A Bazillion Offering Statuettes at the Sanzen-in Temple
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Well-Isolated Offering Statuette Sanzen-in Temple, Kyoto Japan -- Sanzen-in Temple -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 62 mm — 1/640 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Well-Isolated Offering Statuette
Sanzen-in Temple, Kyoto Japan

On our visit to the Sanzen-in Temple in the mountains north of Kyoto a couple of weeks ago, at the highest area that we ventured to (where Anthony got his prize for doing the “sticker rally”), there were racks and racks of little “offering” statues, each representing a donation to the temple.....

Offerings lots and lots and lots of offerings -- Sanzen-in Temple -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/320 sec, f/9, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Offerings
lots and lots and lots of offerings

Each face of each “wall” has 1,500 statuettes, so there are 12,000 statuettes in these four walls, with more in the background. These were the only “offering” things I noticed, which makes a stark comparison to the Fushimi Inari Shrine, in Kyoto's southern mountains, where everything not nailed down is an offering, and everything nailed down is, too (see here, here, and here).

Of course, row after row after row of little statues is photographically inviting, but my long-suffering family had already started back down the mountain, so I had only a few moments to try to satisfy my artistic curiosity. When I got home, I was surprised by two things. First, at how perfectly isolated the focus status is in the f/2.8 shot above. That's what I was going for, of course, but I didn't think it would actually work out so well.

Then, in this f/16 shot, where more statuettes are in focus, it seems somehow that each statue is unique (and not just weathered differently), but I can't absolutely identify what's different among them....

Uniquely the Same? -- Sanzen-in Temple -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 62 mm — 1/125 sec, f/16, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Uniquely the Same?

The lips are almost completely worn from the main-focus statue (the 3rd from the left), especially compared with the one to the left (2nd from the left). But his eyebrows seem bolder, not more worn, so perhaps they're just different generations of the same kind of mold? But in looking down the line, there's a not-so subtle irregularity that disappears upon close inspection, like those gray dots in the corners among black squares.

If I ever go back, it's on my list to investigate them more, both photographically and otherwise.

Update: I did go back, so the story is continued there.


All 3 comments so far, oldest first...

A congrats on getting the such a good shot on the statue isolation shot. For conveying an infinite row of statues, I like “Uniquely the same?” better.

I think it’s great to keep getting these posts on the Sanzen-in temple. I thought I had seen all you had captured there, and then there’s another post and another. Awesome.

— comment by Eric Mesa on June 7th, 2009 at 10:12pm JST (8 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

Remarkably shallow dof in the f/16 shot @ 60mm – I guess that’s full frame for you; I’ve come to hate the ‘everything-is-in-focus’ effect you get with even the best compact cameras.

— comment by John on June 7th, 2009 at 11:05pm JST (8 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

I really look forward to your daily posts. As a newbie photographer I enjoy learning from the wide range of photos that you take. Thanks for making the camera and shot info so easy to see.

It looks as though the 24-70mm lens has become a favourite. Are you going to do a review of it like you did for the 70-200mm?

Regards from Knysna, South Africa.

— comment by Guy on June 8th, 2009 at 5:31pm JST (8 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink
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