Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ground Zero, Hiroshima, Japan

This image of the Hiroshima Prefecture Industrial Promotion Hall, aka Atomic Dome, was created while studying photography in Japan in the mid 1990s.  This was ground zero in Hiroshima, Japan on 6 August 1945 for the world's first atomic bomb dropped during warfare by the B-29 Enola Gay.  It was built in 1915 and designed by Czech architect Jan Letzel.

I used my Toyo 4x5 view camera with Fuji tungsten balanced sheet transparency film.  This image was created using two separate exposures on the single sheet of film.  The first was at 1/15th of a second to expose the sky.  Since the building was backlit, it remained in shadow and did not register on film.  The second exposure was taken several hours later when darkness fell, and the building was dimly illuminated.  The second exposure was for 6 1/2 minutes.  Now the sky was black and wouldn't register on the already exposed sky.

Click on image to enlarge it.

I knew what my exposures would be since I had previously scouted the location and took a series of test exposures for the sky and building.  It was critical that the camera remain absolutely still during and between exposure's so the two exposures would remain in perfect register.

My camera set up.

I just love creating a technically challenging photograph as I feel it makes for a more memorable and distinctive image.

Todd A. Smith is a No. VA, VA, DC, MD, DE, NJ, NY architectural photographer with offices in Alexandria, VA and Spring Lake, NJ.  Please visit to see examples of his architectural photography.

1 comment:

Tito said...

Your "Atomic Dome" picture has always been one of my favorites. Its a hauntingly beautiful work of art.