Kyoto Cherry-Blossom Preview, 2009
NOTE: Images with an icon next to them have been artificially shrunk to better fit your screen; click the icon to restore them, in place, to their regular size.
Almost That Time of Year Again -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 55 mm — 1/5000 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Almost That Time of Year Again
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 55 mm — 1/1500 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

So, I've still got my cold, although it's finally starting to get better. Hence, fairly light posts lately, and this one is no exception. It's a collection of photos from the same April 5th stroll last year that produced Cherry-Blossom Full Bloom Hits Kyoto and Cherry-Blossom Joie de Vivre in Kyoto, as well as the “darker-side” post, The Hanami was Nice, But.... It was a fruitful day, so here are a few more pictures that will serve as a Cherry-Blossom Preview.

Hustle and Bustle out for a stroll among the sakura -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/350 sec, f/4, ISO 125 — map & image datanearby photos
Hustle and Bustle
out for a stroll among the sakura
Looking Forward to pictures this year without that ugly wall -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/400 sec, f/4.5, ISO 125 — map & image datanearby photos
Looking Forward
to pictures this year without that ugly wall

The area near my place is glorious during cherry-blossom season, but the ugly cinderblock wall often spoiled photos, so it was wonderful when last summer when the owners replaced it with a remarkably tasteful (and certainly expensive) Japanese-style wall, as seen in this post about a movie shoot.

The walkway is still asphalt, so that's still unappealing, but cherry blossoms make anything look better...

Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/320 sec, f/8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Obligatory Shrine Gate -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/4000 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Obligatory Shrine Gate
Positively Glowing -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/750 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Positively Glowing

For quite a few of today's photos, I've decided to make abundant use of Lightroom's “negative clarity” control, which softens up an image (or, with local corrections, parts of an image), as described in last summer's Funky Joy With Adobe Lightroom post. I used it sparingly in a few of the earlier photos in this post, but in the one directly above went full tilt. I'm not sure whether it “works”, but there it is.

To some extent, the effect is the similar to the “darken blend mode” Photoshop technique I used in Cooling Off with Pastel Cherry-Blossom Desktop Backgrounds and described in this fall-foliage post. Sliding the “clarity” slider in Lightroom is a heck of a lot easier, though!

Soft-n-Fluffy -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 45 mm — 1/640 sec, f/8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Soft-n-Fluffy
Plying The Canal $5 a ride, available for much of April and May -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 135 mm — 1/1000 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Plying The Canal
$5 a ride, available for much of April and May
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 98 mm — 1/400 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Moments before this moment -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/2500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Moments
before this moment
Predominance of Green -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 38 mm — 1/1000 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Predominance of Green
Predominance of Pink -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/1500 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Predominance of Pink
Pleasant Day in the Park -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 22 mm — 1/200 sec, f/10, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Pleasant Day in the Park
Glowing maybe just a tad too much? -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 55 mm — 1/1250 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Glowing
maybe just a tad too much?

All 8 comments so far, oldest first...

I have thoroughly enjoyed your cherry blossom photos. What a lovely time of year. You must look forward to it with eager anticipation. I moved Exif to my button bar and love getting the details on images that intrigue me. Thank you. As for negative clarity, I have Lightroom 1.4. Now I have one more reason to purchase the latest version.

— comment by Karen from Florida on March 15th, 2009 at 8:44am JST (8 years, 9 months ago) comment permalink

I was there in 2005 for the cherry blossom season and I loved it!

— comment by Gianluca on March 16th, 2009 at 9:42pm JST (8 years, 9 months ago) comment permalink

Jeff from Salem MA… I never did get to see the cherry blossoms over there and your shots are lovely…
Keep up the good work..
The other Jeff

— comment by Jeff on March 19th, 2009 at 6:02am JST (8 years, 9 months ago) comment permalink

I read that the Sakura officially opened on the 19th and I was so sad because I thought they would open later. I will be coming to Kyoto from April 6 -9 and I have a couple questions: will the Somei Yoshino trees still have any blossoms and do you have any suggestions of where I could see some of the later-blooming varieties of Sakura? I would really appreciate any ideas!! Thanks 🙂

“Blooming” is not a one-day thing… they stick around for a while, and make their own beauty as they start to fall. Some blossoms have appeared, but for the most part, it hasn’t begun yet. I think you’ll see full bloom. —Jeffrey

— comment by Megan on March 22nd, 2009 at 5:22am JST (8 years, 9 months ago) comment permalink

P.S. One of the places I wanted to see the most is the weeping sakura at the Heian Shrine. Does that variety bloom as early as the Somei Yoshino? Thanks!

— comment by Megan on March 22nd, 2009 at 5:27am JST (8 years, 9 months ago) comment permalink

Dear Jeffrey,

I plan to visit Kyoto this weekend (3/27). Do you think it is too early to see full bloom? Should I be there next weekend (4/4)? Where should I visit to see cherry blossom?

Thank you in advance.

Best regards,
Natalie

This weekend will be too early. The next should be much better bloom-wise, but the weather is always an unknown. The area south of the Heian Shrine will have its annual sakura lightup (as seen here) April 3,4, and 5. —Jeffrey

— comment by Natalie on March 24th, 2009 at 10:33am JST (8 years, 9 months ago) comment permalink

Brilliant photographs. Thank you. I’ve been thinking about how to shoot sakura – now I have a clue. But only a clue…

Thanks,

Ol.

— comment by Ian Oliver on March 25th, 2009 at 6:49pm JST (8 years, 9 months ago) comment permalink

Me and my family visited Tokyo on March 27 – April 1 09, too early to see sakura blooming. I’ve heard that sakura in Tokyo are blooming two day after we left Tokyo. Eventhough it’s sad but to see your pictures can help me so much.
thank you.

— comment by Pom from Bangkok Thailand on April 6th, 2009 at 11:34pm JST (8 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink
Leave a comment...


All comments are invisible to others until Jeffrey approves them.

Please mention what part of the world you're writing from, if you don't mind. It's always interesting to see where people are visiting from.


You can use basic HTML; be sure to close tags properly.

Subscribe without commenting