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A Few Pretty Pictures from Kyoto’s Middle-of-Nowhere Sourenji Temple
desktop background image of a foll-foliage scene at the Sourenji Temple (宗蓮寺), Kyoto Japan  --  Unretouched back corner of Kyoto's Sourenji Temple (宗蓮寺) Straight out of the camera. (except for white balance, set in post via a gray -card reference shot)  --  Sourenji Temple (宗蓮寺)  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/2012-11-26/2152  --  This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Unretouched
back corner of Kyoto's Sourenji Temple (宗蓮寺)
Straight out of the camera.
(except for white balance, set in post via a gray-card reference shot)
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As I mentioned in this morning's post, I went on a drive to the northern mountains of Kyoto yesterday. Our first stop was the middle-of-nowhere Sourenji Temple (宗蓮寺).

It was cold and the light was lush. On the way from where we parked I snapped this picture, which unfortunately has a local farmer going by in his little truck and Paul Barr caught mid step, but the richness is almost unreal...

Rich just outside the Sourenji Temple (宗蓮寺) Kyoto, Japan  --  Sourenji Temple (宗蓮寺)  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/2012-11-26/2152  --  This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/400 sec, f/4.5, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Rich
just outside the Sourenji Temple (宗蓮寺)
Kyoto, Japan

There were a bunch of very oddly pruned trees whose bottom half looked like large bonsai trees, with tall super-thin shoots doubling the height from there...

Grotesque  --  Sourenji Temple (宗蓮寺)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/2012-11-26/2152  --  This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/400 sec, f/4.5, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Grotesque

The style does not appeal to me at all (they make me think of grotesquely large Chia pets). I've seen a similar style at Shouzan, but those were the size of large bushes... these were full-on trees reaching multiple stories tall.

Here's one where you can sort of see the scale...

Sourenji Temple (宗蓮寺)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/2012-11-26/2152  --  This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/100 sec, f/4.5, ISO 280 — map & image datanearby photos

And here's an abstract something-or-other that I just sort of like...

Sourenji Temple (宗蓮寺)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/2012-11-26/2152  --  This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos
Entrance Steps Paul Barr up top, Damien Douxchamps down below  --  Sourenji Temple (宗蓮寺)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/2012-11-26/2152  --  This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/4.5, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos
Entrance Steps
Paul Barr up top, Damien Douxchamps down below

Here's what Paul was looking at in that shot...

desktop background image of a foll-foliage scene at the Sourenji Temple (宗蓮寺), Kyoto Japan  --  Steep and Colorful and not more than a little visually overwhelming  --  Sourenji Temple (宗蓮寺)  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/2012-11-26/2152  --  This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/50 sec, f/10, ISO 5600 — map & image datanearby photos
Steep and Colorful
and not more than a little visually overwhelming
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I'll share shots from the relatively-small temple area in another post, but for now I'll end with this pleasant little alcove on the opposite side from where the stairs above end...

desktop background image of a foll-foliage scene at the Sourenji Temple (宗蓮寺), Kyoto Japan  --  Back Corner of the Sourenji Temple (宗蓮寺)  --  Sourenji Temple (宗蓮寺)  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/2012-11-26/2152  --  This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/80 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Back Corner
of the Sourenji Temple (宗蓮寺)
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Walking to the fence at the end and turning around to face the camera, I took the photo that leads this post.

Normally I end up doing something to every photo I take in post processing (in Lightroom).... nudging exposure, contrast, noise reduction, white balance, etc., because I'm simply not careful and patient (and skilled) enough to get it right in camera. I could never be a film photographer.

The image quality can generally afford this post-processing step because I shoot in raw format; it both affords great latitude in post processing, and can save me from disasters.

To some extent I've embraced this lazy unskilled approach to save me time with white balance. I just leave the camera at “Auto” and don't care about it while shooting, then set the white balance later in bulk via a reference shot of a WhiBal card (like this and this) or from a color chart (like this).

You can never really say “straight out of the camera” with a raw-format image because the result you get necessarily depends on the raw converter and its particular quirks, but other than setting the white balance via a neutral square on a color-cart shot, the lead photo is just as it appeared when first loaded into Lightroom. Just amazing.

Continued here...


Comments so far....

Amazing filtered light on the leaf covered trails and steps.

— comment by Jon on November 28th, 2012 at 5:21am JST (1 year, 5 months ago) comment permalink

The 7th shot is really nice, I hope (but don’t think) I got it right too.

— comment by Damien on December 2nd, 2012 at 4:25pm JST (1 year, 5 months ago) comment permalink

The weird trees are kitayama sugi, a local speciality originally produced for the long, straight, knotless timber but now common in Kansai area as garden trees. They Cryptomeria japonica. Not everyone’s cup of tea!

— comment by jake on January 7th, 2013 at 6:49am JST (1 year, 3 months ago) comment permalink
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