Slightly Mysterious Stairs Into Mountain Overgrowth
NOTE: Images with an icon next to them have been artificially shrunk to better fit your screen; click the icon to restore them, in place, to their regular size.
Mountain Fern -- Uji, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/11, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Mountain Fern

I've been crazy busy lately with my Lightroom plugins, a transpacific flight (complicated by a back that went out 10 minutes before leaving for the airport :-(), visiting with family, and fending off jetlag. Posts will likely be sparse for a while.

It's been a while since I posted anything from the Uji mountain trips I made a couple of months ago. (The first trip produced a bunch of posts starting with “Exquisite Beauty Growing Like a Weed by the Side of the Road”; the second trip's posts started with “Pleasant Little Village in Uji”.)

On that second trip, after leaving Ice-Cream Girl, while winding our way up through some uninhabited mountain roads, near a pass I briefly noticed a flash of railing disappearing into the woods. Curious, I backed up.

Railing Disappearing To the Left -- Uji, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/1000 sec, f/4.5, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Railing Disappearing To the Left

It seemed quite out of place, so I had to investigate...

Looks Inviting! -- Uji, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/800 sec, f/2.8, ISO 280 — map & image datanearby photos
Looks Inviting!

The stairs disappeared up into the overgrowth, and were covered with a thick spongy layer of moss...

Destination Unknown -- Uji, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/800 sec, f/4, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Destination Unknown
Thick -- Uji, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/4, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Thick

Halfway up there was a small landing, then another flight that added a bed of dried pine needles over the moss...

Uji, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/800 sec, f/1.4, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Like a Layer of Frosting on top of a layer of frosting -- Uji, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/800 sec, f/1.4, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Like a Layer of Frosting
on top of a layer of frosting

At the top, there was nothing of interest. Absolutely nothing.

at the top: Nondescript Woods -- Uji, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/800 sec, f/1.4, ISO 1400 — map & image datanearby photos
at the top:
Nondescript Woods
Uji, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/800 sec, f/4.5, ISO 1800 — map & image datanearby photos

I'd guess that all the trees were less than 20 or 30 years old, which also feels about how long the stairs had been unused, so perhaps long ago this was some kind of cleared observation area: without the growth, it probably would have had a commanding view of the little village with the Ice-Cream Girl cafe.

Still, there was no sign of human activity beyond the last step, so it felt quite eerie.

View From the Top -- Uji, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/500 sec, f/4.5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
View From the Top
Zoomed View down to the mid-level landing, and beyond that, to Paul Barr -- Uji, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/800 sec, f/2.5, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos
Zoomed View
down to the mid-level landing, and beyond that, to Paul Barr

Near the bottom of the stairs were some ferns. I'm a sucker for ferns.

Uji, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/640 sec, f/11, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Uji, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/800 sec, f/2.5, ISO 900 — map & image datanearby photos

One comment so far...

One of my many never-started photo projects was to be “steps to nowhere”, photos of old overgrown or rotting staircases like this. I especially like “Thick”, the close shot, because it’s ambiguous. I also like “Destination Unknown” because it’s not about the destination — you can’t see the top; the framing doesn’t even hint at it. It’s just a portrait of the staircase itself.

— comment by Mark Sirota on July 29th, 2011 at 1:15pm JST (6 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink
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