Visiting The Eikando Temple’s Evening Foliage Lightup with Sergey Kolychev
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Me With Sergey Kolychev Last night at the Eikando Temple, Kyoto Japan -- Eikando Temple (永観堂) -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 @ 24 mm — 1/50 sec, f/1.4, ISO 1100 — map & image datanearby photos
Me With Sergey Kolychev
Last night at the Eikando Temple, Kyoto Japan

An old friend from my days toiling in the bit mines at Yahoo! Finance in California was passing through Kyoto on a tour of Japan, and we met up last night for a few hours.

We took a walk over to the Eikando temple to see their evening lightup. I was astounded to find that it wasn't jammed packed... I guess it's still early in the season. I've written about it before (here) from having visited just the outside — you can enjoy quite a bit of the lightup from near the entrance without having to pay — but last night I actually went in for the first time.

Early In The Season still lots of green; not yet a big crowd -- Eikando Temple (永観堂) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 @ 50 mm — 1/40 sec, f/1.4, ISO 4500 — map & image datanearby photos
Early In The Season
still lots of green; not yet a big crowd
But Many Splashes of Color ( in autumn, “green” does not seem to be considered a color ) -- Eikando Temple (永観堂) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 @ 50 mm — 1/50 sec, f/1.4, ISO 4500 — map & image datanearby photos
But Many Splashes of Color
( in autumn, “green” does not seem to be considered a color )
Generic Path the same as this one photographed on a gloomy day last year -- Eikando Temple (永観堂) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 @ 50 mm — 1/50 sec, f/1.4, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Generic Path
the same as this one photographed on a gloomy day last year
Vivid but difficult to photograph without blowing out the colors toward white Desktop-Background Versions Standard: 1024 × 768   ·   1440 × 1080   ·   1600 × 1200       Widescreen:   1280 × 800   ·   1680 × 1050   ·   2560 × 1600 -- Eikando Temple (永観堂) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 @ 50 mm — 1/50 sec, f/1.4, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Vivid
but difficult to photograph without blowing out the colors toward white
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I've gone ahead and added desktop-background links under some of the nicer photos on this post.

Another Path less colorful than the first -- Eikando Temple (永観堂) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 @ 50 mm — 1/80 sec, f/1.4, ISO 2200 — map & image datanearby photos
Another Path
less colorful than the first
Subdued These mild colors can be some of the most pretty in person, but most difficult to capture Desktop-Background Versions Standard: 1024 × 768   ·   1440 × 1080   ·   1600 × 1200       Widescreen:   1280 × 800   ·   1680 × 1050   ·   2560 × 1600 -- Eikando Temple (永観堂) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 @ 50 mm — 1/80 sec, f/1.4, ISO 900 — map & image datanearby photos
Subdued
These mild colors can be some of the most pretty in person, but most difficult to capture
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desktop background image of a nighttime view of an arched bridge over a still lake, among an explosion of fall colors, at the Eikando Temple in Kyoto, Japan -- Bridge and Lake behind an out-of-focus foreground of wispy white grass -- Eikando Temple (永観堂) -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 @ 50 mm — 1/40 sec, f/1.4, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Bridge and Lake
behind an out-of-focus foreground of wispy white grass
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desktop background image of wispy white grass in front of an out-of-foucs background of fall colors, at night, at Kyoto -- Wispy White Grass -- Eikando Temple (永観堂) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 @ 50 mm — 1/80 sec, f/1.4, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Wispy White Grass
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That's the same grass in the lead shot of last year's “Holy Cow, the Gardens at Kyoto's Eikando Temple are Gorgeous!

Also, it's the same kind of grass seen in last week's “Temple Hopping in the Mountains of South-Western Kyoto”. I really like it.

I was at f/1.4 for all the photos above, which was still very much pushing the limits in the general darkness of the gardens and without a tripod, but I went ahead and tried a shot with the Voigtländer which opens up only to f/2.5. You can't expect much with a free-standing 1/20th of a second at 125mm, but the biggest problem with the result is that while I was switching lenses, some ducks decided to swim across the lake, turning the glass-smooth surface into a bunch of ripples...

f/2.5 — 1 / 20 sec freestanding , f/2.5, ISO 6400 — map & image data — nearby photos Ripply -- Eikando Temple (永観堂) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/20 sec freestanding, f/2.5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Ripply
Rest Area ready for next-week's crowds -- Eikando Temple (永観堂) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 @ 50 mm — 1/160 sec, f/1.4, ISO 4000 — map & image datanearby photos
Rest Area
ready for next-week's crowds
desktop background image of vividly-red momiji (Japanse Mapel) at the Eikando Temple, Kyoto Japan -- Powerful, But Somehow Soft -- Eikando Temple (永観堂) -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 @ 50 mm — 1/160 sec, f/1.4, ISO 1100 — map & image datanearby photos
Powerful, But Somehow Soft
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Due Diligence -- Eikando Temple (永観堂) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 @ 50 mm — 1/60 sec, f/1.4, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Due Diligence
Artsy Fartsy Bonsai the angle makes the branch look a bit like a bonsai Desktop-Background Versions Standard: 1024 × 768   ·   1440 × 1080   ·   1600 × 1200       Widescreen:   1280 × 800   ·   1680 × 1050   ·   2560 × 1600 -- Eikando Temple (永観堂) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 @ 50 mm — 1/60 sec, f/1.4, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Artsy Fartsy Bonsai
the angle makes the branch look a bit like a bonsai
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Reverse-Angle Bridge Reflection -- Eikando Temple (永観堂) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 @ 50 mm — 1/60 sec, f/1.4, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos
Reverse-Angle Bridge Reflection

As nice as the Eikando gardens are during the night lightup, I've got to say that I prefer them during the day, even if the day is overcast and the gardens are crowded with people, as evidenced here and here.

Sergey in Kyoto -- Eikando Temple (永観堂) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 @ 50 mm — 1/60 sec, f/1.4, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Sergey in Kyoto

Behind him to camera right up in the mountain is a lit-up pagoda (seen here) that he wanted in the photo, but it's too out of focus to really tell what it is.

Sergey is pretty much a quintessential “American Dream” story. Ten years ago he was living in Ukraine with his wife and a couple of toddlers. He replied to a job-wanted posting I'd placed on behalf of Yahoo!, and so I interviewed him from California over ICQ (the one and only time I've ever used it).

It was difficult to find good engineers at the time, and Sergey distinguished himself by clearly having a clue. We hired him, brought him and his family over to America, and he became an important part of the Yahoo! Finance family where he remains today. He's since become and American citizen (and with great efforts of his wife Tanya, his kids are fully bilingual in English and Russian) and for some reason a few years ago he picked up an interest in Japan and began studying Japanese at home. This is his first visit to Japan, but he can speak Japanese quite adequately, and it seems that he can read much better than I. Wow.

Today his plan was to meet his Japanese teacher for the first time (he'd been taking lessons over Skype for a while), and tomorrow his tour moves on to Nara.

It was fun to visit with him again.


All 3 comments so far, oldest first...

It is hard to read your blog when autumn rolls around. All the photos and text look an acid shade of green from all the envy welling up within me.

Photo question: Do you ever find yourself not trusting what you get from your WhiBal card? In LR I find myself trusting the camera profile setting more often than the WhiBal. It makes me wonder.

There are a few issues to be aware of when using a WhiBal or the like. One is that the are of the image that Lightroom samples differs depending on what you’re displaying… if you’re displaying the full-resolution version, I’m pretty sure that you’re sampling single pixels, while if you’re zoomed back, you’re sampling a group of pixels. This can make a huge difference when you have a lot of sensor noise. (I don’t know whether the sampling is pre- or post- noise reduction), but you can get a huge shift in white-balance result with a tiny nudge of the mouse if your image is noisy. (I consider this a bug in Lightroom). You have to also realize that reverting to the best you can approximate for flat light may not be the most flattering. A mountain bathed in the warm glows of the setting sun actually does look redder, so using a white-balance card undoes that. Many times we don’t sense the shift in ambient light color, but that’s one time we do. Another time might be under a canopy of fall foliage… the warm orange glow really is there enough to be sensed, so removing it neuters the scene. And then there are simply artistic reasons to not want an accurate rendition of a scene… sometimes a warmer or cooler look just looks better. —Jeffrey

— comment by Ron Evans on November 18th, 2010 at 5:42am JST (7 years ago) comment permalink

It may well be early in the season, but it’s still very beautiful. I never knew that they illuminated Eikando at night. Spectacular.

— comment by AdelaideBen on November 18th, 2010 at 6:45am JST (7 years ago) comment permalink

So I’ve been visiting your beautiful (adopted) country over the years, but this November, we’re making a jaunt to Kyoto to shoot the fall colors. I hope I’ve timed it right, as we will be there during the week of the 20th. I was planning to bring a tripod but based on your posting, it appears this may not be allowed in many places. Should I bring one? Harv (in Irvine, CA)

It depends on how much it “costs” (in weight/effort) vs. the benefit. You can’t use inside most temples and shrines, though the most amazing Yoshimenedera apparently does allow them, so I’ll be bringing one when I visit this year. —Jeffrey

— comment by Harvey Chin on October 23rd, 2011 at 1:19pm JST (6 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink
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