The Two Towers (New HDR version)
The Higashiyama Hanatouro starts this Friday night (March 3rd) and continues each night until Sunday March 12th. This is about a week earlier than usual, I'm not sure why though. The lights turn on at 6:00pm and go out at 9:30pm each night. It’s a good chance to see many of Higashiyama’s shrines, temples, traditional neighbours and shops lit up with the Hanatouro lights. There are also many events like parades in traditional costumes and dance performances during the Hanatouro evenings.
For today's image, I made a HDR image from five photos. Previously I posted a single photo of the same bracket, because at that time I didn't have any HDR processing software at that time. However, I knew that sooner or later I buy some HDR software, so I took bracketed shots so I could use them later.
The nearest tower in this image is the traditional Yakasa Pagoda and the far tower in the more modern Kyoto Tower which is in fact way taller but much further away. Many people get mixed up between Yakasa Pagoda and the Pagoda at To-ji (temple), because they're both five storied. To-ji (temple) however, is on the other side of the city and nowhere near Higashiyama. Yasaka Pagoda is in the Higashiyama area about midway between Kiyomizu-dera (Kiyomizu Temple) and Yasaka-jinja (Yasaka Shrine).
The best train stations for getting to the Higashiyama Hanatouro are as follows: If you wish to start at Yasaka-jinja or Maruyama Koen (Maruyama Park), then the either alight at the Hankyu Railway's Kawaramachi Station or Keihan Railway's Gion-Shijo Station and head east up Shijo-dori until you reach the gate of Yasaka-jinja; If you wish to start at Kiyomizu-dera (the southern end of the Hanatouro course) alight at the Keihan Railway's Kiyomizu-Gojo and head east following the signs to Kiyomizu-dera, note it is a quite a walk, so arrive early; If you wish to start at the northern end of the Hanatouro course near Sho-ren-in (Sho-ren Temple), alight at Higashiyama station on the Kyoto Municipal Subway's Tozai Line.
This image was produced from 5 raw (.NRW) captures from -4EV to 0EV with a Nikon Coolpix P7100 camera. The reason I opted for this range was the lights on the Kyoto Tower were so much brighter than the ones on the Yasaka Pagoda and the camera only does a maximum of 5 shot brackets. Unfortunately because of using this range I couldn't pull much detail from the mountains in the background. If I was to take this shot with a dSLR I could do a nine shot bracket from -4EV to +4EV, plus with the added dynamic range of a dSLR I'd be able to get more details in the mountains and other dark areas. I processed this from the RAWs in Aurora HDR 2017. I kept the noise reduction low and added a bit of vignetting to give the final image a bit of a retro look.