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Photo Shoot at Kyoto’s Haradanien Garden: John and Ai
John and Ai at the Haradanien Garden (原谷苑), Kyoto Japan -- The Haradanien Garden (原谷苑) -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 95mm — 1/2000 sec, f/2.8, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
John and Ai
at the Haradanien Garden (原谷苑), Kyoto Japan

I recently met Paul Barr and a pair of married friends of his for lunch, and we ended up taking the opportunity to visit the Haradanien Garden (原谷苑) in north-west Kyoto for a quick couple photoshoot.

It's still on my list to do a proper blog post about the place (update: it's here), from my visit last week from which so far I've posted only one wigglegram, but it's a daunting prospect because the site is incomparably wonderful. Anyway, you'll see a bit of the site in these pictures today.

It was John and Ai's first visit, so initially we had them walk around to enjoy the place on their own, with Paul and I following to take candids. This didn't work out well because most of the shots were from the back, and without the ability to control position and pose, it was difficult to get a clean shot among the heavy (but not unpleasant) crowds.

But it was good in the sense that it left me with a number of specific ideas for location to return to later.

But it was also bad in the sense that without a constant interaction with them, it was too easy to get distracted by a pretty scene (such as these subtle pastel blossoms), and we eventually lost track of them.

Found Them -- The Haradanien Garden (原谷苑) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm — 1/2000 sec, f/2.8, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Found Them

The bench they were sitting on when I found them seemed nice, so I had them turn their back to the park and started some posed shots. Though I've been practicing portraiture lately, I still have little clue what to actually do. But I pretend I know what I'm doing (that is, I try to exude confidence) and try to be a bit silly to loosen them up, and the ball gets rolling.

The Haradanien Garden (原谷苑) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + 17-35mm f/2.8 @ 17mm — 1/2000 sec, f/2.8, ISO 180 — map & image datanearby photos
The Haradanien Garden (原谷苑) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 150mm — 1/2000 sec, f/2.8, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos

I'd just met them that morning, so they were understandably not yet comfortable around me, nor did they have any idea what kind of pictures I could take, but they're really photogenic so I knew I just had to get them to forget the camera, even if for a moment at a time, and the pictures would take themselves.

One simple technique was to keep them laughing (“okay, now look into each other's eyes and pretend you're in love” works when you know they are indeed actually in love), combined by periods of quiet where they can “be alone” so to speak.

Me in Action trying to get a low angle without lying in the dirt photo by Paul Barr -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Paul Barr
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/1000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 2200 — map & image datanearby photos
Me in Action
trying to get a low angle without lying in the dirt
photo by Paul Barr

I reposed them on the bench and tried something more intimate, with the 85mm f/1.4...

The Haradanien Garden (原谷苑) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/2000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 180 — map & image datanearby photos
The Haradanien Garden (原谷苑) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/2000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Quick Peek photo by Paul Barr -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Paul Barr
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/1000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 900 — map & image datanearby photos
Quick Peek
photo by Paul Barr

I don't really like to show photos on the back of the camera because it's so small (and outside, so bright), but I wanted to let them know that we were getting good stuff of the likes they'd probably not seen before of themselves. This helps break the ice as well.

A quick Ai-only shot from the bench...

The Haradanien Garden (原谷苑) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/2000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos

We then moved about the park to try the places I'd noted before. Here's Paul shooting at a lovely area normally packed with folks that, for a few moments here and there, was inexplicably (and most welcomly) empty...

Paul in Action -- The Haradanien Garden (原谷苑) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + 17-35mm f/2.8 @ 17mm — 1/2000 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Paul in Action
One of Paul's Shots -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Paul Barr
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 50mm — 1/1000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 4000 — map & image datanearby photos
One of Paul's Shots

We then moved to the bush with the aforementioned delicate pastel blossoms and Paul shot through it to them....

Tunnel of Blossoms -- The Haradanien Garden (原谷苑) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/2000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 180 — map & image datanearby photos
Tunnel of Blossoms

I tried the same shots, but Paul's result was better:

photo by Paul Barr -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Paul Barr
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/1000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos
photo by Paul Barr
My Trying the Same Shot but coming up empty-handed photo by Paul Barr -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Paul Barr
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 27mm — 1/1000 sec, f/8, ISO 1800 — map & image datanearby photos
My Trying the Same Shot
but coming up empty-handed
photo by Paul Barr

Then off to the next location...

The Haradanien Garden (原谷苑) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + 17-35mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/2000 sec, f/2.8, ISO 360 — map & image datanearby photos
Paul Trying the Same Shot -- The Haradanien Garden (原谷苑) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + 17-35mm f/2.8 @ 17mm — 1/2000 sec, f/2.8, ISO 360 — map & image datanearby photos
Paul Trying the Same Shot

By now they were pretty loosened up and comfortable with us pointing our big cameras at them, so I tried some simple straight-up portraits...

Handsome Devil -- The Haradanien Garden (原谷苑) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/2000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 180 — map & image datanearby photos
Handsome Devil
“Bond. James Bond” -- The Haradanien Garden (原谷苑) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/2000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
“Bond. James Bond”
Can't Contain the Smile -- The Haradanien Garden (原谷苑) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/2000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Can't Contain the Smile
Shampoo-Commercial Ai -- The Haradanien Garden (原谷苑) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/2000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Shampoo-Commercial Ai

They both expressed a desire to do a kimono photoshoot sometime, so here's hoping that comes to pass!

Continued here...


Comments so far....

Lovely couple, lovely shots ( ^^)v

— comment by Damien on April 27th, 2013 at 10:36pm JST (1 year, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Very nice.

I’m finding your blog very helpful, thankyou. I noted your comment regarding showing people shots on the back of the camera and wondered – do you ever use wifi transfer to ipad?

I shoot raw to one card and JPG to the other (eye-fi). I treat the JPG as just throw away previews, optimised for pad viewing so they aren’t large or slow to transfer. I expunge the eye-fi and pad regularly, this isnt part of normal workflow.

Its one of those things that initially seemed a bit of hassle for limited benefit but having worked past the quirks & kinks I wouldn’t be without it now, having seamless 10″ previews is kind of addictive & provides so much better feedback.

I don’t think I’d want the clumsy Nikon module hanging off the side of my camera but the memory card type do what I need.

Dave

I suppose it’d be nice, but Eye-Fi doesn’t have (and officially disclaims all support for) CF cards, and doesn’t even mention XQD cards (though I can’t blame them for that). So it seems no soup for me. —Jeffrey

— comment by Dave E on June 19th, 2013 at 12:12am JST (1 year, 3 months ago) comment permalink
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