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.
Another shot from Bordeaux’ Cimetière de la Chartreuse. These two stark parallel crosses appealed to me.
*Resting in the Shadow of a Tree*
When you shoot cemeteries, as a photographer you’re conflicted: you want moody shots because of the subject matter and that suggests overcast light or rolling clouds. But generally as a photographer you tend to crave directional light, especially sunlight at dawn or dusk. This shot is the latter, in Bordeaux’s ‘Cimetière de la Chartreuse’. The shadow of the tree over the crypt seemed ominous and I decided to frame it as such.
*Angel in the Woods*
The comparison will probably sound strange, but at times, with those statues and tombs lost in the middle of the wilds, Highgate Cemetery reminded me of some of the more obscure ruins near Siem Reap, with stone overrun by vegetation.
Fuji TX2 (XPAN) + Kodak T-Max 400
The parks of Shanghai are a marvel to walk through on a week-end: there are numerous social gatherings, with people playing cards, mah-jong and other games, people doing tai-chi or practicing kung-fu, and people dancing. When I walked in Xiangyang park that particular sunday, I saw the pavillion at the back and the naked trees with everyone dancing in front and I knew I had my shot.
Lots of interesting angel statues at Highgate Cemetery, and I think the snow really enhanced some of them visually…
*Circle of Lebanon*
At the top of Highgate Cemetary West, there’s a beautiful Lebanon Cedar Tree under which a circle of crypts were dug, hence the name, Circle of Lebanon. Quite spectacular place.
*There’s no getting out*
In Highgate Cemetary West you can visit the Terrace Catacombs, which are underhill but nowhere near as deep or creepy as the Paris or Rome catacombs. Still, it’s quite atmospheric, and this little iron gate overlooking the outside world spoke to me…