An Amazing Day of Photography at Some Eastern-Kyoto Temples
desktop background image of the bridge on the path leading to the Imakumano Kannoji Temple (今熊野観音寺) in Kyoto, Japan, while the cherry blossoms are in bloom and the momiji maple are sporting spring-green leaves -- Path To the Imakumano Kannonji Temple (今熊野観音寺) Kyoto Japan, Spring 2011 -- Imakumano Kannonji Temple (今熊野観音寺) -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/640 sec, f/2.5, ISO 280 — map & image datanearby photos
Path To the Imakumano Kannonji Temple
(今熊野観音寺)

Kyoto Japan, Spring 2011
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What a week it's been. I took more photos today than in the first three months of the year combined, and this is after a ramp-up in activity at the start of the month due to the cherry blossoms and then a highly photogenic three day family trip followed by a fun photographically-friendly play date for Anthony. Suffice to say I've built up a new backlog on top of my old one, but it's sure a nice problem to have.

So today I went to the preschool/kindergarten entrance ceremony for my friend Britto's boy, to snap some photos..... he's an accomplished photographer, but wanted to actually participate. When checking the map to see how I'd get to the school, I noticed that it was in an area littered with temples, some very big, but all of which I'd never visited, so after the school event I went wandering with the camera, and four hours and as many hundred photos later, I made my exhausted but satisfied way home, only to find myself inexorably drawn to the cherry blossoms by the river outside, so despite wanting to actually get some work done, I spent another half an hour in the fading light with the camera, leaving only when it became clear that this sentence's length was approaching the theoretical physical limit. 🙂

I have only just begun to scan today's take, but wanted to post something today, so here are a few low-hanging fruit, so to speak.

After the Rain -- Imakumano Kannonji Temple (今熊野観音寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/1000 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
After the Rain

As has been my habit of late, I worked only with primes (24mm, 50mm, and 125mm, changing lenses at least 65 times throughout the day), but 75% of my shots were with the Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5. I'm really digging this lens. It doesn't have internal focusing, so I wouldn't use it in the rain, so I'm glad the all-night rain stopped just in time for today's outing.

It's not so good for “establishing shots”, so for the tree with those blossoms, I switched to the 24mm...

Imakumano Kannonji Temple (今熊野観音寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 @ 24 mm — 1/2000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

.. but since that first shot wasn't at full 1:1 macro, I felt drawn to give it a try at full zoom...

Imakumano Kannonji Temple (今熊野観音寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/640 sec, f/2.5, ISO 220 — map & image datanearby photos

If I'm going to try these kind of shots I really should use a tripod and something to hold the branch still, but as it is (freestanding while the wind knocks the branch all over) it's hit or miss whether I get what I'm going for. I fired off a bunch of shots, so when I have more time I'll have to see whether I got something better than this one.

Like I say, I really should use a tripod, but I'm more of a seat-of-the-pants photographer, and tripods are rarely allowed on temple grounds anyway.

It's not just the cherry blossoms that are pretty now. The momiji maple is spring-green fresh...

desktop background image of Japanese momiji maple in the springtime -- Spring Maple -- Imakumano Kannonji Temple (今熊野観音寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Spring Maple
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Momiji always feel crisp and fresh in the spring. I like it.

desktop background image of Japanese momiji maple in the springtime -- Crisp and Fresh I like it. -- Imakumano Kannonji Temple (今熊野観音寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/640 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Crisp and Fresh
I like it.
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At one point I came across a large blossom that looked more like a flower... the most perfect, unique flower....

desktop background image of the perfect flower -- Perfect. Unique. One of a Kind. -- Imakumano Kannonji Temple (今熊野観音寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/640 sec, f/2.5, ISO 560 — map & image datanearby photos
Perfect. Unique. One of a Kind.
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The best thing about this perfect, unique, one-of-a-kind flower is that there was a whole tree of them!

Tree of Unique -- Imakumano Kannonji Temple (今熊野観音寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos
Tree of Unique

Okay, so I'm joking about unique, but they were sure pretty. If anyone knows what they are (Peter? Mom?), I'd appreciate to hear. [Update:: as noted in the comments, it's a Japanese camellia (otometsubaki · 乙女椿)]

They're a bit difficult to see in the photo above (they're all in the upper half of the photo), and they were a bit difficult to photograph as well: there's the problems I mentioned before about lack of a tripod and an excess of wind, compounded in this case by having to stand on my tippytoes to reach them.

Anyway, these are just a few photos from one early area of my walk, so I'm sure today's outings will yield a dozen posts, if I ever find time to chip away at my photo backlog....

Continued here...


All 11 comments so far, oldest first...

Looks like a tsubaki (椿), or camelia, to me.

— comment by Zak on April 10th, 2011 at 1:14am JST (6 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

(Nice shot, by the way)

— comment by Zak on April 10th, 2011 at 1:14am JST (6 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

The flower in “perfect, unique, one of a kind” might be a camilia.

— comment by Tom on April 10th, 2011 at 1:44am JST (6 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

The flower is a Camellia. You’re about a week ahead of us there, (I’m in Portland, OR) except for the cherry blossoms which are going full tilt as of a couple of days ago. Momiji is barely starting to leaf. Very nice images.

— comment by Stacey on April 10th, 2011 at 2:27am JST (6 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

I think your perfect unique flower may be a Japanese Camellia (camellia japnica). Your image struck me, as we have seen them many times at the Portland Japanese Gardens. I am forever trying to capture the flower as you have. Beautiful!

— comment by Gretchen on April 10th, 2011 at 6:40am JST (6 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Hmm, my name is not Peter, and I’m most certainly not your Mom, but I’d say Camellia japonica, Japanese Camellia. 😉

— comment by Andreas Weber on April 10th, 2011 at 7:41am JST (6 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Thanks everyone for info on the “perfect flower”… gotta love the Internet… post a question before going to bed, and awake to find five answers waiting in the comment-approval queue. Thanks!

— comment by Jeffrey Friedl on April 10th, 2011 at 9:20am JST (6 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Since my name is mentioned, I’ll just chip in to agree with all the others – Camellia japonica, of which there are many hundreds of cultivated varieties with single or variously double (many-petalled) flowers, in colours from white to deep red. Two small ones in our garden were killed outright by the harsh weather in early winter, so all the nicer to see some thriving !

— comment by Peter in Wales on April 10th, 2011 at 11:08pm JST (6 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

I found it odd that none of the photos of Camellia on Wikipedia looked at all like the pink flower posted above, so I did some digging and found that the variety I came across is Camellia japonica f. otome, or in Japanese, 乙女椿 (otometsubaki). If I can find a strong enough reference online that I can refer to, I’ll add my photo to the Wikipedia page….

— comment by Jeffrey Friedl on April 11th, 2011 at 10:20pm JST (6 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink
— comment by Andreas Weber on April 12th, 2011 at 1:29am JST (6 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Beautiful photos.

— comment by Anne on September 26th, 2012 at 5:11pm JST (5 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink
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