Cherry-Blossom Joie de Vivre in Kyoto

My cold continues, so I didn't take any pictures today, but I did feel good enough at times to get out for a bit here and there. Like yesterday, there were a lot of people, but the atmosphere seemed to be all the better for it. It reminded me strongly of the joie de vivre one feels in the classic Chicago tune Saturday In The Park. I think the sight of cherry blossoms has a magical, medicinal effect, both on the human body and the human psyche. Like yesterday, it was perfectly wonderful.

Lacking energy for a well-presented well-linked post, here are a few random pics from yesterday's outing showing people enjoying the day. They'll probably give a sense of even larger crowds than there actually were, especially when I use a long focal length to compress distances (as I like to do, such as seen earlier here and here), but like I said, the crowds weren't so bad as to be oppressive. It was just a lovely Saturday in the park.

I Love This Girl's Smile ( I bet he does too ) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/1250 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
I Love This Girl's Smile
( I bet he does too )
Blossom-Viewing Boat as seen from where the couple above was standing -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/800 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Blossom-Viewing Boat
as seen from where the couple above was standing
The Park Anthony Rides His Bike In what a change from just a week ago -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 38 mm — 1/320 sec, f/9, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
The Park Anthony Rides His Bike In
what a change from just a week ago
Blossom-Viewing Can Be Exhausting -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 55 mm — 1/500 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Blossom-Viewing Can Be Exhausting
Target-Rich Environment -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/1000 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Target-Rich Environment
Say Cheese -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 55 mm — 1/1000 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Say Cheese
Picnic For All -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/750 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Picnic For All
Sorta Interesting in an odd way -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/1500 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Sorta Interesting
in an odd way
Blossom-Viewing Boat Approaches -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 135 mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Blossom-Viewing Boat Approaches
Memories -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/2000 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Memories

The man looks pensive, with mixed emotions, as if he's remembering a cherry-blossom picnic with his mom when he was 5. It's one of my favorite photos.

I worked hard for it, too. I was camped at the other side of the bridge looking across the road to the crowd on the other side, and after a while I realized that the man was just standing there as the crowd flowed around him, like a rock in a river. So, I aimed my big zoom at him and waited.... waited for there to be no one in front of me on the sidewalk, no cars on the road, no one in front of him on his sidewalk, and no one standing next to him.

I waited a long time.

Obligingly, he just stood there lost in thought, and eventually for a brief moment it was perfect, and this was the result.

Continued here...


All 2 comments so far, oldest first...

I bet that man was thinking something like, “Ah, the memories. I proposed to my wife 50 years ago on a day just like this right where that big hulking American is standing with his oversized camera. If I just wait here for a second, I bet he will move along…Why isn’t he moving?”

— comment by Zak on April 8th, 2008 at 6:26am JST (9 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

The composition of this shot is great! I love how you positioned him looking off-frame to the right. I think this is usually a flaw in most photos and causes undesired tension, but in this example it really enhances the deep-thought aspect of your subject. If he’d been looking to the left, this would have been lost, methinks.

And speaking of memories, as a former Kyoto resident (from ’92 – ’96 I lived in Kitayama and later near Shijo-Omiya) your collection is a treat . Thanks for posting them.

— comment by Blake on April 11th, 2008 at 8:02am JST (9 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink
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