Rooftop futsal with a beautiful Tokyo view

Here are some rooftop futsal photos from 2021. It was another game at BONFIM Football Park. I had been there before to shoot the indoor pitch. This time I did the outside! It was a good night, but I also went there for a particular reason. What was it? 

From the rooftop court, you can see Shinjuku’s skyscrapers. You can see all the famous buildings. The view is beautiful. Once the sun goes down, their lights go on. Unfortunately, this time it was overcast, so they didn’t look as good as I had hoped. Still, it was very nice.

I knew I was in for a challenge. The pitch’s center area was well-lit when the sun had gone down, and the lights were on. But anything near the edge was in near darkness (for photography, anyway). Conditions were varied. 

It was a tough job for my camera, a Fujifilm X-T2. I bought it in the first half of 2017. It has decent low-light capabilities, but this was probably a “bridge too far” situation. For this shoot, it struggled. The first time I processed them, the pictures didn’t turn out as I imagined. That was obviously disappointing.

The original post-processing might have been too harsh. Maybe too much exposure slider in Adobe Lightroom? I couldn’t think of anything else to do. There didn’t seem to be any other option. In 2022, when I redid them with the Eterna film simulation, they looked much better.

The root cause of the problem was available light. For night photography, BONFIM was poorly illuminated. But we have to remember; it was a local sports center. It wasn’t international grade. The players could see well enough, but my camera couldn’t!

Yes, I shot with the lens wide open, at f/2.8. ISO was at 3200. Shutterspeed, I varied. I shot between 1/250 and 1/500. Could I have used a lower speed? That was a possibility, but I wanted to keep motion blur to a minimum.

Still, I was happy to get some usable pictures. And they had some Shinjuku skyscraper lights in the background. How many other futsal/football parks have a view like this? It is spectacular.

And if you are looking for a futsal game in Tokyo, check out the Futsal Tokyo Meetup page. They are a nice bunch of people who would love you to join. Please leave your questions and comments below.

What camera gear did I use for these rooftop photos?

  • Camera Body: X-T2
  • Lens: XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR

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