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Plum Blossoms in Full Bloom at Kyoto’s Kitano Tenmangu Shrine
desktop background image of plum blossoms at the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮), Kyoto Japan -- More Plum at the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮), Kyoto Japan -- Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮) -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- 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 5000 — map & image datanearby photos
More Plum
at the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮), Kyoto Japan
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I made a short visit today to the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮), famous for its plum blossoms. I'd gone three weeks ago when only a few blossoms had appeared, but now it's pretty much in full bloom.

There was the slightest of rain... you didn't need an umbrella for the most part... which kept the crowds down. It was quite pleasant.

First Tree in front of the Holy Cow statute -- Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- 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 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 180mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
First Tree
in front of the Holy Cow statute
Pleasant Atmosphere -- Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- 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 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 135mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Pleasant Atmosphere
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- 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 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 130mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1800 — map & image datanearby photos
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- 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 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 160mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- 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 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 116mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- 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 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 125mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- 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 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 75mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- 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 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 110mm — 1/320 sec, f/7.1, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos

There are many different kinds of plum, with a wide variety of pinks, creams, and whites...

desktop background image of plum blossoms at the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮), Kyoto Japan -- Weeping Pink -- Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮) -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- 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 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 900 — map & image datanearby photos
Weeping Pink
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desktop background image of plum blossoms at the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮), Kyoto Japan -- White -- Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮) -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- 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 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
White
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Laden with Subtle Pink -- Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- 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 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 102mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 720 — map & image datanearby photos
Laden with Subtle Pink
desktop background image of plum blossoms at the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮), Kyoto Japan -- Bright Pink -- Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮) -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- 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 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 105mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 720 — map & image datanearby photos
Bright Pink
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Extra Pink -- Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- 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 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 140mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Extra Pink
Understated White -- Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- 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 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 150mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 720 — map & image datanearby photos
Understated White
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- 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 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 150mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos

Not everyone was there to take pictures. This next shot is the same scene as this one from my previous post about this shrine, a week ago...

Waiting to Say a Prayer -- Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- 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 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Waiting to Say a Prayer
Head of the Line -- Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- 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 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1400 — map & image datanearby photos
Head of the Line

I was using my weather-sealed Nikkor 70-200/2.8 most of the time due to the spritzy rain...

desktop background image of plum blossoms at the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮), Kyoto Japan -- Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮) -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- 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 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos
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... but I longed to use the Voigtländer 125mm for its macro capabilities. The rain finally seemed to stop completely, so I got what turned out to be a short chance...

desktop background image of plum blossoms at the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮), Kyoto Japan -- Over-Ornate -- Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮) -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- 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 2800 — map & image datanearby photos
Over-Ornate
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desktop background image of plum blossoms at the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮), Kyoto Japan -- A Bit Better Balanced -- Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮) -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- 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 5600 — map & image datanearby photos
A Bit Better Balanced
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Skittish Focus -- Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- 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 5600 — map & image datanearby photos
Skittish Focus

It looks like the same bird I saw last time, but this time he was hopping all over, seemingly drinking nectar from the blossoms. He didn't seem to mind all the paparazzi surrounding the tree, but it was quite the challenge to get him exactly in focus as he jumped around, especially with the manual-focus thin-depth-of-field Voigtländer. The best I could do before I switched back to the Nikkor 70-200 and its autofocus was this one, where his eye is indeed in focus, but he's bashfully hiding behind a branch...

Whatchu Lookin' At? -- Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- 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 4000 — map & image datanearby photos
Whatchu Lookin' At?

I haven't looked yet, but hopefully I got something better with the other lens in the few minutes I had before the skies opened up and drenched everything.

To be continued...


Comments so far....

“White” is really nice :) Can’t wait to be back to Kyoto!

— comment by Damien on March 13th, 2013 at 9:33pm JST (1 year, 1 month ago) comment permalink

Great stuff, I love your photos. I wish i was back in Japan!

— comment by Anonymous on March 13th, 2013 at 10:14pm JST (1 year, 1 month ago) comment permalink

It’s good to see images of Japan and the blossoms.
Yours set does a good job of conveying the vibe of this garden.
Thanks for sharing!

JD
Midland, NC
USA

— comment by JD on March 14th, 2013 at 11:07am JST (1 year, 1 month ago) comment permalink

Spring in Toronto seems so far away. Thank you for the ume blossoms to brighten my screen! As always, I appreciate how your photos and stories help me stay in touch with I city I love.

— comment by Anne on March 14th, 2013 at 4:54pm JST (1 year, 1 month ago) comment permalink

I found a pattern that most of the time you are taking photos using Nikkor 70-200mm or Voigtländer 125mm you shot with 1/400 sec shutter time, which sometimes forces you to use very high ISO. Why don’t you use longer times? It seems safe to use 1/160 with Voigtländer 125mm as the rule – use a shutter speed of at least “1/focal length”. I am very curious about how you make that decision. If you wrote somewhere before about that choice please point me to it.
Best regards,
Rafal Magda
from Poland

When I shoot with the Voigtländer, I like to keep the shutter speed fast at 1/400th if I have the light. I can be pretty good at holding the camera steady, but the “1/FL rule” is just a rough guideline, and it doesn’t account for subject movement. Even at 1/400th of a second, a leaf shaking in the wind will show subject movement at 1:1 macro. So when I use the Voigtländer, I generally set the Auto-ISO minimum to 1/400th, and the max ISO to 6400. Over the short time I was there, the rain came in and it go darker, but I neglected to update the settings. Same for when I changed the lens. I shouldn’t have had to update the settings for the lens, but because the Nikon D4′s Auto-ISO software is so stupid, the settings need to be updated manually. It’s so stupid that I actually wrote to the president of Nikon offering to help them get a clue with their software. (No reply yet ;-) ) —Jeffrey

— comment by Rafal Magda on March 16th, 2013 at 5:56am JST (1 year, 1 month ago) comment permalink
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