Nikon D700 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4, cropped — 1/5000 sec, f/1.8, ISO 200 — map & image data — nearby photos
Shiga Prefecture, Japan
As I wrote in yesterday's post about the doggy funeral, we had lunch at a great cafe. In the southern part of Shiga Prefecture, perhaps an hour's drive from Kyoto, is a private business called Sunainosato (寿長生の郷), which consists of a restaurant, a cafe, and a confectionery, all on 50 acres of wonderfully wooded land in the countryside.
The grounds are open as if it were a public park, and they're very nice.
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/320 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image data — nearby photos
near the parking area
The little drop-off shelter near the parking lot illustrates the simple, understated class of the entire site.
From there, one enters a small orchard that has more than a dozen varieties of cherry tree....
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/5000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 200 — map & image data — nearby photos
The first building you come to is a welcome house, with a mini cafe and a gift shop selling some of the confections they make on site. The mini cafe really isn't a cafe, though, since they don't charge you for the sweets and tea they offer anyone who wanders in.
We wandered in.
There's just something about a tastefully done decoration on a cafe table that sets it so far apart from a flower dropped in a vase. This simple item, though looking fairly plastic in this unflattering photo, reminded me of my “Japanese Attention to Presentation” post a year ago.
The snacks and tea they brought were very nice, and I was shocked when I found out that we didn't have to pay. For Anthony's part, he was in a good mood with some sweets in his tummy...
We then moved on toward the small cafe that was our lunch destination, and along the way I took one of the most surreal photos I have ever taken...
Other than a white-balance correction, this is straight out of Lightroom with its default settings, but (particularly in the large version) it looks as if I Photoshopped them onto the empty scene. The nondescript gravel path combined with an almost complete lack of shadow and the sliver-thin depth of field at f/1.8 make for something that looks completely fake, destined to appear on Photoshop Disasters. Except it's totally real. Weird.
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/2500 sec, f/1.8, ISO 200 — map & image data — nearby photos
staying one step ahead of the focus plane
More commonly, this was the result...
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/2000 sec, f/1.8, ISO 200 — map & image data — nearby photos
of the focus plane
Frustrated with a complete lack of success, I asked him to stop so I could focus, but to strike a pose as if he were running, so I could fake out the viewer....
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/2500 sec, f/1.4, ISO 200 — map & image data — nearby photos
unstaged pure-action running shot
Meanwhile, Fumie set up shop at the casual cafe...
There's a big formal restaurant somewhere on site that's apparently very famous and very expensive, but the cafe was perfectly reasonable (maybe $12 for lunch), and the food was very good.