Otaru, Hokkaido in Less Colors

Otaru is a city and port in Shiribeshi, Hokkaido, Japan, northwest of Sapporo.

Have been there a couple of times, but never in the right season .

There is a canal there which is said to be romantic – especially in Winter when it is covered with snow.

The canal was also the background of a television series.

I have been playing around with the “Reduce Color” function of a software. The image below has the number of colors reduced from the original color photo.006

The resulting image looks as if the area around the Otaru canal is covered with snow – which is the Winter scene I want.

For comparison, I have also included the original color image.006A

To be able to reduce the number of colors and getting a romantic image is just magical !

64 thoughts on “Otaru, Hokkaido in Less Colors

  1. The reduced color version is stunning. It made me think of a very cold winter scene. You might try a black and white conversion on the original just to see what happens.

  2. I like what you have done with this photo. With the same composition, the re-do has “mood” – cold and bleak. According to the original, it wasn’t really cold and bleak, but it looks that way. The original is a nice photo, but for me it doesn’t bring about a response, where the second one does. It’s quite interesting how removing some of the color but not necessarily making a b & w changes so much.

    • Hi Marilyn, it is quite fun playing around with the color reduction function – there is also a choice of the number of colors for the reduction, this also gives you a different mood. The B&W is an extreme, I think some images with color reduction do look more interesting than B&W. Regards, Michael

  3. Hey Michael, I wonder if you might have noticed this as a photographer in Japan. I’ve spent quite a lot of time there, since my mother is from Japan. It always strikes me as the train moves into the countryside that the colors in Japan are all different. The greens of nature are slightly bluer. The artificial reds of stop signs and fabrics aren’t scarlet, but… bluer. Everything there is slightly bluer. For someone who’s never been to Japan, it looks like what happens when you photograph something with Fuji film — it becomes slightly bluer. Weirdly enough, it’s like they optimized (and branded) Fuji film to enhance the colors of Japan.

    • I have that feeling too. Not only that, my recent pictures are taken with a Fuji camera – the pictures all come out with a blue overtone – like the Fuji film or slide. Thanks for the comment 🙂

    • The season of flowers and lavender doesn’t coincide with the season when Otaru is at its best; but true, I love Otaru all year around but I long to be there when it is covered with snow. Regards, Michael

  4. Hi Michael. What a productive way to spend your retired life – you can now stop and appreciate all the things that you would have passed by in the rush to office/work. I took a break to spend time at home – with myself and my daughter – and I must say that the experience so far has been extremely life changing. Here’s to more discoveries.

    • Hi, when I first retired, I suddenly have all the time with me that I don’t know what to do with. Now, I am more with my inner self and more clear on what I would like to do. many thanks for the comment and wish you a meaningful and life changing experience. Regards, Michael

  5. Ni hao Mr Lai! 🙂 Strange coincidence: we were there 3 years ago and we took almost the same pix… 🙂 We love Japan in general and Hokkaido in particular, as it’s completely different from the rest of Japan! 🙂

    My very best, have a great weekend and good luck in all your endeavours, cheers! Mélanie NB, Toulouse, FRANCE.

    • Ni hao Melanie, the canal in Otaru is quite a touristy place ( some people said it is a bit overrated). Nonetheless, I love the mood around the canal area. Many thanks for the kind words; have a great week!
      PS I learned some French some 35 years ago, I think I can still remember some.

  6. I love fiddling around with photographs, Michael, and experimenting with all the different effects. Your first photograph looks as if everything is covered in a hoar frost. It’s lovely and atmospheric.

    • It is wonderful that technology has now enabled us to process our digital photos so easily; I could imagine how difficult it was before this was available. Glad that you like the photo and thank you for your support 🙂

  7. For each image has its own character. And indeed, the reduced colors appear cooler, so this picture has more of a winter landscape. However, I like the original better. If you look at it, then the view is involuntarily sucked in by the red in the background (is that wine?). The color is still reflected even on the water. This gives the image a clearer focus and from there the viewer can “work out the picture”. The view is “guided” by continuing on the red line on the water and on the roofs to the foreground. This has a great effect that is not to be found in the winter landscape. But of course, this is just my opinion. (;-)))

    • I agree. I think the color version is better as a picture. I love the first one only because I have longed to be there to have a look at the winter scene but couldn’t. I have bigger pictures which shows the red climbers on the wall- they (could be wine) are quite interesting too. Thank you 🙂

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