The pervasive smell of burnt incense is part of the amazing sensory experience of Buddhist temples. This was shot on instinct as I was near blinded by the light coming through the scaffolding at Kyomizu-dera.
In Kyoto I discovered that temples had an entirely different character at night. Some areas are unlit (and even my XT3 isn’t good enough to shoot those without a tripod) but some areas are lit selectively, which makes for really moody shots. This guy was hurrying to visist every shrine and offer a quick prayer.
Ever since I was a teenager I was fascinated with Sengoku era Japan. Visiting Nijo castle brought back all of these fantasy images of samurais and ninjas, and even though intellectually I know how different from reality these images are, the visit brought me back to my childhood dreams. I kept trying to capture evocative images rather than descriptive ones, and this one falls in that camp.
My daughter insists on lighting candles for the dead wherever we go (and no matter what the religious denomination) which is how I ended up on the other side of the candle rack in Kyomizu-dera temple. When I saw these two light their own candles (more likely Chinese tourists dressed in kimonos than actual kimono wearing Japanese) I knew I had a good shot.
With rushing water, long exposure is very relative. Though some like to do really long exposure times, I find that it gives the water a supernatural texture that is too far removed from the scene I see for my tastes. So my preference goes to speeds around 1/10s, which is what this is. With a stabilized lens, you can even do this handheld, as I did here. I like the tropical lushness of the surrounding vegetation around the brook…
*Ferry in the Sunset*
One of my favourite things to do in Hong Kong is just to take the ferry accross from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon. It’s only ten minutes, but these rickety old ferries have so much character and the view is spectacular. On this particular evening, we were on a tourist boat to show some family members around, and one of these spectacular stormy sunsets that we have in early summer occured. Not bad !
*The Colors of Dawn*
One of the truly magical things about dawn is how quickly the light changes. I shot this a few minutes after sunrise, and the light was still purple. A minute later, it was a glorious gold. It was devilishly cold that morning (especially for me now that I live in mild temperatures Hong Kong) but really worth the 6 AM trip.
These arches at Bethesda Fountain in Central Park truly are a photographer’s dream: the light, the contrast, the symmetry, and the people all contribute to make great pictures. I was very pleased with the colour rendering of one of these (Walking the Dog in Style) but also found it really worked in black and white.