A Fall-Foliage Visit to the Hakuryuuen Gardens (sort of)
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Caretakers' Residence the private Hakuryuuen Garden, Kyoto Japan with a front-focus effect I'm partial to, discussed a bit at the end of this post -- Near the Hakuryuuen Gardens -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/80 sec, f/2.8, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Caretakers' Residence
the private Hakuryuuen Garden, Kyoto Japan
with a front-focus effect I'm partial to, discussed a bit at the end of this post

Having felt cooped up in the house for the last week, we took an impromptu drive into the mountains north of Kyoto yesterday, stopping by a bakery on the way to pick up a snack. Not long after entering the mountains, we stopped off the road to eat at a location that happened to be near the Hakuryuuen Garden, which I posted about in some detail a couple of months ago.

As before, it was closed off with a fence across the entrance, right at the road shoulder....

Closed with some kind of pavilion up there in center frame -- Near the Hakuryuuen Gardens -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 60 mm — 1/80 sec, f/3.5, ISO 360 — map & image datanearby photos
Closed
with some kind of pavilion up there in center frame

But if you took care when buses passed, you could walk up to the fence and take pictures...

View from the Left End of the Fence -- Near the Hakuryuuen Gardens -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 40 mm — 1/80 sec, f/6.3, ISO 3600 — map & image datanearby photos
View from the Left End of the Fence
From the Middle of the Fence trying to get artsy fartsy with the bare tree in the foreground, but it doesn't really work -- Near the Hakuryuuen Gardens -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 52 mm — 1/80 sec, f/2.8, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
From the Middle of the Fence
trying to get artsy fartsy with the bare tree in the foreground, but it doesn't really work
From the Right Edge of the Fence steps leading up to a pavilion -- Near the Hakuryuuen Gardens -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/80 sec, f/9, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos
From the Right Edge of the Fence
steps leading up to a pavilion
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It was overcast with little spritzes of rain, yet my D700 wanted to overexpose everything. I had to use up to -2EV exposure compensation to pull it in line. I don't get it.

I chatted with one of the caretakers, who confirmed apologetically that it's never open to the public. As I described in the post two months ago with words and a photo, the Eizan Train line's “Fall Foliage Tunnel” lightup goes right past the southern edge of the garden. It's quite pretty. I saw the train go by as I was taking these photos.

I also saw a jogger go by just as I was first getting out of the car to walk across a bridge to the road in front of the garden...

Vehicles Must Sound Horn ( but, thankfully, drivers rarely do ) -- Near the Hakuryuuen Gardens -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 35 mm — 1/80 sec, f/6.3, ISO 3600 — map & image datanearby photos
Vehicles Must Sound Horn
( but, thankfully, drivers rarely do )

About this post's lead photo, with the in-focus elements being only some overhanging leaves in the foreground, and with the background out of focus and left to your imagination to make complete, it's an effect that I'm increasingly drawn to, but doesn't quite work here as well as I hoped.

I'd put it to best effect in July with my Sanzen Temple “Serenity” Desktop Background, which I still very much like, and I used it as well two weeks in the first photo of Starting to See Splashes of Fall Colors in Kyoto, but in today's photo, the scene behind the in-focus foreground turns out to be too busy to allow the leaves to stand out as clearly and sharply as I hoped. I tried to salvage it a bit in Lightroom by applying to the in-focus leaves a touch of local corrections (sharpening and positive clarity).

Going the other direction, I used just a bit of negative clarity on most of the final photo to give a slightly softer overall feeling.... a much more subtle version of the over-the-top effect used in (for example) the first photo of Cherry Blossoms in the Rain at the Heian Shrine, Part 2, the “Positively Glowing” photo from a cherry-blossom preview earlier this year.


One comment so far...

Very jealous, my wife and I were in Kyoto in the fall a few years ago, we’d go every year if we could for the fall color. It’s a shame Hakuryuuen isn’t open to the public, but glad you were able to get some good pictures of it regardless.

— comment by brian on November 15th, 2009 at 1:29am JST (8 years, 1 month ago) comment permalink
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