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I Coulda Been a Contender.
Posted By: Mike Cash, 01-01-2008, 07:40 AM

I spend quite a bit of time "On the Waterfront" in Tokyo and Yokohama. And I take quite a few photos there, mostly out of boredom. They're seldom very good and never very interesting unless one happens to like that sort of thing. But I've worked up a few to post to Flickr groups for folks who do and I thought I may as well post there here while I'm at it:

Hanjin Berlin in Yokohama

Domestic ferry "Ocean East"

Tug "Kongo" with barge "Shunkai #1" (belongs to Tokyo Metro Govt.)

Tug "Kongo" delivering barge to harbor dredge

All photos SMC-A 35-105/3.5 straining to work at distances it really shouldn't be asked to cover. #1 Yokohama and others Tokyo.

I tried a new contrast layer method I picked up from a GIMP group; since it is new to me it looks a little funky to my eyes. I'm curious how it looks to others.
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01-01-2008, 08:28 AM   #2
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Nice shots Mike - the colors in #1 are spot on. #2 is that a criuse ship ? I always like to see huge ships. Thanks for posting.
01-01-2008, 11:46 AM   #3
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Hi Mike, I agree that the lens seems to be straining just a bit, especially in the 3rd and 4th shots. And I agree with you that the process method doesn't work in 3 and 4. Two is spot on, nifty looking ferry, especially with the bow up. #1 looks like it was over sharpened, but I've never seen you do that before, so I'm assuming it's more of that contrast layer technique? As far as subject matter is concerned, if it's on the water, and it's floating, I'm interested.

NaCl(I come by my handle honestly)H2O
01-01-2008, 06:16 PM   #4
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These are all rather close crops so I hope no one unfamiliar with the lens comes away with a poor impression of it from these images. At the time the 105mm length was the longest thing I had with me and all of these vessels were at a much greater distance from me than the crops make it look like. The only reason I didn't toss the 3rd and 4th altogether is that I thought the workboat group on Flickr might find them interesting regardless of technical merit.

Thanks for confirming my suspicions about the technique on #3 and #4. I didn't particularly care for it myself but thought I'd give it a chance. On #2 the technique as prescribed was a total bust so I tried a variation on it. I think it gives it sort a shot on film look.

In case anyone else is bored and has time to kill experimenting with The GIMP:

The normal way I do contrast layer adjustments:

1. Duplicate layer
2. Desaturate
3. Invert
4. Gaussian blur (5 pixels)
5. Merge down

The method I found and tried on #1, #3, and #4 here:

1. Duplicate layer and set mode to "Hard Light"
2. Desaturate base layer (not the duplicate)
3. Invert base layer
4. Gaussian blur base layer
5. Merge down

The variation on #2 was to set the mode to "Grain Extract" instead of "Hard Light"


#2 is a domestic ferry. Japan being an island nation they have quite a lot of them. Since they've allowed their freight railroads to wither away to almost nothing a lot of the automobiles for the domestic market are hauled by ferry to ports nearer their destination. They also do quite a bit of hauling (loaded) trucks, and on the upper decks there are small cabins and large lounging areas for the drivers to kill time.

01-01-2008, 06:43 PM   #5
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I see delicate details and beautiful metallic colour. I can see you place great emphasis on texture and colouring. Love these shots very much
01-01-2008, 07:21 PM   #6
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Don't give me too much credit. These were just point-n-click snapshots.

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