Shuri Steps Apr18

Shuri Steps

I took this shot while I was walking up to the main area of Shuri Castle located in the town of Naha in Okinawa, Japan. I have another post from this area which is located a short distance off the castle ground and picture a Japanese hut on a lake that can be viewed here. On this visit there had been rain clouds following us around all day and I was afraid that it would ruin our visit since It would make things real difficult to take pictures without getting my camera soaked in the torrential downpour that Okinawa usually experiences. Luckily, it had only drizzled when we first arrived at the castle and stopped for the rest of the time. This was actually more beneficial than anything because the ebbing rain pent up in the clouds made for some awesome pictures. You can see here just how heavy those clouds looked. This area is pretty much what the whole area around here was built like. There were a lot of stone structures with pointed roofs that have become iconic to the Japanese culture. This place is the kind of place you expect to see when you go to an Asian country (as stereotypical as that sounds). I really wanted to bring out the details in the stones that showed signs of aging and wear so I decided to make an HDR out of this shot. I took 3 separate exposures at -2, 0, and +2 and combined them all in Photomatix. I barely touch the sliders much from their defaults setting except to lessen the HDR effect in order to give the images a more natural look. Once they were combined, I took the image in Photoshop CS6 and started the post-processing by masking...