I arrived in Japan about a week after the devastating and tragic 2011 March earthquake/ tsunami. I stayed in the southern regions to keep away from the developing situation up north around the affected Sendai areas, and from Kyoto south on the surface daily life seemed as normal, except for the very reduced numbers of overseas tourists. March/ April is the cherry blossom season and usually it’s overcrowded in all the popular spots, but many a time there were only a few other people in the temples and parks and on occasions I pretty well had the place to myself. Once the cherry blossoms reached full bloom, the locals were out in less than usual numbers for the season and scarce was the overseas visitor.
This small temple building is in the Konchi-in Temple grounds in Kyoto, the inside is not accessible to the public and this was as close as I could get to the entrance. I almost didn’t take the pictures as from where I was standing it looked dull and colourless, if it wasn’t for the interesting dragon design on the ceiling I probably wouldn’t have taken the shot. I’m glad I did in the end as I like the contrast between the buildings rough exterior and the beautifully presented interior of the temple.
For Techies: Nikon D700 , 24-70mm lens , ISO 100, f/2.8, shutter speeds 1/5 – 3 sec, 5 shots
My accommodation was only about 20 minutes walk from Kyoto’s Nanzenji Temple, I went to this spot on a number of different days hoping for a good sky with lots of cloud for the HDR. Sometimes it was grey and overcast, other times a light snow in the freezing temperatures, usually when I arrived there the sun was shining straight into the lens. Out of all my attempts to include a sky with lots of character I ended up choosing this flat blue one! … The other ‘character’ skies were just too difficult to get right in the HDR process. The girl was sitting there when I arrived and was still there when I left about an hour later, her restful presence is a nice addition to the photo (also the man contemplating on the temple steps to the left)
For Techies: Nikon D700 , 24-70mm lens , ISO 100, f/11, shutter speeds 1/800 – 1/13 sec, 7 shots
There were hundreds of cherry blossom trees in Yoshino Park and very few people sitting underneath enjoying the traditional ‘hanami’. Normally there would have been many groups of Japanese drinking, eating and socialising under the cherry blossoms but the previous weeks March tsunami in Northern Japan had tempered the festive activities all over Japan. While I was walking through the park the regular rumbling eruptions from the nearby Mount Sakurajima volcano could be heard every 30 minutes or so.
For Techies: Nikon D700 , 24-70mm lens , ISO 100, f/14, shutter speeds 1/50 – 1/3 sec, 5 shots
I saw this Japanese couple dressed in traditional costume with a red parasol looking from the Kintai-kyo bridge, I took a number of quick HDR pictures of them from the riverbed and then considered how long it would take me to get up onto the bridge to get some nice close up pictures as well, but decided against it as I thought they would be off the bridge shortly, but in the end they lingered around for quite some time taking in the sights. In hindsight I should have packed up my tripod and made the dash to the bridge entrance as I could have taken some very nice close up pictures with a mountain and cherry blossom background.
For Techies: Nikon D700 , 24-70mm lens , ISO 100, f/16, shutter speeds 1/50 – 1/3 sec, 5 shots
This bamboo fountain and temizuya is along the approach to the Otoyo-jinja Shrine, it’s a place where worshippers wash their hands, mouth, and finally the handle of the water ladle, to purify themselves before entering the main Shrine.
For Techies: Nikon D700 , 24-70mm lens , ISO 100, f/11, shutter speeds 1/250 – 4/5 sec, 9 shots
This brick viaduct carries water from Lake Biwa to Kyoto City, it’s located beside the Nanzenji Temple.
For Techies: Nikon D700 , 24-70mm lens , ISO 100, f/11, shutter speeds 1/100 – 3/5 sec, 7 shots