Unexpectedly Snowy Photoshoot at the Joshokoji Temple
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (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 — 1/2500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos

Through the cycle group that I mentioned last week, I met photographer/triathlete Kumiko Mini, who as it happened was expecting photographer friends from San Francisco to join her for a week of photography fun in Kyoto. I got to tag along on a trip into the mountains where they planned to do a little photoshoot at a temple far away from the crowds of the city.

There was no forecast for snow, but as we got into the mountains the flakes started coming and got thicker by the minute. The mountains turned splendid with a puffy, frosty blanket.

By the time we stopped for a picture, I'd gotten to know Eric and Gigi for an hour, by which time they'd cemented themselves as fun to be around and fun to talk photography...

Eric and Gigi hamming it up for my lens -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/1000 sec, f/2.5, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Eric and Gigi
hamming it up for my lens

They'd come to Kyoto to give their new Pentax medium format(!) SLR and delicious lens a workout.

Checking Settings -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/640 sec, f/2.5, ISO 220 — map & image datanearby photos
Checking Settings

Meanwhile Kumiko is shooting her Canon...

Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 105mm — 1/500 sec, f/4.5, ISO 280 — map & image datanearby photos

Three different brands, but somehow we remained friends. I just lament that I couldn't borrow lenses(!)

The snow is the heavy, sticky kind, but since Eric and Gigi had only the one camera between them, Eric was available for other tasks while Gigi shot...

Making Himself Useful -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (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 @ 82mm — 1/1000 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Making Himself Useful
Now for Kumiko -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (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 — 1/320 sec, f/6.3, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
Now for Kumiko

We eventually moved on to the temple while the snow increased.

Entrance Path Joshokoji Temple (常照皇寺) -- Joshokoji Temple (常照皇寺) -- Kyoto , Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (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 — 1/320 sec, f/7.1, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Entrance Path
Joshokoji Temple (常照皇寺)

I'd been here once before, during cherry-blossom season two years ago, as seen in On The Way Into Kyoto’s Northern-Mountain Joshoko-ji Temple. This time it was a bit different.

desktop background image of the entrance to the Joshokoji Temple (常照皇寺) in the snow, Kyoto Japan -- Joshokoji Temple (常照皇寺) -- Kyoto , Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (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 — 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 280 — map & image datanearby photos
Desktop-Background Versions
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Thin Flimsy Branches positively pregnant with snow -- Joshokoji Temple (常照皇寺) -- Kyoto , Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (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 — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Thin Flimsy Branches
positively pregnant with snow

Kumiko wore a kimono-inspired dress so that she could be a model, and with the snow falling and the place to ourselves, it seemed an opportunity to take advantage of.

Quick Test -- Joshokoji Temple (常照皇寺) -- Kyoto , Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (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 — 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Quick Test
(My Quick Test) -- Joshokoji Temple (常照皇寺) -- Kyoto , Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/320 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
(My Quick Test)
Eric's Turn with the medium-format SLR -- Joshokoji Temple (常照皇寺) -- Kyoto , Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/640 sec, f/2.5, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Quick Triage -- Joshokoji Temple (常照皇寺) -- Kyoto , Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Quick Triage

My confidence driving in the snow plummeted with this abandon-the-car-in-the-snow event some years back, at least if I don't have snow tires, which I didn't now. So, I was getting a bit worried about the hour's twisty-mountain-drive ride home. But we'd come all this way, so we may as well take a peek at what's at the top of the steps...

Heading Up -- Joshokoji Temple (常照皇寺) -- Kyoto , Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (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 — 1/640 sec, f/2.5, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading Up

... and through the gate at the top we saw this:

desktop background image of the outer garden of the Joshokoji Temple (常照皇寺) with a fresh coat of snow -- Outer Garden -- Joshokoji Temple (常照皇寺) -- Kyoto , Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (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/16, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Outer Garden
Desktop-Background Versions
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Compare to this August view of the same scene.


All 3 comments so far, oldest first...

Nice images. Interesting to see the snow covered landscape. I particularly liked JF4_065872.jpg, and was impressed by how bright the light was.

Hi Tom. It wasn’t (isn’t?) particularly bright… perhaps you’re thinking the snow is sun? —Jeffrey

— comment by Tom in SF on January 30th, 2015 at 1:03am JST (2 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

Great shot of Eric & Gigi. Definitely exhibit A in the defense of the snap shot as an art form. A well done snapshot is so powerful.

Kumiko-san also stands out really well in that snowy background. Anything that has color is vibrant against that naturally low color saturation background.

Genuinely hoping you will display some images from that monster Pentax medium format. I know it wasn’t yours but its really nice to see real photos from cameras instead of those nerdy navel gazing ‘test shots’ you see on the camera review sites.

You guys look like your having so much fun. Japan / Kyoto should pay you for making your local environment look so inviting.

— comment by Ron Evans on January 30th, 2015 at 1:27am JST (2 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

I love your photos. They’re always looking as everybody has fun being a part of it and that makes a happy impression. Such a strange world to see for me. I live in Germany and it looks totaly different here. But we may have fun as well.
Thanks for sharing you exceptional good work to us.
Best regards, Svenja

— comment by Svenja-and-the-City on January 31st, 2015 at 4:49am JST (2 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink
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