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Illuminations from Japan 102 Seconds

by Matthew Cooper
Japan Illuminations 102 Seconds

Shooting Illuminations from Japan is still my favorite spot to shoot Illuminations after all these years. Truthfully its probably the most popular spot among photographers. If you arrive early you can get setup on Teppan Edo’s balcony with no one in front of you. This location offers you excellent height and offers interesting foreground elements such as the Torii Gate and the pagoda if you are shooting extremely wide like I did here. To me, just shooting fireworks by themselves can be kind of boring. Using a location like this where you have a lot of interesting foreground elements can really make a shot.

Illuminations from Japan Shooting Details

This is my second shot in the series I shot from here. I shot with my Nikon D810 with the Nikon 14-24 2.8 @ 14mm so that I could go extra wide and include the pagoda on the left. As I mentioned before when I shot here in the past I would use my Nikon 24-70 2.8 as I could make use of an ND filter. This unfortunately did not allow me to shoot wide enough to include the pagoda, only the Torii Gate. I now have the Progrey filter system that allows me to use ND filters on my Nikon 14-24 which is what I used here. I used a 7 stop ND and shot at F8 for maximum sharpness and I felt a happy medium for exposing for the bright fireworks. The one drawback to shooting with such a dark ND is when you shoot such long exposures you only get a handful of shots each show. Even worse if you mess up any of those exposures now you don’t have very many shots. Fortunately I’ve done this so many times now I had all keepers. I think eventually though I will add a 3 stop ND for the 14-24 as I feel that’s a perfect balance allowing slightly longer exposures and preventing easy blowouts.

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