S.O.D sense of dimension:Ⅲ by Yoshihiko Wada on




A non-reflective surface such as brick can still enhance a composition when a mirrored surface reflects onto it. In this circumstances the texture of the wall can compliment or accentuate reflected light.

TRANSCENDENCE by Yoshihiko Wada on

[Transcendence]Nikon D600
AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR
Firecrest 16 Filters, 300seconds exposure.

The reflection of the Trance America Pyramid was only partial, but it gave the photo a far more unique perspective than simply shooting the architecture.


Distorted Reality by Yoshihiko Wada on

[Distorted Reality]Nikon D800E, AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED,
16stops(10stops+6stops) 300seconds exposure,
165mm Firecrest ND for with Lucroit 165mm system for ultra-wide lenses

The mottled texture of the wall on the left gave the reflection a softer appearance. 

3. water

I especially love reflections in water. You can find these on a lake, a river, the sea, even in a puddle. Long exposures with a sky reflected in water can give an especially powerful effect.

Between The Eternity by Yoshihiko Wada on

[Between the Eternity]Nikon D800E
PC-E NIKKOR 24mm f/3.5D ED
Firecrest 16 Filters, 180seconds exposure.

Long exposure made the water surface super flat. 


Alone in the Darkness by Yoshihiko Wada on

[Alone in the Darkness]神戸・会下山トンネル, Egeyama-tunnel, Koube, Japan

This old river tunnel was closed many years ago however is opened once a year for the public. 




Some Japanese traditional gardens were so well designed that you can find easily a perfect symmetry on the water surface.

Sacred Fall

Water falls matches new green

When I just started photography, my obsession was taking waterfalls.

I visited many waterfalls, and this one is my favorite place; “Mifune no Taki”.

Recently,CAMERAPIXO released their new issue, and they picked my previous pic(below) . I remembered I have many unpublished pics from there, so I developed some of them.


Sacred Fall : D800E, 16-35mm f/4G VR, 2sec


Location: Kawakami,Nara prefecture

Mifune waterfall (御船の滝)


D800E, 24-70(34mm)



D800E, 24-70, 50mm



D800E, 70-200VR2(135mm)


The lower part of the fall.


D800E, 70-200VR2(70mm)


This one was originally I posted as a b&w. go link to 500px.


D800E, 70-200vr1(125mm)


Monochrome really suited the waterfall.


D800E, 24-70(56mm)



D800E, 16-35(17mm)

Now the time I have to go back to the dusty city area, calculated chaos.

See you soon!


The best 5 architectures in Tokyo

Tokyo has no shortage of unique architectures.
You never be dismissed wherever you go, but I’ll introduce some of them just in case you are too indecisive to choose.


The highest newly rival “TOKYO SKY TREE” is much popular these days.
However don’t forget the ever time icon Tokyo Tower.
Capturing a famous icon with a unique way is always challenging, but still you have some room for it. I’d tried with my way, so you should.

 2.Cocoon Tower

The official name of the architecture is “Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower“, which is educational facility run by Mode Gakuen.


AWAKE by Yoshihiko Wada

It’s not fully opened for visitors, but just looking for its unique exterior, you actually don’t need to enter the facility.

Different Kind

DIFFERENT KIND by Yoshihiko Wada

3.Tokyo Metropolitan Government

We Japanese call it “Tocho” in short.
It’s  a massive and gigantic  architecture. It looks like a fortress.
However security was not so strict that you can use your tripod or ND filters for long exposures.
Designed by Kenzo Tange.



4.Debeers Ginza

The building is curved and distorted, not by an natural disaster but was designed so.
Ginza is a very fashionable district, your wife or girlfriend are happy to come with you to “De Beers“. Just take care not to inside the building with them.


5.Hakozaki Junction

Junctions are the last resorts for people who are get tired of shooting popular sites.
Hakozaki is the most popular, chaotic look of junction, and there are many attractive siblings nearby.
I’m sure just try to visiting all the junctions, your time in Tokyo would be gone.
Do you want to know more about Hakozaki? Please check my old post.





Change the feel

What color do you like?

Beside genuine black and white, I prefer syan colors, i.e.  blue.
I some time modify the color when I want give my images an additional feel.


This is the famous tower “Tokyo Skytree” in Tokyo, Japan. I was initially making this as a genuine black and white image, but just before I was about to publish it, I felt that something was missing.


OUT OF THE BLUE (B&W version)

I modified the tone curve and I found the bluish tone much fit the image.

Comparing with the original black and white version, how do you feel differently from both images?

The way to change the tone

RGB color curve

The easiest way to modify the tone is using  RGB color curve.

 graduated filter

If you don’t want to modify the entire of your image, use graduated filter. You’ve already familiar with  the graduated filter when you want to darken the sky, haven’t you?


Split Toning

you can also use “Split Toning” when you can add another subtle tone to the highlight (or shadow). Remeber, this modify the whole highlights on your image.If you want to editing more precisely, more tiny space  on your image, you’d better  to go to Photoshop.

Split toning


My “NEO OSAKA” was made by this filter techniques with much more precise manner.

The basic image was blue toned B&W image, then I added 4 different colors where I want to add.Especially I gave windows of center buildings color “yellow” in order to give the image subtle warm feeling.



There are various ways to change the tone. Just use them, play with them!

Experiment gains your experience. That’s what I always do.


Neo Osaka: Back to the Central (sin city version)



Sacred Gate

Tori-i 鳥居

The monument called “鳥居”(Tori -i)can be seen many places in Japan. They are mostly  gateways as the entrance to a Shinto shrine.The monument signs us “from here you are going to enter the sacred area”.

Its symbolic and photogenic appearance are popular for tourists.

Thousands of Tori-i, Kyoto:Fushimi Inari-taisha(京都 伏見稲荷大社)

Fushimi Inari-taisha, Kyoto, is the most famous and popular destination. They have more than 5,000 tori-i (less than 10,000?) are standing in the line. The tori-i tunnels is simply amazing. Any companies or any individuals donate some amount of money in order to  build their own tori-i with their name on it. So the total number of tori-i in there is keep going up nowadays.

RED GATES by Yoshihiko Wada on


Miyajima, Hiroshima prefecture (厳島,広島)

Miyajima(宮島) is also a popular sight. I visited there  the last summer with my family.
Allow me for showing you some snap shots from there.


Kami-iso no Tori-i(神磯の鳥居), O-arai, Ibaraki(茨城県大洗)

Let me introduce one of the famous “Tori-i” location”Kamiiso-no-Torii”, Oarai, Ibaraki, prefecture.

Since my home town is pretty nearby the location, I visit there in every new year holiday.

the sunrise on New Year’s day

In Japan it is celebrated as the first crack of dawn once a year,so lots of people visit to see the sunrise on New Year’s day. The location is so popular for the beautiful sunrise that many, so, sooou many people come to see the place throughout the night to dawn.If you want to visit there to shoot, you have better to avoid the January 1st, or you just hold your camera without the tripod in the crowded people.
I always visit there the 2nd day, January. Still there were so many photographers, but I can assure that you can find one or two spots for your tripod.



Since I’d visited there many times before I wanted to try different method: Panorama.

You can find How to make panorama picturesanywhere in the Web,  so just let me show you the “before and after”.

Actually panorama method is not good for a closed seascape because sea stacks can be the  hindrance for smooth transition of stitching. However “long exposure” can solve the problem.

Below are 9 raw shots , before stitching panorama:

Tech info:D600, 70-200 f4(70mm),f9, 30seconds for each shot.

After stitching (rough edit):

The long exposure flattened the sea stacks, transition of the border of  each images were greatly done.


The above is the just before the sunrise, and I was keep shooting for another version of panorama:

Tech info:D600, 70-200 f4(70mm),f9, 1/3 seconds for each shot.

result ( finished version)


This time the transition was much harder but I blended the sea stacks manually and carefully for acquiring the  natural look.  Bellow is the right half of the  above, which original file has still around 6000×12000 pixels.


Godsend by Yoshihiko Wada on 500px


I visited the location the next day and tried some long exposures.


302sec,f8,iso100,24mm used by Firecrest 16 filter.



Yomi by Yoshihiko Wada on 500 px

I wish you got curious about the monument and will shoot “your” version of a tori-i images. Bye!


Do you care about the title of your image seriously?

I do.  Since titles are important aspect of my images,

I don’t publish my images until a proper title has given to the image.

Meaning of “untitled”

You may argue that an “untitled” gives people some room to think about freely toward the image. If your intention is that manner, “untitled” is probably OK, otherwise you are just lazy to think about your  title of image.


Title changes the world

A title changes the perspective.



“UNTITLED” : D600,28mm f10,183sec.

This is a pretty simple long-exposure seascape : one main rock and a few small rocks above.

What the title will you give it?

How about  “the rock “?

You may think “I know! it’s a rock. so what?”
They stop thinking about the image with a obvious material name.

How about “The nose“?

You’re gradually seeing the rock as a nose sticking from the surface, aren’t you?

Instead of giving an obvious material name, how about the title:

[Solitude], [time], [calmness], [infinity]

The subject is so simple that you can chose many options.

Guide people

Giving those title viewers will think about the title, and trying to find something in common with the creator.

With a proper title you can guide viewers to the specific direction.

Just give it “rock” or “untitled”. They just wonder where they should go.

They want to feel something from your work as same as when you saw the scene.

We call it”sympathy”. A proper title can arouse their sympathy

How to make a good title

Tell me!!  I eager to know.

Since English is not my native tongue, making a good English title is always challenging.

So I prefer simple and short titles combining with a few words

Soak in Marsahll by Yoshihiko Wada on

Soak in Marshall: To get ideal composition which I wanted, I had to soak in the beach.

Use thesaurus

You often see the title “The beautiful sunset” or “Sunset at the lake” etc.

“Sunset” and “sunrise” are so obvious term that you may avoid using them, and instead you can use a synonym, like:

synonym of “Sunset”

They are still popular terms, however you can combine them with simple words or locations.


“The last twilight”, ” Twilight to the shadow”, “Night fall at Tokyo”

I am not a poet or didn’t major English literature, so please allow me for poor vocabulary.

You can do far better than me with in any other language.


Borrow the titles from a movie or a music

Fortunately or unfortunately there are no property right for titles.

That means you can borrow or steel titles from movies, books and musics, etc..

Although you have to bear in mind that a popular title instantly recall viewers of the original source if they knew it. So please take a moment whether the image really match the title which you are going to take.

So I advise you that instead of using the title as exactly the same,  just give it a little twist.


I borrowed the title of image from the movie “EVIL DEAD”(not recent remake, but the original) , then I replaced “dead” to “red”.
The atmosphere of the image fully match the title doesn’t it?

Love it

I feel pretty sorry when I see a great image with the title “untitled”.

Because you are the only one who can give the right title to your images.

You should not abandoned it with giving the name”untitled”.

You don’t name your son “John Doe” or “Mr. Nobody”, do you?

Treat your images like your son or daughter. Give them proper name which

you love, then people will love them too.


Between the Eternity


In to the Future

Happy new year everyone!!
2015 was pretty good year for me, I had so many positive response for my works and had chance to express my creativity freedom. I hope 2016 will be better than ever, and I know it depends on me. Of course I’m going to  work hard, but not too hard, and enjoy the every moment and process of capturing a photo and making an art.

Anyway, my first blogging in2016, Let me introduce my favorite, the favorite place in Tokyo; Tokyo international forum.

from Wikipedia: The Tokyo International Forumis a multi-purpose exhibition center in Tokyo, Japan.One of its halls seats 5,000. In addition to seven other halls, it includes exhibition space, a lobby, restaurants, shops, and other facilities. Designed by architect Rafael Viñoly and completed in 1996, it features swooping curves of steel truss and glass; the outside is shaped like an elongated boat.

Anyway, it’s a gorgeous place!! without no description. It’s so popular place that NIKON put an image from there on their D5200, and D5300 for there leaflets.

Don’t forget to bring a ultra wide lens!!  bellow images are comparison images between 10-24mm(DX) and Full size, 14-24mm(FX) at almost the same place and composing. You can see its difference of distortion and perspective between both sensor sizes.



Underground of Tokyo is a huge maze!! It’s so convenient that you can visit namely everyplace without got rained ,and for a vampire  who hates sunshine . But for a tourist, you may lost in there. if you got lost, just go outside. It’s much easier to access to your destination.


Once you got into the place, it’s your playground. I’m sure you can spend t hours to shoot various attractive spots.

 ● Before and After


Day or night?

I recommend to visit there both time period: Day and Night. The place will show you different aspect of beauty. The last time I visited there, I visited evening, unfortunately the place was under refurbishing: The huge sealing was covered with nets.

Still, I could enjoying t shoot its futuristic both  inside and outside.

Exterior at night (all images are 3 bracketed HDR images developed by LightRoom6)


Corner of the SIDE7 part1


Corner of the SIDE7 part2


Corner of the SIDE7 part3

When you have a chance to visit Tokyo, don’t miss the place.


Just go and grab a great architectural image as your souvenirs.


RUSH by Yoshihiko Wada



Finding Medusa

There are two most famous junctions in Japan: One is Hakozaki(箱崎), and the other is Awaza(阿波座).

I introduced Hakozaki, Tokyo, the other day, so this time is “Awaza”, Osaka where is my hometown.

●Tourist guide to Awaza

Awaza is not a normal sight seeing spot in Osaka,and probably your wife or girlfriend wouldn’t like it. But if you love urban scape , I strongly recommend you to visit there before you leave the town.

Awaza Junction is located  very near by Awaza station, then the access is pretty easy.  Even it’s your first time to visit Osaka  you’d  never lost the way to Awaza. After visiting Osaka castle, pretty nearby, your next destination is here, Awaza. Check the root.

The Root from Osaka castle to Awaza junction:

●When should you visit?

You don’t have to hassle to visit there. Wait until the night.

Night is the time when you can capture  Awaza with most beautiful way.


Phantom Blue (2013 ) : This is the origin my Phantom Trail series

●Shoot as many as you can

The tips for  have an ideal light trail is just shoot as many as you can.

If you wasn’t satisfied with a singe shot, then merge them!

I usually shoot over 50 exposures with a same composition in order to later merging them during the post-process.



Using NiK’s analog FX pro2 for having vintage and grange taste

●Black and White and Daylight exposure

If you want to observe the structure of Awaza much more, come to daytime, and try Black and White to enhance its complicated structure and details. This is the place my Black and white long-exposure Junctions series”Calculated Chaos” came to my mind.

D600 with 14-24, Lucroit filter adapter with Formatt hitech filters

D600 , 14-24 ultra wide lens with lucroit filter adapter : waiting a cloud.I almost gave up, but one cloud came after 3o minutes waiting.

● Tips

If you’d ask me what is the most important aspect to be a better photographer, my answer is here:persistence.

When I took the photo” Medusa’s soul”, there were no clouds at all in the  clear blue sky on the hot summer day. however I really needed a blurred cloud between the concrete roads above.  I took 4 “5 minutes-long exposure shots” without any cloud, however I finally got one cloud in the frame.

5 minutes lxp without single cloud.

5 minutes long exposure without any clouds doesn’t make sense at all. It just gain massive noises.

See how just one cloud did a great job:

Calculated Chaos part3: Medusa's Soul

Calculated Chaos part3: Medusa’s Soul

I’d be happy If you had some interests “Awaza”.

Have a nice holiday and Merry Christmas!!



North Queen

My recent series “Calculated Chaos”, It’s featuring three famous junctions in Japan. This time I introduce “Hokkou(北港) Junction”, located North Bay junction, Osaka.

Obviously, the junction is  not a sight seeing spot,  but nearby there are popular amusement park USJ, Universal Studio Japan. Then if your kids want to go USJ , why don’t you spare time to see this crazy urban architecture?

It’s a messy place, actually  I don’t recommend the place for a tourist  who all the way come to Osaka for the first time. There are many beautiful and unique spot in Osaka and Kyoto.  But you are the one who strangely be lured to these place, this is the place you have to visit.

●Look for an ideal composition:



North Bay junction, Osaka

My gears (this time)

I want to travel light,(though it always ended up so light after all) so when I ‘m planning to walk a lot for the destination, I prefer D600 instead of D800E.

Bag:STREETWALKER PRO by ThinkTankPhoto

LENSE: 14-24, pc-E 24mm,


ProStop IRND Filters: 10stops+6stops (for 14-24)

Firecrest 16 stops, 77mm( for Pc-e 24mm)

Tripod:sirui T-1205X

Ballhead:markins Q10

ETC: camera tape,blower,remote, battery ×2, custom black cloths(for preventing light leak) and Chucho bars for recharge.There are no convenience store nearby, so please get some water in advance.

Next time I’ll write about my favorite JCT, Awaza, Osaka.

See you soon.




Day and Night

I proudly announce that my newest black and white architectural series “Calculated Chaos” was just  given an Silver Award at  ND AWARD 2015.

I am so happy the achievement since the work was my first conceptual series, and I’d put lot of my effort and time for the work.

Let me introduce some thought and idea behind my award-winning work.


● Junction is not the only the place for the night scape

One of my obsession of the photography is light trail shots. Junctions and around highways are great locations, where multiple roads are crossing, to accumulate massive lights.

Into the Wind by Yoshihiko Wada on

Into  the Wind by Yoshihiko Wada on


One night,while I was shooting at one of my favorite junction, Awaza(upper image), I thought ” Why have not I been shooting a daytime long exposure at here?”

Seeing the complicated, intertwined mass of concrete, I thought this was so interesting object as an architecture.

●Paradigm shift

I’ve seen so many  Junctions’ shots, however most of them were taken at night when lights and car light trails can decorate the  messy junctions. I can’t agree more that junctions should be shot at night, and I myself had done a lot .


However I haven’t seen them as an architecture; an object for day-time long time exposure.

So here I come! I could  a day time long exposure shot at  junctions, and turn them into fine art look.
●The Junction King “Hakozaki”

Night Ruler: “Hakozaki(箱崎)” is the mecca of  junction

Hakozaki, (Nipponbashi, Tokyo) is the most famous and popular junction in Japan. Even some of  Junction mania call it as “sanctuary”.

Then when comes to Junction photography, I can’t pass the sanctuary. I decided to visit the mecca of junction.


●Shot at a popular location with your way.

Hakozaki JCT have captured by so many. You can find tones of images easily by google with the trem “hakozaki, junction

As myself have seen and a lot of them, and most of them were captured during a night, as I said before.

However, mho, I haven’t seen a convincing image by someone form the  location.  So I was pretty curious and thought” If I capture the jct with my way of photography, how it will look like?”

● Start with a scouting

I had not visited Hakozaki before.  Even I did  a lot of  home work about the location, every time I firstly do is a scouting.

During my examination: stairs, pipes, volts, concrete, traffic lights, the combination of different materials and textures lured my eyes.

Even after finding some nice spots, I decided to capture it with a most conventional composition of Hakozaki.

● Final frontier

One of my photographer friend said to me the other day:

“There is no unique location left out there. Every thing has already captured and posted to the online.”

He was partly true, but he needs to realize that what is the most unique location in the world : yourself.

Dig into yourself deeply,  you can find your vision, your desire, your uniqueness. No one can find, just “you” can find it.

For most people  junctions are just the mass of concrete,stained objects which are not the place to spend half of a day.

As for me junctions are well designed, beautiful and unique architectures in the world.


HIGHWAY KING by Yoshihiko Wada









Autumn Break

Autumn Journey by Yoshihiko Wada on 500px.comAutumn Journey by Yoshihiko Wada on

These days most of my photos are black and white or cyan based pics, or sometime selective colors.

I devoted myself to Black and White, but let me take a little break to immerse in the saturated colors in this short colorful time, then I’ll be back to the world of monochrome with full of energy.

Autumn Break by Yoshihiko Wada on
Autumn Break by Yoshihiko Wada on

This pic”Autumn Break” was taken by near by my home, Minou valley TODAY! , and finished  developing today!! I usually took a few weeks or even months for a one pic, so it’s surprising to me.  First things do fast, Autumn ends so rapidly so I’d like to show you asap.   There is enough space so let me introduce another my autumn pics.

Black and Red by Yoshihiko Wada on Black and Red by Yoshihiko Wada on This is my favorite water fall, Minoh water fall. I wish you can feel the beauty of “Zen” from the combination of the red maples and the texture of black rocks. How about this?  I love the vortex made by fallen leaves. I fell in love with them.

Autumn Wheel by Yoshihiko Wada on Autumn Wheel by Yoshihiko Wada on Another autumn wheel from Akame valley

The autumn will end fast, so let’s immerse yourself like him before the cold winter comes.

Imerse the lights

When I just started the photography, I amused how the city appearance changed between the day and the night through out the camera. When lights lit, it looks like they give the city another life.

It didn’t take much time for an amateur photographer to hook into night cityscape. I’d been visited most of famous shooting spot in Osaka especially famous observation decks for seeking the beautiful lights.

The Purple City by Yoshihiko Wada on

The Purple City by Yoshihiko Wada on

From DaiSan(No.3) Building in Osaka. The location is totally free of charge, but you can view an astonishing beauty of Osaka city.

REACTOR by Yoshihiko Wada on

REACTOR by Yoshihiko Wada on

From BREEZE building, which has also free observation spot.

Every time I got excited when visiting a view spot. They surely provide me a great view.  However I soon got feel tired of shooting them. Because those night shots are fairly easy to shoot, and every one can take them: Just be there during the night. (with a camera and a tripod) I’d seen so many pictures which were taken from the same places, with merely the same composition at the same observation deck.
“Why should I take the similar pictures which have been already taken many times by others?” I questioned to myself.

Fading City by Yoshihiko Wada on

Fading City by Yoshihiko Wada on

From the “sky tower” in Umeda, Osaka. From the famous spot, you can shoot beautiful shot easily, but also difficult from make them look different. Take a different “color rendering” is one way to make your pic much unique.

If your aim of photography is just taking a beautiful picture, beautiful moment, that’s OK.  But If you want to make your photography different from others, you’d better to think different.

I always think how I can make my photography look different even I’m  shooting the same place with others.
Next Flight by Yoshihiko Wada on

14 exposures are merged with”lighten mode” in PhotoSHop. Each ecposure are 4secs. I should have set longer shatter speed in order to the lines much longer. But this time many short lines make the photo look interesting. D800e, 70-200 VR2,116mm/ f11/ ISO 100

This one was taken from Osaka international airport which has popular observation deck in Osaka. I’d seen so many airplane pics which mostly focusing on landing and taking off. While I was scouting a spot I noticed an airplane which was refueling and maintained for the next flight. I quickly set the composition and took so many pictures without clear end-result.

Don’t just look at an observation deck, you should actually make an “observation” when you are there. You can think diffeerently in your digital dark room after you shoot.

Bellow is one of my popular pic” NEO OSAKA” which was taken from at a popular night spot, COSMO TOWER,

NEO OSAKA by Yoshihiko Wada on

NEO OSAKA by Yoshihiko Wada on

Actually the composition from the viewpoint has been well known for many, and shot by so many photographers before I took. You can change the color what you want. There is no boundaries or rule in photography. Just pursue your vision.

“Think different” is the popular term, which most people knew about.

For photography “Think different” plus “Take different (methods)” is the good way for your photography makes much unique and original look.

Just a little thought definitely change your photography.

Attack on Harucas

Do you know what is the tallest building in Japan?

Tokyo sky tree(634m)? Year, it’s the tallest architecture in Japan, but it’s a tower, not a building.

OUT OF THE BLUE by Yoshihiko Wada on

OUT OF THE BLUE by Yoshihiko Wada on
TOKYO SKY TREE is the tallest architecture in Japan

Tokyo tower(332m)? It’s also a tower.

FADING ICON by Yoshihiko Wada on

FADING ICON by Yoshihiko Wada on
Tokyo tower(333m) is now the 2nd highest tower in Japan.

OK,  the answer is Harucas!

The tallest building in Japan, located in Abeno, Osaka.

The building is mulch-purpose commercial facility: shopping department, business offices, hotel, museum, college,etc.
It has just opened in 2014.

It’s a whole new landmark in Osaka, and you don’t have to miss along with the famous landmark “Osaka castle”.


long exposure at Harucas

D600 with 16-35mm f/4G ED VR /28mm F/11/221s/ ISO 100

When you are shooting a unique building, look around, and try to find a object or another building, which you can your shot more unique and differentiate from others.


If you are a “Light trail lovers” like me, here is really a fun place to play around with lights.


Recently, they allow photographers to use tripods at the observation deck on the top floor of the building.  I haven’t climbed up there yet,  so let me show my friend, Azul Obscura’s stunning photos from there.  You never regret to visit.

Breaking Dawn

Breaking Dawn by Yoshihiko Wada on 500px

Photograph Breaking Dawn by Yoshihiko Wada on 500px

D7000, DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED, 120sec. f8, ios100,11mm with hoya 10 stops

When it comes to the landmark of San Francisco, Golden gate bridge is the most popular, right?  I love the bridge, of course, and visit there every time I visit S.F. of course.

Shallow Night by Yoshihiko Wada on 500px

Photograph Shallow Night by Yoshihiko Wada on 500px

Shooting at Marshall beach, D600,16-35

However, my favorite one is another bridge: Oakland bay bridge.

Since I’ve just finished my”Black and White fine art Style” of the Oakland bay bridge, I’d like to take a look back the beautiful bridge  for whom haven’t visited there yet.

○Long exposure at the sunrise

Not having any rehearsal, I arrived there pretty much before the sunrise.

Illuminated Oakland bay bridge at night

It was still dark and the bridge was illuminated with the lights.

After a scouting for searching the best composition,   I settled  and starts to shoot the long exposure.

This was the my first try.

123 sec .at f/10, iso 100, 11mm with 9 stops ND filter

123 sec .at f/10, iso 100, 11mm with 9 stops  D7000, DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED

It looked dark, and the histogram like this. You can see that the highlight area has more room.


the shadow area was too dark and it had more room for the highlight.

I changed the aperture from f10 to f8 before the second shot. exposure time was almost the same, 120 seconds.


120 sec .at f/8, iso 100, 11mm with 10 stops

Looks better! and the histogram:


Still the shadow looked dark but the highlight got improved.

This was the color image of the raw adjusted with Lightroom.

BreakingDawn_color Long exposure before the sunrise is a bit tricky since the constant shift of the light condition.
You can’t rely on the calculated time by app. In my experience,  you’d better to shorten the calculated time around 30 seconds or so if the aperture remain the same.

After the sunrise the harbor was totally full of light,


HDR with Lightroom 6 “Photo merge to HDR “

I tried to shoot some lxp shot, but they all were went bad.

The sun light is so strong that your shot must have the spot of brown out.

“It’s never too late” is not the word for shooting at the sunrise.

It’s too late to start long exposure after the sun goes up fully.

(I’m saying not for a daytime long exposure. It’ another story)

You should have well prepared before the show starts.

After press the shatter the only thing you do is just listen the sound of waves.

Fukoku-Seimei Building in Osaka

Photograph EDGE OF MIRRORS by Yoshihiko Wada on 500px

EDGE OF MIRRORS by Yoshihiko Wada on 500px
D800E,AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR, 60sec at f/10, iso100,16mm

Fukoku-Seimei building locates in center of Osaka city. The building is so stand out because of its unique structure designed by Dominique Perrault who is famous for the designer of National Library of France.


NIKON COOLPIX P340 1/640 sec at f6.3, iso 80, (8.6mm)


D7000/NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED 1/90sec at f5.6, ISO200 24mm


NIKON D800E, AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR 1/400 sec at f5.6, ISO100
The left building is Hankyu-Umeda department store building.

Silver Efex Pro

D800E,AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR,
1/1250 sec at f/4,ISO200,
Silver Efex Pro
Black and White really suites the building.

During the night, the illuminated building shows different expression.


D800E/NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, 2sec at f/8.0,ISO200, 24mm

Very nearby, there is the unique “Hep Navio”building.


D800E, NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED

Inside of the building,”forest image” interior makes you relax.

富国生命ビル 室内




Long exsposure

COOLPIX A with Firecrest ND 4.8 (16 Stops)
The smallest compcast system of long exposure, which verty handy for a city shooter.

Firecrest ND 4.8 (16 Stops)

coolpix a with Firecrest ND 4.8 (16 Stops) 196sec. at f/11, ISO100 No color cast! I got it at Amazon USA with a very resonable price.

When you visit Osaka, you should visit here and can take a great long exposure shot like this.


Dark Odyssey ©2015 Yoshihiko Wada

I recently redeveloped my previous works which was already been published a year ago or more before.
This is not because I am a nostalgic person or having not an idea for a new project, but because it’s a good way to improve your skill and get a fresh perspective.

●Merit of Redevelopment

1. Take the technology improvement

A developing software is progressing day by day.

You can do today what you could not yesterday, thanks to

today’s rapid progress of soft wares and convenience of online update.

Do you know that the original Lightroom didn’t have the set of such tools: graduate filter, adjustment brush, or radical filter, which we are using as the obvious way currently.

Taking advantage in those technological improvement, and use them for redeveloping your pics, you will be able to produce better result than which you did before the technology.

2. Feel the Progress

Improvement is just not for a term for a software, but for a human too: Being able to see the progression of ourselves is most beneficial for the redevelopment.

While you are reworking you’ll see how you can do faster and better than what you did it for the first time.


Photograph ROAD ODYSSEY by Yoshihiko Wada on 500px

This was the original version of the front image. This was taken and developed in 2013, almost two years ago. At that time I’d just started architectural(kinda) photography and even didn’t know black and white fine art genre at all. I wanted to pack everything I captured at that moment.

3. The myth of feeling “perfect”

When we finish the development we feel :

“This is perfect. There is nothing to do more”

However the feeling often betrays us.

In order to see your picture objectively often requires certain amount of time after you finished it.  If you saw your “perfect” picture after a years ago, and you felt still perfect of it, the picture would have nothing left to be done. However if you felt something different, the photo had room to be improved or re-developed.


Photograph OPTIMUS RED by Yoshihiko Wada on 500px


Photograph Gurdian by Yoshihiko Wada on 500px

in 2013 I loved HDR photos and used HDR software, HDR Efexpro, every time. I just started using Photoshop and did not have enough skill for post process.

It’s natural feeling for any artists to make their work perfect. One of the great classic music composer, Gustav Mahler, often revised his music for meeting his perfection. It’s quite a common custom in the classic music composers.

Sometime, yet often redeveloping goes wrong. So what should you do?

Just keep the original. You can reveal the remake when it goes right (at least you feel )than the original.

Don’t regret the time for your failure. It’s just a experiment, and you

can get precious experience from it.

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.

Thomas A. Edison

Summer Walk
Every year in summer My family and I have a short trip to seaside of Mie, where we can stay at the company’s comfortable villa.

During our stay I got up early every morning and went to the seacoast nearby wanting for some nice seascapes.

The morning was pretty misty, and the front glass of the lens fogged up, just after I grabbed my camera from my bag.

seascape at the misty morning

misty morning /coolpix A

Check your lens often in misty morning. The front glass easily get fogged up.
Put on a protect glass in order to wipe the lens easily. Don’t forget bringing some soft cloth.

On the way to my initial destination, the curves of a breakwater lured my eyes. So I decided to change my plan.


When something draw you eyes, you should take some time and shoot them, even though you have a predecided destination.  I’ve been experiencing those moment many times, and whenever I was allowed to my hunch, I never regret the result.

coolpix a

set the tripod on the breakwater/ coolpix A

One of the difficult thing for a long exposure shot at the sunrise is that the light condition constantly changes and it’s get lighter and lighter.

A long exposure at the sunrise, the light condition changes constantly, so don’t rely on the calculated initial time by an App, or your smart brain.

Reduce some seconds depends on the light condition.

With 16stops FORMATT HITECH Firecrest ND4.8 filter attached, I
I decided to reduce around 30 seconds from the initial calculated time, which  said 210 seconds at the first time.

The raw image

The raw image


Look the histogram of the raw image. The high light is pretty close to blown out. If I allowed to initial caliculated time the highlight would be peaked.

Ah-oh, there was a white plastic sheet  lower part. I should have removed before shooting but I didn’t noticed. Plus there was a little poop on the wall(I cloned out already.)


Get rid of the garbage (and dog’s poop) before you shoot.
You can remove them in the post, but you should to it at the filed as much as possible for save the precious time.

However you can’t remove garbage all the time, so learning how to remove those unwanted objects later in the post is useful.

I did not need to do perfectly because I would later it “Black and White” and I knew the area would be darker. So don’t blame me for the rough edit and result.

This was about 30 minutes edit. If I removed the trash in the filed it would take less than 5minutes.

Tips: 5

Look around carefully before you shoot. Remove the garbage( and poop) as much as possible for your precious time (later in the post) and the environment.

18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

Morning walk/D7000,18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

Find the Vision

Heading for H. by Yoshihiko Wada
Head for H. by Yoshihiko Wada    D800E, 14-24 f/2.8G ED

The most difficult part, yet the fun part of Black and White fine art genre: you can’t see the finishing image until during the post process phase.

Imagine you are now in the front of your PC with a raw image.

What should you do in the first place?

Do you have the “vision“?

Can you imagine your picture’s finishing image?

If you have a clear vision and see the end result, you don’t need to read my blog anymore, but others who want to know about your ” vision” , please keep read.

● What’s VISION?

There are no clear answer to “vision”, since it is intangible.

However “vision” can be replace with other words as follows:

instinct, anticipating, imagination, prediction, thought, experience.

These words are linked to “vision”.

●How to see “vision”

Since “vision” is quite uncertain, but there are several ways to see it.

I’ll tell you the way I do.

0. Do it by hunch

In the first place you have to shoot a picture.

However you still don’t have clear vision. How to start?

Don’t worry. Just do it by hunch. Shoot what you want.

Trust your way of seeing the world.

You’ve already have a seed of the vision, which will grow later.

The RAW image of

Raw image of “Heading for H.” 360 sec. f/9,iso100   14mmActually I didn’t have a clear vision when shoot this. The center lines with rails were just quite attractive to me

1.Take the time

There are two important things you should know about vision;
①Vision appears and moves

First your “vision” is fuzzy, uncertain, and changes. If your “vision” starts to change, don’t be afraid. Remember “vision” move with the times, and eventually will settle what it should be. Let the vision flow until it stop.

②Vision matures
The more you work with your image, the “vision” will grow and improve. It’s like a plant. You have to care of them. But some time it should be left. It’ll take time to grow.  Don’t rush, do experiments with your image. Some time it looks waste of time, actually doesn’t. All the work you did will pay later.

2.Make Draft

You never reach the goal without a map.

Make rough draft of the image, which is your rough vision.
I do it with Lightroom, using mainly local adjustment tools.

Lightroom local adjustment

Local adjustment tools is useful for making rough draft

Try every possibility and, do it drastically since it’s just a draft. Enhance all the highlights, shadows, details. Find the areas you want to focus. Make a plan which parts need to be masked for later post processing.

Rough draft by lightroom

This is the rough draft: I want to enhance the tower of the bridge, and gave it maxim highlight, and vignette ohters drastically. I know it is too dark and needed to be brigher.

3.View the image objectively

The vision is yours but the image should be seen public, then objective viewing is necessary to make a convincing image.

Easy way to see your image objectively is keep some distance from your image. Stand up and step back from your PC monitor.

Close your eyes 10 seconds, then open your eyes. Is the image still what you want? Is the image look attractive? Is the image too dark or bright?  Judge them like a curator.

4.  Export the image

When you think your image is almost done, export other devices, i.e. , your smart phone or tablet. Small display can’t see tiny details, but gives you the strong (or weak) impression, which is the similar feeling of others, who see your image at the first glance.

If you own a printer, print it. A tangible print gives you different

perspective from seeing with PC monitors.

But make sure that you have to calibrate your monitor precisely, otherwise the printed image would come out look different with what you see it on the monitors.

Preveiw with various way
Preview with various way

5. Believe your Vision

When you feel “the image has done”, leave it a day or two.

Then come back and see it again.

Are you still OK with this?

Can you find any rough edit?

If you are convinced. well done! Publish!!

When you feel some parts needed to be tweaked. Do it.

Don’t publish your image until you’re fully satisfied.

Never compromise. Do the best what you can do right now.

Then you vision will improve image by image.

After all you are the one who can only see your vision

Believe your vision.

Effective use of “Selective color”

Selective color in BW architectural photos

A selective color looks tricky at first glance but it’s not a special technique in this digital era. Some digital cameras are capable of doing selective color effect with in-camera tools. It is so effective and easily make viewer’s attention to the photo. Then you have to care of using it and not overdo.

Make the “color” meaningful

Do you remember the movie”schindler’s list”? The movie was made as a black and white movie, but the director Steven Spielberg effectively put the red in the movie.

A little girl in the red dress has an important role: she represents the innocence of the Jews being slaughtered. Schindler(main character) later spots her in a pile of exhumed dead bodies as she wore the red dress. In my opinion the red also represents the blood lost by this tragic historical incident.

Aoh, don’t take it too serious when it comes to photography.. Just take a moment and think the color you want; “Why the color is important to me.”

That makes your photo much convincing.

What if the photo with only black and white?

Before using the selective color, examine your photo; “Does it really need the color?” Often a poor selective color ruins the photo. Then make the traditional black and white version first, add the color later. Take an example from my gallery.

The photo above ended up with traditional black and white. However I was originally thinking to add a color to the traffic light; like this:
URBAN MOAI with color

URBAN MOAI with selective “green” light

It was not bad. The green light was eye catching, and would draw view’s eye. However the main subject of the photo is the unique shape of the building, not the traffic light. So the color green can be a distractive element in this time.  I decided to take over the color.

Don’t depend on too much to the color.

Take care of other parts of the photo first:composition, the details and highlights to Shadows.

When the photo stands without the color, the photo might not need the color.

Leave them in Black and White.

When the color works better, make the photo much stand out,

use it as the killer technique which you can stun the viewers.


So what parts of the color you select?

There are some common areas you can choose as a color;

1. Traffic lights

To combine with traffic lights and buildings are common technique in  cityscape genre. So here comes the technique you can use.

Imagine this photo without color “green”. Already the picture is brilliant with beautiful  composition, detail of the buildings and long-exposure blurred clouds. Adding to “the green light“, it is really an icing on the cake.

Photograph waiting for green light by kcn on 500px waiting for green light by kcn on 500px

2. Windows

Windows are also good areas to choose.They are everywhere in a building. So select a window or windows effectively make a photo much interesting.

※This pic is not a “black and white with selective color”.
Holger said“ It looks indeed like a selective colour shot, but it was in real like that
Jewish Museum in Berlin. Designed by architect Daniel Liebeskind

3. Lamp

Coloring Lamps are also popular along with traffic lights.

They are so called “lamp shots”

Those shapes of lamps are different from countries to countries.

So It’s interesting to compare among these “lamp shots” among different photographers in the world.

Photograph crazy babies by Michael Köster on 500pxcrazy babies by Michael Köster on 500px

4. Freedom

It’s up to you where to color. There is no limitation. Just do it!

Photograph Valley of Fire V by Roland Shainidze on 500px Valley of Fire V by Roland Shainidze on 500px


I’d like to say thank you for my fellow great photographers bellow for allowing me to reference their great photographs. How inspiring they are!!!



Holger Glaab

Joe Plasmatico

Manita Goh

Jin Mikami

Michael Koster

Roland Shainidze

I Am The Raw part.2

Akashi-Kaikyo-Ohashi-Bridge, Koube, Japan明石海峡大橋

The land of Redemption by Yoshihiko Wada

For those who are new to fine-art Black and White might interested in the RAW image, which will go to the above image.
Then I’ll reveal,Ta-da!

The raw image of "The Land of Redemption"

The raw image of “The Land of Redemption”

Here comes tech info:

601sec./f9, iso:100

Lense:AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED

Filters:10+6 stops ND by formatt-hitech

Do you want to see the scene without the ND filters? here it is.

behind scene

1/320, f8, iso100

Do you see how those ND filters made the scene so surreal?
Anyway, before the long time post-process, you have to take a beautiful longexpousre-raw image. It needs a bit experience, but you can be soon accustomed.
Have a great long exposure!!!

Sunset after the shoot

After the shoot with Coolpix_A

Get Alone

alone in the darkness

Alone in the Darkness by Yoshihiko Wada

An early bird develops a photo.

I usually get up before 4 am. Yes!  I am an early riser.

Since I don’ t have my precious den or darkroom in my house, the early morning is precious time which I can focus on my creation,

( in Japan a husband with no his own room is common, though my daughter have one, and my wife one too. )

My work place is the small corner of the living room. where always my family intrude while I am developing my photos.

Find sufficient time to be alone

I gave up working for my creation during my family are awake, so I had to take an early riser strategy. (My wife never gets up before 6:30 either my daughter.)

My day work is a sound designer for a video game company, so I usually have 2 free creative hours before I go to work.

I use those premier, quiet time,  for my creation, and am pretty alone in those time period.

Use your precious time for your creation

My photos, especially fine art black and white genre,  usually need a lot of  post process and require sufficient time to finish: Usually 10~30hours per photo.

Some time it  takes much longer to concrete the final image, other time it takes less longer and done by pretty quickly.(pretty rare case)

Either way, having certain amount of time in your daily life is crucial for an artist who has a day job.

Time is given equal to us, and it is us to use them by worthwhile or worthless.

Don’t spend too much time for WEB, facebook, and other social media. Web is a good place to publish your work and communicate with other artists.

We have to take away from the WEB and get alone constantly for the sake of building our art.

Rome (and an art ) was not built in a day.

The more taking time for a photo to the post process, the more your photo get better?  I can’t guarantee that.

However the quality of your photo significantly will improve by giving the certain amount of time for the one photo, even if you were just watching and thinking them,

Get alone and close your eyes, imagine the final outcome.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

This is true for everything.


How to get a treasure?

From Treasure island, San Fransisco Oakland Bay Bridge

Twilight Treasure by Yoshihiko Wada

I’m not telling you about jewels, but the treasure: Treasure island in San Francisco.

I’ve been wanted to visit this beautiful place where you can shot the Oakland bridge with San Francisco Skyline.

The location is fairly popular among photographers, but there are no specific guidelines how to get there, so I have to did a homework before my visit.

Google map research:
Google map is really useful when you are going to visit a place which you haven’t before. They never beat a real scouting, but during our travel, mostly we don’t have enough time to visit the place early on.

TreasureIsland_google map

Treasure Island google map


set the destination

If you have a kind photo friend in S.F., they probably take you there by car. Otherwise you should take an another way:  Bus

Fortunately, you can go almost anyplace by bus in S.F.  Treasure Iselnd is no exception.  It took around 15 minutes from downtown in S.F. Pretty close hah?


Google Root

20minutes hike

_DSC0224you get off from the bus here.

_DSC0233Walk sideways

_DSC0227You can shoot here for the skyline.

_DSC0229walk back for the gate bridge. and across left side. Be careful.

_DSC0234This is a hard part. Climb up and walk on narrow pass on the concrete wall. Actually it was not so hard. But be careful not to fall down.

_DSC0237Almost, almost.

_DSC0238YES! You almost there. Just go down the steep hill.

_DSC0240You can also down the hill and get to the shore, but I didn’t go down this time.

_DSC0242YES!! Congrats!! This is the place I’ve been wanted to!!!

_DSC0248I ‘m not sure this was the best root to get the destination. See the map I passed through.

Technically, the area seems to be off limit area, so please go on your own responsibility.

I know you will.

Akame valley

Akame valley, Mie, Japan, 赤目渓谷

Autumn Whim, Akame valley

Akame valley is located in Mie, Japan.
There are so many waterfalls,big and small, which said to be more than 48.
That’s because they say Akame 48 waterfalls.
In Autumn and new green season, the place attracts many photographers.

They have an Official website.
They informs us how the valley looks now, especially in Autumn, so we can’t miss the best day to visit there.

The most famous waterfall in the valley is “Ninai daki”. “taki”or “daki” means Waterfall in Japanese.

This waterfall locates fairly deep in the valley then it is difficult to catch a good light. I’ve visited several times, but I couldn’t get best shot so far.

And the bellow is “Biwa daki”,  little ahead from “Ninai daki”
“Biwa” means a Japanese traditional music instrument. The shape of water fall resembles the instrument, that’s what it became called to “Biwa Daki”.

Photograph the beginning of stream by Yoshihiko Wada on 500px The beginning of the stream by Yoshihiko Wada on 500px

This waterfall also locates deep in the valley, then a good light is difficult to archive.
They has unique shape of foreground, so I recommend to visit in rainy season, which has abandoned of water flow. You also should have rain boots or sandals to get in the water for better compositions.

This is “Senju Daki” “Sen-Ju”means “thousands hands”.
The water falls soon appear, you got into the valley.
The water was so clean that I widely placed the foreground.

I particularly love the waterfall” Shimai-Daki”,Shimai means Sister.
See, two flows gathers together looks like a real sister.

Vertical composition is my recommendation.

Photograph Shimai-Daki (sister-falls) by Yoshihiko Wada on 500px

Shimai-Daki (sister-falls) by Yoshihiko Wada on 500px

And the last one is “Gankutsu-Daki”.
Gankutsu means “cave”
Yes this waterfall locates the end of the valley, so I usually don’t come, and back before get dark. Don’t expect a good light here.

Photograph Gankutsu Taki Fall by Yoshihiko Wada on 500px

Gankutsu Taki Fall by Yoshihiko Wada on 500px

There are so many nice shooting spot here, if you are waterfall lover and have a chance to visit Japan, why don’t you visit Akame Valley?

Akame Valley Official web

Finding your favorite place “nearby”

Autumn Valley filled with Autumn leaves

Autumn Treasure : D800E, NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR


Minou Valley is a small but has a big waterfall and many small streams. In Autumn many people visit there for seeing beautiful autumn leaves; One of the beautiful sightseeing spot in Osaka.

I live nearby there so I’ve been visited quite often with my camera. I prefer small water flows to shoot with ND filters.

Photograph reminds of the autumn by Yoshihiko Wada on 500px

Reminds of the Autumn: D800E, NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II

While I organizing my old data, I tried to count how many times I visited there since I started photography.

2011 (10 times: when I just started photgraphy)

2012 (14 times: in Autumn I finally got D800E)

2013 (20 times )

2014 (6 times)

2015 (0)

50 times!

So far I’ve visited the same place 50 times during four years. (Recently I’m focusing on architectures, so the number decreased) After  purchasing  D800E, I wanted and had to get used to full frames, so the number increased.

Photograph Spring is beginning by Yoshihiko Wada on 500px

Spring is beginning :  D800E, NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VRII

Traveling is fun! Visiting a new location is absolutely the pleasure for topographers. But in reality it’s hard to visit different places and countries every time you shoot especially for an temporary photographer like me. Instead it’s pretty easy to visit a familiar place you live nearby. So I recommend to find your favorite place (nearby) and visit there again and again especially when you just started photography.


1.TIME EFFICIENCY Since you can access fast the location, you can afford taking the time for shoot a lot. The more you shoot, more you got experienced.

2. EXPERIMENT & EXPERIMENT You can shoot in different weather, season and light conditions. Don’t forget trying different angles and compositions.

Photograph Slow White by Yoshihiko Wada on 500px

Slow White D7000, NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR

3. TEST You can try different lenses, filters, tripod, any tools to get use to them. Don’t use any unfamiliar camera and lens for an important session. Know your tools’ good and bad.

4.STUDY You can try new technique like,HDR, panorama, and post processing(after shoot)

5.ECONOMY No money after buying a new lens? Go your favorite place nearby.

Photograph East of Eden by Yoshihiko Wada on 500px

East of Eden : D90, SGIMA 10mm F2.8 EX DC FISHEYE HSM


Demerit: Gradually get boring

When you start to feel boring, it’s the sign you’re ready to fly!

The world is waiting for you, and you can take more beautiful photographs with much confident before.

Shoot more, try more, test your gadget, try new skills.

Don’t hesitate for visiting the same place many times.

Just hesitate doing the same things.

Photograph Autumn Dream by Yoshihiko Wada on 500px

Autumn Dream : D800E, NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II

Before the sunrise

Lost in Twilight: D600,16-35mm f/4G ED VR

I visited northan part of Ibaraki prefecture, where was damaged by 4-year old “Aftermath of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami”.

The huge rock called “Two Islands”. You might say “But there is only one, where is the second one?”.

Yes, there “was” the smaller rock next to the Huge one.
But after the tragic earth quake and tsunami, the Rocks’ appearance was drastically changed.

D600 and The Rock

Behind the sea. captured by coolpix A

The top of the unique trees were completely scraped by tsunami.
And the half of smaller rock was completely gone, which just can be seen only when the low tide.

The Two islands were absolutely photogenic icon for this area.
I felt pretty sad when I first visited after the disaster.

birds on the top of the rock

Birds sitting on the top. D600 & NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G

But After almost 4years later, the green is sightly coming back to the top of the rock, and the sea birds are sit on still  as there were nothing happened.

Next morning, I got up 4 am  and head to the Rock again.

During magic hour I was pretty moved to see the appearance of the rock, bravely standing in the sea reflected by the golden sunrise.

No matter what happened the sun also rises.

Sunrise behind the huge rock

Edge for Tomorrow: D600+16-35mm f/4G ED VR

The Sun Also Rises


Akashi Kaikyō Bridge,Koube, Japan. 明石海峡大橋

Falling Down by Yoshihiko Wada

I often be asked to review my raw images.

It’ll may help for whom has just started this style of photos, “fine art black and white long exposure”,so here you go.

Photo of the RAW image

D800E 14-24mm f/2.8GED 300sec.F11, iso100, Filters:10+6 stops (total 16 stops) FORMATT HITECH

This is the very raw file from my most recent BW fine art work “Falling down” (I love the movie Falling Down, not related the image though.)

And here is the no-long exposure shot from the same composition. Just before the long exposures one.

no long expousure

ss:1/250, F11, iso100, D800E+NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED

Clouds are pretty dramatic, aren’t they?

And this is another shot, slightly changed the composition, I took after the first long exposure shot.


camera:D800E 14-24mm f/2.8GED 300sec.F9, iso100,

This was also 300 seconds long exposure shot. The light condition was pretty similar but you can see the expression of the clouds is slightly different.

I preferred the dynamism of motion of clouds which the previous image had.

some may think 300 seconds long exposure make the sky look similarly smooth. Sometime it wolud be pretty same, others wouldn’t.

Each of all the 300 seconds has different expressions of the sky.

Clouds are not a cotton candy, you can never find the same cloud again. Then here is one tip for you and me:

Don’t miss the best clouds!!

(along with the best light)

p.s Actually I missed many times though….

Akashi Kaikyō Bridge,Koube, Japan. 明石海峡大橋

The memory of Tappan Zee


The picture is “New Toppan Zee Bridge” from my trip to NY last October.
At that time the original bridge was still deconstructing, and the new one had just opened. You see, there was an old one in my picture, but the old one had totally removed recently.

Most famous Manhattan bridge, Brooklyn bridge, George Washington Bridge, to name but a few there are so many bridge in NY.

The Toppan Zee bridge locates pretty much far from Manhattan, so it’s hard to access for most tourist.

Luckily my friend Ricardo gave me a ride and I pretty much enjoyed seeing the bridge and shooting.


The park near by. It was a pretty windy day.

The park is the best shooting area so far, since there are railroad nearby the bridge. If you want to capture the bridge bigger, you need a telephoto lens.

The day was a pretty windy and the sunlight was so glare when we visited first time, so we revisited at sunset.


The Sunlight in NY was tough!


On the bridge. You can see the old one at the left.

The light-up pf the bridge is also beautiful, I did not have time for shoot this time.

The access was a little bit hard but if you’ve already shot popular bridges, Manhattan and Brooklyn, it’s worth to try.

Tappan Zee Bridge – Four Years in Two Minutes:


I moved. not to a new house, but to the new my website:

As I’ve just renewed my main site “Yoshihiko Wada Photography” which is built on

What is the different from and
This article help you understand.

Anyway, now I unified my main site, “” with my blogs.



yoshihikowada_seo_1200x630 is quite useful and easy to use for a beginner blogger anyone like me.
If you want to start your blog , try first. You will know what a blog is and what you want for your blog.

For me I became to know that I needed  more flexibility and customization for my blog. That is one reason to move.

I keep this site as an archive, so if you want to see my old posts feel free to visit here.
(I put the link in my new site).

Thank you for following and visiting my blog until now, and if you are still interested in my blog, please visit to my new site and blog.

See you there.