.
The Building at the Main Garden of the Kongorinji Temple
desktop background image of a temple building at the Kongorinji Temple (金剛輪寺), Shiga Japan -- Looking Through open doors of a temple building at the Kongorinji Temple (金剛輪寺), Shiga Japan -- Kongorinji Temple (金剛輪寺) -- Echi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/40 sec, f/13, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Looking Through
open doors of a temple building
at the Kongorinji Temple (金剛輪寺), Shiga Japan
Desktop-Background Versions
1280×800  ·  1680×1050  ·  1920×1200  ·  2560×1600  ·  2880×1800

Last week's Slightly Queasy Wigglegram showed a small corner of a building at the Kongorinji Temple (金剛輪寺) in Shiga Japan, from a visit last month toward the start of this year's fall-foliage season.

This post looks a bit more at the building, which is not the temple's main building, but does front the main garden. (The main garden was seen four years ago in The Kongourinji Temple: Main Garden, and Beyond.)

It can be partitioned into various rooms, but many of the partitions were slid away revealing an open view all the way through to the garden on the other side, naturally inviting this kind of shot...

desktop background image of a temple building at the Kongorinji Temple (金剛輪寺), Shiga Japan -- Kongorinji Temple (金剛輪寺) -- Echi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/125 sec, f/9, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Vertical Desktop-Background Versions
1050×1680  ·  1200×1920  ·  1600×2560

(The bright splashes inside are the sun streaming through from the side.)

Damien and Paul's Turn -- Kongorinji Temple (金剛輪寺) -- Echi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/400 sec, f/1.4, ISO 560 — map & image datanearby photos
Damien and Paul's Turn

When we shoot together, we often see the same shot naturally, but even when we don't, we do recognize a good perspective when we see one of the other's taking the shot. And as it happens quite often when we're out, once one of us starts taking a shot, other folks who happen by start doing the same:

The More The Merrier -- Kongorinji Temple (金剛輪寺) -- Echi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/400 sec, f/1.4, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
The More The Merrier

A hundred people might walk by that doorway without taking a shot, but once one of us does, almost everyone who walks by for the next while will. It's funny.

If you walk around to camera right (as seen in the views above) and then look back at the corner of the building you just passed, you'd see the scene seen in the aforementioned queasy wigglegram...

Kongorinji Temple (金剛輪寺) -- Echi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 720 — map & image datanearby photos

In the foreground you can see a kusaridoi (鎖樋) rain chain...

Kongorinji Temple (金剛輪寺) -- Echi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos

I love these things, as evidenced by how often they appear on my blog over the years (such as here, here, here, here, here, and here).

If you step up onto the veranda seen above (after taking off your shoes, of course), then step into the red carpet and look back to where the above photo was taken, you get this view...

Flower Painting -- Kongorinji Temple (金剛輪寺) -- Echi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Flower Painting

And if you move to the edge and look down...

Kusaridoi Detail -- Kongorinji Temple (金剛輪寺) -- Echi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/400 sec, f/2, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos
Kusaridoi Detail

Inside, the main area is mostly open, with an altar (or whatever that kind of thing is called in a temple)...

Kongorinji Temple (金剛輪寺) -- Echi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/3.5, ISO 5000 — map & image datanearby photos

The red carpet is the one seen in this post's lead photos, looking from left to right out the window at the far right.

It was very dark inside compared to the brightness outside.

High Contrast -- Kongorinji Temple (金剛輪寺) -- Echi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/250 sec, f/2, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
High Contrast

On the other side of the Flower Painting doors is another set of paintings, of dragons...

Kongorinji Temple (金剛輪寺) -- Echi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 5600 — map & image datanearby photos

After loaning Damien my Voigtländer Macro 125mm f/2.5 so he could take detail shots of the dragons, I retrieved it and gave it a go myself.

Left Side -- Kongorinji Temple (金剛輪寺) -- Echi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Left Side
Right Side -- Kongorinji Temple (金剛輪寺) -- Echi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Right Side

It turns out that they're not just paintings... they're a hybrid painting / carving, and they have real depth.

Eye Detail -- Kongorinji Temple (金剛輪寺) -- Echi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Eye Detail

This is, of course, the answer to the Deep, Dark “What am I?” Quiz from the other day.

I wanted to step back to get a full shot of the doors, but as soon as I did someone swooped in to take closeups of whatever I had just been taking closeups of.

Kongorinji Temple (金剛輪寺) -- Echi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/320 sec, f/1.4, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos

I hope he has a good macro lens.

Finally Clear -- Kongorinji Temple (金剛輪寺) -- Echi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/320 sec, f/1.4, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Finally Clear

To be continued...


The Art and Science (and Complex Frustrations) of Creating my Wigglegrams
Animatable — slowly sweep mouse from side to side to view effect
写真の上をマウスで左右にゆっくり動かすといろいろな撮影効果を楽しむことができます。
Simple Wigglegram
focusing on the tree in the middle

This post is about the art and technology of my 3D wigglegrams, but first a bit of context about the location seen above.

This wigglegram was taken during my first visit to Kyoto's Shugakuin Imperial Villa (修学院離宮) two years ago, a photographically-fruitful outing first posted about here, and most recently revisited a month ago here.

During the tour of the grounds, at one point you descend stone steps set in the side of a mountain....

Stone Steps -- Shugakuin Imperial Villa (修学院離宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/125 sec, f/1.4, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
Stone Steps

There's a waterfall and a small stream... it's all quite picturesque.

Shugakuin Imperial Villa (修学院離宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 1400 — map & image datanearby photos
Wider View -- Shugakuin Imperial Villa (修学院離宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Wider View

As I described on that first post about the outing, the tour moves along briskly, so despite the wonderfully photogenic scenes, the tour is not amenable to careful or leisurely photography.

So it was with haste that I spent just over one second to fire off a burst of 14 frames for this new wigglegram thing. I had published my first wigglegram just a week and a half prior.

It's been just over two years since I took the photos for this wigglegram, and though I haven't gotten much better at taking the raw frames, over time I have gotten much better at preparing them for display.

Preparing them for display means aligning them up to account for camera shake while moving the camera (and my body) from one side to another during the shutter burst that might last one or two seconds. It turns out that I'm pretty bad at keeping the camera level, so the need to align them well is pressing.

To show just how bad the original frames can be, here they are. (For the wigglegrams on this page, I'm using every other frame from the initial 14-frame burst, so these wigglegrams are seven frames long).

Animatable — slowly sweep mouse from side to side to view effect
写真の上をマウスで左右にゆっくり動かすといろいろな撮影効果を楽しむことができます。
Original (Unaligned) Frames
showing my unsteady movements
撮っ写真をそのまま繋げただけで、調整されていないコマ

I'm pretty good at holding the camera steady for a long exposure (such as seen here and here, for example), but clearly not good at holding the camera steady while moving. The images need to be aligned individually to form a unified whole.

Alignment consists of adjusting rotation and skew:

  1. Adjusting the angle of each image so that what should be vertical is indeed vertical. As an example, the seven shots in the wigglegrams on this page were adjusted by 1.23°, 1.36°, 0.7°, 0.8°, 1.27°, 3.24°, and 3.95° respectively.

  2. Crop each image to restore a consistent framing of the scene across all images.

  3. Further crop each image to the maximum intersection of what remains of all the images, so that each image has the exact same pixel dimensions.

This is neither easy nor fun to do by hand in Lightroom, and this was a severely-limiting factor in my early wigglegram production.

I knew there must be some way to automate the alignment, but I'm no good at pixel-level programming. Thankfully, the kind folks behind the Hugin Panorama sticher included image-stacking features, and I was able to build a system that automated the alignment.

Results were.... spotty. Sometimes they were fantastic, and sometimes they were like this:

Animatable — slowly sweep mouse from side to side to view effect
写真の上をマウスで左右にゆっくり動かすといろいろな撮影効果を楽しむことができます。
Auto-Aligned With Hugin Tools
自動敵にソフトがさきほどのコマを、調整した後のコマ。結果今一ですな。
(ところで、この実記一番上のウイグルグラムが私が作った物です。)

It's much better than the originals, but it still leaves a lot to be desired. Sometimes it would even lend a kind of Salvador Dalíesque morph to various parts of various images. It was a step in the right direction, but I needed a better approach.

Finally, a few months ago I started writing a Lightroom plugin to align images using user-provided hints and guidance.


In Prograss
my plugin while creating the wigglegram that lead this post

At first I thought that aligning the images would be merely a technical undertaking, but it turns out that there's also an artistic component to choosing the alignment.

It may feel completely counter-intuitive, but you can take the same set of original and build wigglegrams with completely different focus points. For example, in the one at the top of this post, the focus point is the tree (referenced in the dialog above as anchor point 3), but here's one where it's the waterfall in the background...

Animatable — slowly sweep mouse from side to side to view effect
写真の上をマウスで左右にゆっくり動かすといろいろな撮影効果を楽しむことができます。
From the Same Images
different feel

Like all the wigglegrams on this post, they're both built from the same original seven frames, so what's the difference? In the wigglegram at the top of this post, each frame is cropped so that a small orange leaf stuck to the middle of the main tree trunk is in the exact same location within each frame. That little orange leaf doesn't move from frame to frame; everything else does. This has the effect of the view rotating about the tree as you move.

In the wigglegram immediately above, the crop for each image is crafted so that the rock at the right side of the top of the waterfall doesn't move from frame to frame; everything else does. Here, everything seems to rotate about the background.

How can these completely-different sensations be built from the same originals? Doesn't it matter where the camera was pointing while the rapid-fire burst was being taken?

The key is to realize that when you focus on something with your eye (the tree or the waterfall or whatever), your perspective doesn't change. What changes is what you choose to keep unmoving in the center of your view.

Your perspective does change as you move your head to the side, just as the camera's perspective changes as it moves to the side. Once that perspective change is captured in the frames taken by the camera, when processing later you can use creative cropping to keep whatever you want centered and unmoving. In the examples above, the tree and the background, respectively, were kept unmoving from frame to frame, giving the feeling that that's what we were focused on while moving.

As a further example, here's a set of croppings where a yellow leaf in the near foreground was kept consistent across the frames:

Animatable — slowly sweep mouse from side to side to view effect
写真の上をマウスで左右にゆっくり動かすといろいろな撮影効果を楽しむことができます。
Rotating About the Front
a small yellow leaf in the foreground is fixed across the whole

This one is much less satisfying than the others, for two reasons.

One of the reasons brings us back to the question "Doesn't it matter where the camera was pointing while the rapid-fire burst was being taken?" Where the camera points for each frame determines what part of the scene is available to each frame, which in turn has a direct impact on what parts of the scene are available to all frames of the unified whole. After each frame is aligned so that whatever we want to be unmoving across frames is unmoving, we have to set the crop dimensions for the unified whole such that it's contained within every (likely rotated and moved) individual frame.

If the camera was physically kept pointing at the same thing while it was swept from one side to the other — say, kept pointing exactly at the small orange leaf in the center of the tree trunk — and the camera was kept perfectly level, you'd not have to adjust anything, and you'd keep 100% of your pixels. But in the real world in my shaky hands, the best I can hope for is that the camera is kept generally in the right direction. In the case of this wigglegram, I did try to keep that leaf in the center, so after adjusting the frames I ended up keeping (not have to crop away) a not-too-bad 67% of the pixels.

But with Rotating About the Front just above, where the physical camera aim doesn't match the aim we're crafting, I had to crop away all but 20% of the pixels.

So, the tighter crop destroys the big sense that I was hoping to capture, making the result less satisfying.

(A further side effect of small crops from across the various frames is that you can get some pretty wild effects due to lens distortions, which tend to exaggerate toward the edge of the frame. Taking a small crop that runs from the middle of the first frame to the edge of the last frame can see a square morph into a squished rectangle, or vice versa.)

The other reason it's not satisfying is that the subject matter doesn't lend itself to rotation about the foreground. It just feels better rotating about the tree, or the background.

But you don't even have to rotate.

I realized this weekend that once you've adjusted everything so that whatever item you picked is unmoving from frame to frame, you can then go ahead and let it shift slightly across the view from frame to frame, to give a panning feel. For example:

Animatable — slowly sweep mouse from side to side to view effect
写真の上をマウスで左右にゆっくり動かすといろいろな撮影効果を楽しむことができます。
Panning

This is a completely different feel. Here, I set the waterfall rock as the unmoving part, but then had it move across 20% of the field of view between the first and last frame. This gives the effect of rotating about an infinitely-distant point: a pan.

Frankly, it's not very appealing here, but I can imagine cases where it'd be useful.

More importantly, the technique can be used to fine-tune the rotation point by giving the impression that the rotation point is in front or behind whatever point you'd made fixed. For example, in this wigglegram of three ladies posing for the camera, I set the fixed point at the shoes of the lady in the middle. But imagine if they had been jumping (like this), then I'd have no spot on any of their bodies that stayed consistent from frame to frame around which to rotate. But now I can solve it by zeroing in on a rock or something nearby, then using a slight pan one way or the other to throw the perceived center of rotation exactly where I want it: in the middle of the three jumpers.

(That's a poorly-written paragraph about a complex idea... I'll have to just go shoot an example sometime, to make it clear.)

Anyway, as you can see from the many wigglegrams on this page, all derived from the same original photos, artistic feelings play an important role in deciding how to present them. I lead the post with the presentation I liked best. YMMV.


Slightly Queasy Wigglegram
Animatable — slowly sweep mouse from side to side to view effect
写真の上をマウスで左右にゆっくり動かすといろいろな撮影効果を楽しむことができます。
Funky Wigglegram

This wigglegram, of this temple building at the Kongorinji Temple in Shiga Japan just doesn't feel quite right.

このウイッグルグラッム(滋賀県金剛輪寺)はなかなか変な感じですね。

Each of the 15 photos seems perfectly fine, but the movement among them is really funky.... might make some people nauseous.

Not every wigglegram deserves to see the light of day, I guess.


A Deep, Dark “What am I?” Quiz

Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
What am I?

Today we have a simple What am I? quiz. What is the thing above, and how is it used?

As usual with these quizzes, I'll keep all comments from appearing until after I reveal the answer in a blog post in a few days.


Inside The Shodensanso Villa, Part 1

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/4, ISO 900 — map & image datanearby photos
Tea Ceremony
at the Shodensanso Villa (松殿山荘), Uji Japan

In Approaching the Shodensanso Villa last week, we ended looking at the main entrance to the 86-year-old grand villa just outside of Kyoto. Here's a view from the entrance looking out.


Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/8, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/3.2, ISO 125 — map & image datanearby photos
Hi

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/80 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Round Window & Tiger

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/5, ISO 2200 — map & image datanearby photos
Big Room

We received a half-hour talk in this room about the history of the place and the guy who built it (Tsunetaro Takaya). The whole time I just couldn't stop marveling at the ceiling, whose 4-foot-by-4-foot panels were each a solid board...


Nikon D4 + Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 14mm — 1/60 sec, f/5, ISO 3600 — map & image datanearby photos
Gorgeous
on the floor on my back at 14mm

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 62mm — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 34mm — 1/160 sec, f/2.8, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Alcoves

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 2200 — map & image datanearby photos
Damien
with context, the room suddenly seems a lot bigger, doesn't it?

After the lecture we were ushered to another room for, what turned out to be Tea Ceremony. For a bit I had the room mostly to myself...


Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
Awaiting Participants

At the start of a Tea Ceremony you receive a couple of small sweets, to cleanse th palate, I guess. People were still coming in and there was general hustle and bustle, so it was fine to use the camera...


Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/4, ISO 2200 — map & image datanearby photos
Getting Started

Once the ceremony proper got started, everyone put their cameras away. It's unfortunate because the backlit steam rising from the pot (seen in frame left above) was wonderful.


Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 56mm — 1/250 sec, f/4, ISO 1800 — map & image datanearby photos
After

We could inspect the ornately-decorated implements. Here Damien (in a rare photo without is red hat) is photographing the small container for the dry green tea, and the little bamboo spoon-ish thing used to place a bit into each bowl while making tea...


Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 44mm — 1/200 sec, f/4, ISO 1100 — map & image datanearby photos

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/4, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos
Paul's Turn

Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos

Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/640 sec, f/5, ISO 2800 — map & image datanearby photos
Sans Camera

I don't quite understand what's going on with the lady above, but she somehow seems to be able to see and maybe even appreciate the bowl without the use of a camera. Seems odd. Perhaps she's from another planet.

a finely-painted bowl of dry tea, used in the Tea Ceremony, at the Shodensanso Villa (松殿山荘), Uji Japan
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/640 sec, f/4, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos
My Turn
Desktop-Background Versions
1280×800  ·  1680×1050  ·  1920×1200  ·  2560×1600  ·  2880×1800

The surface was glossy smooth, but the fine pine cones and needles were very 3D, so the layer of lacquer (or whatever) must have been quite thick. It all felt quite high class and delicate. I inquired about its age; it's a modern piece.


Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/640 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Detail

Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/200 sec, f/3.5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Preparing
for the next group

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Back Hallway

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 4000 — map & image datanearby photos
Old Light Switches

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 60mm — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Next Group
preparing to enter the room for the next group's tea ceremony
(she's kneeling where Damien and Paul were photographing the cup earlier)

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Kitchen
not meant to be seen by villa guests
( but I got a special tour by the caretaker )

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/60 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Large Doors
the main panel of each is a single massive board perhaps 4½ feet across

To be continued...