When you come to Tokyo, there are only a few things you can photograph that will say “Hey look! Am in Tokyo!” so I tend to find myself shooting the main sites like Skytree, Shibuya crossing, and Tokyo Tower a lot. There are tons of place to go and get Iconic images of Tokyo but one of my favorite place is Tokyo World Trade Center. The Tokyo World Trade Center Building is a 40-story commercial skyscraper located in Hamamatsuchō which lets you get wonderful shots of Tokyo with its Iconic skyline. The Tokyo World Trade Center is a great place for photographers because it offers a 360-degree panorama view of Tokyo from the observatory deck on the 40th floor.
One of the main reason why I enjoy my time at Tokyo World Trade Center is for the fact that I can set up my tripod and take a seat in one of the many chairs and wait for the light to get just right. There are hardly any lights on the inside of the observatory deck so the reflections are very minimal. There are a few shots taken from here that are stuck in my mind, some of them are of Tokyo Tower looking west towards Morri Tower. Some of the other images are of Tokyo Skytree taken from the North side of the building.
Tokyo Tower From Tokyo World Trade Center
When you are photographing some of these iconic spots, you need to keep in mind that composition is a key. On the image above you can see that I centered Tokyo Tower on the rule of thirds line. Instead of placing the horizon line at one of the 1/3rd marks, I put the tree line at the lower 1/3rd. One thing I have learned over time is that you always shoot multiple compositions of the same image. The image below I went to the landscape aspect and still placing Tokyo Tower and the tree line at the 1/3rd marks. Both of these images were done in about 10 seconds with my LightRoom Preset called Urban Smog. Urban Smog is a wonderful preset for Blue hour or Golden hour that brings back some of the shadows and details but not to the point of a crazy HDR look. Once the preset has been applied, you only need to adjust the exposure slider to get to your desired look. Now lets take a look at a few images of Skytree taken from the space place in the World Trade Center Building.
Tokyo SkyTree From Tokyo World Trade Center
Here is a great example of what I mean by the minimal reflections inside of the observation deck here at the Tokyo World Trade Center. If you look closely at the bottom right of the image, you can see the window seal that I am shooting from. It does not happen everyday that you get to shoot from a Tripod inside of an observation deck behind glass and get no reflections. If you follow the leading lines which take you to the center of the image, you’ll find Tokyo SkyTree in the middle of of two skyscrapers. I could have shot this image better by including more like trails in the roads down below, but I was just enjoying sitting back enjoying the view. On overcast days in Tokyo when the clouds are sitting lower than normal, the city lights will cast a nice warm glow on the clouds above. You can see this on the upper left-hand side of the image. I also shot a tighter version of this image focuses more on Tokyo SkyTree.
I feel that this image of Tokyo SkyTree is stronger than the image taken with the wide angle lens. The leading lines are more direct and the compression of the telephoto lens makes Tokyo SkyTree larger in the frame. I love the random lights on the buildings along with the star bursts in the park in the foreground. The little details such as these are what brings images like this to life. Having these 2 spots only 50 feet away from each other inside of one building is wonderful, and Tokyo World Trade Center is Tripod and Photographer friendly. Again, I only edited these images with my preset called Urban Smog. This Is just one more example showing you how well this preset works from Blue to Golden Hour. If you want to get this preset along with 9 others for Free, Am giving them away to people who sign up for our Newsletter. You can find the sign up block below or follow the link HERE.