Fuji TX2 (XPAN) + JCH400
Didn’t have much time for photography on my last London trip, but I wanted to try out JCH400 film. I was staying at Marble Arch so I walked around Hyde Park at lunchtime until I stumbled upon this bird invasion. I quite like the contrast on this film, it’s good for 400 ISO film, although I think I still like Tri-X a little bit better.
*The Temple and the Pinetree*
The weather wasn’t exactly the best when I visited the Kinkaku-jin, also known as the Golden Temple in Kyoto. But maybe that overcast subdued light contributes to a certain atmosphere that a blazing temple in the bright light might not have conveyed. It was overcrowded when we got there, but I immediately spotted the pinetree on its little island as a possible call and response to the temple itself, hence the title and the composition.
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.
*Confucius Temple Inside Out*
Fuji XT2 (XPAN) + Fuji Pro400H
Confucius Temple in Shanghai is one of the religious edifices that moved me the most. I was lucky that I went there on a sunny and quiet day (apparently it can get really busy on weekends), and I particularly liked the contrast between the inside wood-pannelled parts and the outside paved courtyards. This is what this photo was attempting to capture.
*Dongtai Lu Flea Market*
Fuji TX2 (XPAN) + Fuji Pro 400H
This used to be one of my favourite places in Shanghai, a fantastic flea market that sadly closed down. I only ever shot there once with the xpan, but this photo (I think) gives a good sense of the hustle and bustle there.
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.
I would have loved to do a long exposure shot of this zen garden at the back of Nijo Castle, but tripods were (understandably) not allowed, so I had to make do with stabilization. Still, I quite like the end result, benefiting from a rare ray of sunlight.
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.
Fuji TX2 (XPAN) + Ilford FP4+
When you have this kind of vista in front of you is when the xpan truly shines. I wish I’d had time to go and explore the beaches and coves shown here, but alas traveling for work rarely offers that option.