Nikon D700 + Zeiss 100mm f/2 — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1800 — map & image data — nearby photos
Like a big sheet of plastic melting in the sun, sagging under its own weight
Among the seemingly infinite variety of objects in the gardens behind the Nishimura Stone Lanterns stone-carving workshop in the mountains of north-east Kyoto, Japan, I was particularly taken with the curved pieces. And of these, there was quite a variety, including water basins, pedestal tops, lantern-top adornments, and sloping roofs like the one in the photo above.
The roof of this piece looks thin and delicate, but the original block of stone it was made from must have necessarily been thick and substantial, only to surrender most of its mass to the carver's chisel. The bulk of that original block is now dust on the floor of the workshop, and I find that amazing: the carver works on a huge piece of stone for ages, but in the final result you don't see a single thing they did, only the small part they didn't do.
Nikon D700 + Zeiss 100mm f/2 — 1/200 sec, f/2, ISO 1000 — map & image data — nearby photos
but it's actually quite large
It looks so small in the shots above, but as I mentioned after the “lack of scale” photo in a previous post, it's huge.
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 32 mm — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 900 — map & image data — nearby photos
( I'm 6'4"; my hands are not tiny )
I also love how the stone is almost impregnated with moss and lichen. From a distance it looks like oddly green stone, but when you look closely you find an expanse of fine splotches of lichen and the occasional tiny tuft of moss.
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 31 mm — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 2500 — map & image data — nearby photos
“Three Kings” way in the background
The shot above is just a segue to a small section on the trio of large stone lanterns that I labeled “Three Kings” in a previous post.
Nikon D700 + Zeiss 100mm f/2 — 1/80 sec, f/2, ISO 360 — map & image data — nearby photos
I love the detail in the carving on the base of the middle one... the delicate leaves and such...
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 16 mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1100 — map & image data — nearby photos
The thing at the far left that looks like a cross between a cinder block and an outhouse appears to be quite new, but otherwise everything in this shot seems to be old.... really old.... including the path. I don't even know what to make of most of them... the small water basin at foreground right appears to be paired with the larger whitish stone under it (which itself has a square water basin cut into it), but its use escapes me.
Just behind it is another water basin with odd notches cut in, as if someone was making a gear and gave up halfway. (I wonder whether they're intended to cradle small bamboo ladles, somewhat like the ones seen in this picture.)
Nikon D700 + Zeiss 100mm f/2 — 1/160 sec, f/4, ISO 6400 — map & image data — nearby photos
I did not scratch “Fix Me” into the moss
I don't know how fast moss grows, but once it covers the scar, the thing will look good as old again.
Finally, the garden had some of the red berries that are found everywhere in Kyoto during the winter, so to end the post with a Christmasy feel, a bonus desktop-background image....
Nikon D700 + Zeiss 100mm f/2 — 1/200 sec, f/2, ISO 4000 — map & image data — nearby photos