Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Japan Photo Tour - Part 2 - Kyoto, Osaka and more

As you saw in the last blog post, we started our Japan photo tour in Tokyo and then made our way to Nikko, We had overcast weather for most of the first part of our trip. Unfortunately, we visited Mt Fuji, but the weather was so bad that we never got a glimpse of the majestic site. But the overcast skies and rain drops did not keep us from visiting some great sites and getting really nice photos.

Instead of taking wide shots, I showed our guests how isolating subjects up close would make for better images in this weather. This photo was taken with the Canon R6 MK II and the RF 24-105mm lens, under the cover of an overhang (to keep us out of the rain). With the low and flat light, I took this opportunity to slow the shutter speed to 1/15th sec to get some motion in the water coming from the dragon's mouth. I framed this shot to include the dragon (as my main subject), but also include the cherry blossoms and pagoda in the background. 

Our next stop was Kyoto, and it was the first time that we had no rain in the forecast. We arrived in Kyoto in the evening and had a nice dinner. As we were walking back from the restaurant, I saw that the Kyoto Tower was lit up in these great colors. I suggested that we do night shots, using the tower as our subject and the wet, reflective streets in the foreground. We walked to a nearby temple and used that as our shooting location. I really loved this location and was hoping to shoot this same image at blue hour the following night. My plans were made, but the tower was lit in white, devoid of this great color. It turns out that the first night was a special lighting to honor breast cancer awareness. 

Kyoto is known for all the amazing temples, and we really enjoyed photographing these. On this morning we visited the Golden Pavilion. I was really happy to see the nice clouds in the sky and great reflections in the water. Really nice shooting conditions! I used the Canon R6 MK IIRF 24-105mm lens with a Tiffen circular polarizing filter to accentuate the contrast in the clouds and the reflection.

We spent hours walking the grounds of the Golden Pavilion, enjoying the nice weather and capturing the beauty of Japan. 

The next day we went to an area just outside of Osaka, which had endless cherry blossom trees. As we walked around the trees, it was hard to stop photographing their colors. 

At one point we started shooting up into the sky. I saw the sun coming through the blossoms and used this as an opportunity to teach the starburst effect (using a low aperture and placing the sun in the right spot). Fun stuff!

I saw these young ladies dressed in traditional clothing and had to get their photo. They had just purchased some sweet treats and happily showed them to me.

I had heard about this next stop and was excited to photograph the tall bamboo trees and the Torii Gates and the Fushimi Inaru Shrine.

Due to the cherry blossoms being in full bloom, the area was packed with visitors, tourists and locals included. These walkways were VERY crowded but I really wanted a clean shot without people the frame. As I walked up the pathway, I thought that this was not going to be possible. But then I noticed that even though there were two open rows of these gates, people were only going up the right side. People assumed that the opposite side was for people exiting the area, but that was not the case. Once I figured this out, I went back down and walked up the left side to get this clean shot.

More cherry blossoms...

We saw this woman posing for photos, and many of us chose to shoot our own images of her from different angles. I decided to use this tree as a "frame" above her. 

One of our last stops was to the Himeji Castle, which was built in the 1300s. Once again, we had great weather. Our group split up, allowing everyone to walk the property to find their own favorite photo locations. I saw this hedge with vibrant red leaves and thought that it would make for a perfect foreground to the castle. For this photo, I got down low to the leaves...

...and i this photo, I raised the camera a little higher to show more of the trees and a little less of the red leaves. This really shows how shooting at a slightly different height can change the composition of your image.

Our last night in Japan was spent in Osaka, where we went to visit the Glico running man. This is one of the most well known landmarks in Osaka and has been popular for the last 80 years. While waiting for the sunlight to diminish and the billboards to light up, we all broke out our phones to capture video and time-lapses from this location. I saw one of our guests (Dave) standing still amongst the fast moving crowd and had to capture this. I slowed the shutter speed of the camera to 1/6 sec and held it as steady as I could above my head.

I did not really understand why this was a tourist attraction, but took the photo anyways. There were literally thousands of people taking photos of this billboard.

In order to capture this billboard differently than everyone else there, I slowed the shutter down and twisted the camera to get this spinning effect. It is different and I like the uniqueness of the shot.

And I forgot to post this cool time-lapse video from the Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo on the last blog post. This is the busiest intersection in the world.

Click HERE or on the image above to see the time-lapse.

Overall it was an amazing chance for all of us to experience the beauty of Japan and I really look forward to getting back there next year. Hopefully I will get a chance to see Mt. Fuji next time around! 

If you would like to go with us, please click HERE to get more information.


Subscribe to the Jeff Cable Photography Blog by clicking HERE!
If you are interested in purchasing ANY equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.
Check out my upcoming photo tours to amazing places around the world. I have photo tours to Africa, Costa Rica, Cuba, Europe, Asia, India and more. And Canon will loan you any gear you want for FREE for any of my tours. 


No comments: