Today’s Photogenic Adventures in Kyoto
Bamboo By the Side of the Road -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/200 sec, f/5, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Bamboo By the Side of the Road
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I made the 10-minute scooter ride this morning to Kyoto's Yamashina Ward, to explore what I thought was a mountain road that I discovered yesterday with Google Earth. Sadly, it turns out that the road is not open to the public. Still, I came away with a few nice shots from the mountain-village area just prior to the gate.

Entrance to Someone's Garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 58 mm — 1/200 sec, f/7.1, ISO 1100 — map & image datanearby photos
Entrance to Someone's Garden

This is all very close to the concrete jungle that is Kyoto... perhaps half a mile (it's two miles from my place), but as I've mentioned so many times (especially here), once you get into the mountains, you feel like the city is a million miles away.

Roadside Fence complete with moss-covered foundation -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 48 mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 220 — map & image datanearby photos
Roadside Fence
complete with moss-covered foundation
Fence Au Natural -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 29 mm — 1/200 sec, f/5, ISO 1400 — map & image datanearby photos
Fence Au Natural

I'm not really happy with this last shot because it makes it look more like piled up debris than a nice fence, but it's a nice fence. It's sort of a rustic version of this nice wall at the Giouji Temple.

At one point I took a wrong turn and took a road that slowly morphed into an increasingly rough path up into the mountain. I eventually realized that it had become a hiking path (one that eventually hooks up to a path I've hiked up to Mt. Daimonji). I eventually turned around, but not before taking a few pictures of one of the many logs that had fallen across the path-side stream...

Temporary Ecosystem -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 56 mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Temporary Ecosystem

This particular log, once you got in close, seemed to be a botanical city unto its own. I really didn't do a good job in the few shots I took.... I'll have to go back if I ever get a good macro lens...

Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/160 sec, f/5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/200 sec, f/5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos

After lunch, I happened to have the camera with me when I picked up Anthony from school, and took the opportunity to snap a picture of some huge trees in the schoolyard that were pruned to within an inch of their life a month or so ago...

Skeletons of Trees Past -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/200 sec, f/13, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Skeletons of Trees Past

I don't know what it is with pruning in Japan, but it seems that they really like to do it.

These trees are huge... six or eight stories tall. Here's the top 30' or so of one of them... (with the sky wildly overexposed, to allow some detail in the tree):

Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/200 sec, f/7.1, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos

The tree is stark enough in the winter even with its branches (see here), but at this point it's just a sad sight.

I'm still interested in capturing an amazing sunset like the one I saw a month ago, but from the photographically advantageous vantage offered by Shogunzuka and its sweeping views of Kyoto. Today's late afternoon was overcast with absolutely no promise for a colorful sunset, but one doesn't score big by waiting for a sure thing, so I again slogged up there in hopes I'd be surprised.

As I was walking up to the overlook, a group of middle-school girls were doing some kind of jumping play while their taxi driver snapped a picture, so without breaking my stride I did as well. This shot caught them all airborne...

Ancient Japanese “Nice Sunset” Ritual Dance or something like that -- Shougunzuka -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 135 mm — 1/200 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Ancient Japanese “Nice Sunset” Ritual Dance
or something like that

The guy at left is the taxi driver, snapping a picture of his fare just like the one I featured last month at this same location.

The way the path leading to the overlook is lower than the overlook makes for some nice silhouette opportunities. The shot above is sloppy in that respect, but I had a nice sunset silhouette last month, and some nice nighttime silhouettes last summer.

The sunset itself was okay... a bit nicer than average, perhaps. It was much hazier than normal, so the difference made it interesting...

Kyoto is under that haze, somewhere -- Shougunzuka -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 130 mm — 1/400 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Kyoto
is under that haze, somewhere
Haze Makes for Nice Sunbeams but I still have a hard time capturing them -- Shougunzuka -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 32 mm — 1/320 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Haze Makes for Nice Sunbeams
but I still have a hard time capturing them
Dipping Behind a Mountain -- Shougunzuka -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm & heavily cropped — 1/1250 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Dipping Behind a Mountain

Anthony wanted to take a picture, so I handed him my Nikon D700 with the huge Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom on it. That much camera in the hands of a six-year-old makes for a comical sight, but he got a nice shot....

Photo by Anthony -- Shougunzuka -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Anthony, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/640 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Photo by Anthony

He was getting chilly, though, so we didn't stick around too much longer.

My Parting Shot I like the clouds -- Shougunzuka -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/400 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
My Parting Shot
I like the clouds

All 2 comments so far, oldest first...

Jeffrey, have you considered posting an updated impressions of your D700? You’ve now (like me) progressed from “OMG I want to play with it!” mode to “I’ve been using it for a while” mode. What are your thoughts now that you have had a range of experiences with it? If I had to sum up mine in a few words… love the bokeh/DOF, build quality and smooth high ISO, kinda miss the DX reach sometimes. Also I might be crazy but I find some shots just don’t seem as sharp as they were with DX, maybe due to the pixel density.

— comment by Jonathan on December 12th, 2008 at 2:15am JST (8 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

I just wanted to say that I have been really enjoying your pictures. I am budding amateur and try to find good photographers to learn from by watching what they photograph and what settings they have used and how they have composed their shots. Your site was found a few weeks ago and I am enjoying seeing a place I may never get to travel to. I especially loved the shot labeled “Haze Makes for Nice Sunbeams” above. Very nice.

— comment by Kevin Purcell on December 13th, 2008 at 12:01am JST (8 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink
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