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Archive for the 'Nikkor 300mm f/2' Category

It’s All About the Big Lens: Garnering Attention at the Kyoto City Marathon

There's something about the physical size of the Nikkor 300mm f/2 lens (also seen here) that draws smiles and attention wherever it goes. I had it out a couple of years ago for the 2012 Kyoto City Marathon, and with the 2014 race coming up this weekend, I was reminded of a post from 2012 that I've been meaning to write.

Because I've seen many fun reactions to the big lens (such as seen here and here), it didn't surprise me when folks hammed it up a bit for it when I positioned myself at the last turn of the [...]


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Kyoto’s Aoi Matsuri Festival, Part 3

A final post to round out Part 1 and Part 2 about this year's Aoi Matsuri festival (葵祭), at the Kyoto Imperial Palace Park last week, which is a parade of period costumes from a millennium or so ago.

As the parade participants were marshaling before the start, others were going about their business...

This particular rope was such a pain. When i took this picture the parade had already ended and the rope would soon be dismantled, but during and before the parade, the rope separated the crowd from the parade participants, and if the rope had been equally [...]


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Kyoto’s Aoi Matsuri Festival, Part 2

This post is a few more shots following on from "Quick Peek from Kyoto’s Aoi Matsuri", about one of Kyoto's main "period costumes" festivals, the Aoi Matsuri festival (葵祭; at Wikipedia).

Of course, where you have horses on parade, you have...

Continued here...


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Quick Peek from Kyoto’s Aoi Matsuri

The Aoi Matsuri festival (葵祭; at Wikipedia), one of Kyoto's big three festivals, was held the other day, and I stopped by for the first time in many years to photograph the folks in period (circa 1000AD) costumes.

A cursory scan of the initial photos shows that I missed focus on most of the shots taken with the Nikkor 300mm f/2 with a 1.4X TC, so I'll have to look into whether the camera or my technique needs an adjustment. In the shot above, the gravel shows the plane of focus is well behind the kids. )-:

The biggest problem [...]


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More Folks Enjoying Spring Blossoms, Via 300mm @ f/2

This posts continues "Enjoying the Blossoms at the Kyoto Imperial Palace Park" from the other day, with more folks enjoying themselves, as seen through the uncommon perspective of 300mm at f/2.

(The mask, common in Japan during pollen season, is likely to help ease her allergies.)

Some of the unspecific shots of blossoms seem a bit mesmerizing to me...

At one point Paul Barr stopped by, and tried the 300m f/2 a bit himself...

On the way home I couldn't help but pause for a quick shot from time to time...

But mostly what I noticed on the way home [...]


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Enjoying the Blossoms at the Kyoto Imperial Palace Park

I popped over to the Imperial Palace Park ("Kyoto Gosho", 京都御所) yesterday for some blossom Joie de Vivre kind of shots of folks enjoying the many blossoms... mostly peach and cherry these days. It's the same place I took a bunch of blossom closeups seen two weeks ago in "The Buds and Blossoms are Just Peachy", but this time the lens was the very special the Nikkor 300mm f/2.

It was quite crowded, but nevertheless still quite pleasant.

The bokeh with this lens can be great (such as here), but the bright branches in the background of the shot above [...]


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More Thin Depth Of Field: Retrospective on My First Months with a 300mm f/2

This post is just a bunch of ultra-thin-depth-of-field shots taken with a Nikkor 300mm f/2 lens, at its maximum f/2 aperture. These all date back to 2011, after I first got the lens.

I have a category on my blog of articles with photos taken with this lens, but I'm prompted to post a collection like this after not being all that happy with the super-thin-depth-of-field shots that I shared the other day in "Kyoto's Souren-ji Temple at f/1.2". Many of the shots on today's post aren't all that great either, but some are nice, as were the 300mm/f2 shots [...]


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Thin on the Depth of Field, Thick on the Cuteness

In "Kyoto's Souren-ji Temple at f/1.2" the other day, I shared some ultra-thin-depth-of-field shots taken with a 50mm f/1.2 lens. A thin depth of field can be distracting, or it can make for a great effect -- one that I'm quite partial to -- but I didn't think the shots on that post were all that strong... just odd/different (and colorful).

So, for today's post, I was thinking to share some better examples, but I ran out of time to do the writeup I wanted, so instead I'll just share a couple of cute shots that happen to have a [...]


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A Few Non-Fall-Foliage Pretty Pictures For a Change

A few random pretty pictures from various outings last year. If you're interested in the context for the shot, or other pictures from the same area, see the "nearby photos" link under for photos and posts from the same location.


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Kyoto’s Jidai Matsuri 2012, #2

I posted a bit the other day (here and here) about catching the tail end of the Jidai Matsuri (時代祭, "Festival of the Ages"). Here are some more from early on in what I shot. (Having just returned from a long-weekend trip, I'm pretty much behind on everything.)

When I first got out there, the parade had stalled for some reason, so I got a long opportunity to photograph the mounted archer seen above and in the second link, and having not failed to immediately notice my not-so-subtle 300mm f/2, he pranced a bit for the camera, which I really [...]


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My Approach to Shooting With Two Camera Bodies

I did something yesterday that I'd never done: I went out shooting with two camera bodies.

I often go out shooting with one body and many lenses, changing lenses upwards of 70 times on a long and interesting outing, and this works well for what I like to do, but when I added the Nikon D4 to my Nikon D700 at the start of the summer, I specifically thought it might be nice to have two bodies when out among the festive crowds at Kyoto's Gion Matsuri festival, one body with the huge Nikkor 300mm f/2, and another with a [...]


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Catching the Fringe of Two Famous Kyoto Festivals

Busy day today... caught the fringe of two famous Kyoto festivals. In the afternoon was Jidai Matsuri (時代祭 -- "Festival of the Ages"), more or less a re-enactment parade representing the many periods Kyoto's long history. I caught the tail end of the procession as it made its way past my place.

(I'll post more another day, I'm sure, but in the meantime, for a different take on the genre, check out Stéphane Barbery's photos from three years ago, and from today.)

In the evening was the Kurama Fire Festival, which involves a lot of fire being heaved and hoed [...]


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Transit of Venus: Not Too Exciting

Not too exciting, but there's the view from Kyoto.

Using my naked eye with eclipse sun-glasses, I can just make out that there's something there, if I know where to look and look carefully. It's a bit easier as the planet moves further in from the edge, but I wonder how on earth people ever noticed these things in ancient times.

Continued here...


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A Few More Eclipse Photos from Kyoto

So, as I mentioned this morning, we had a nice view of the annular eclipse today. I'd never seen one (nor have I ever seen a total eclipse, except on TV). Here are a few more pictures.

That picture above illustrates in one way just how bright the sun is... I was using stacked filters to cut all but 1/3,200th of the light, leaving everything dark except the sun, which was still completely blown out. I wonder what the dynamic range is during one of these things, between the surface of the moon and the surface of the sun.

Notice [...]


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The Eclipse from Kyoto

We had a nice view of the annular ('ring-shaped') eclipse from Kyoto this morning. We are on the edge of the shadow's path, so the view for us was of the moon skirting the edge of the sun. We had only 100 seconds of ring. (Folks in Tokyo got five minutes.) I took a bunch of pictures, but don't know whether anything came out. Will look through them later. At the moment (an hour later), the sun still has a small bite out of it, getting smaller by the minute.

Continued here...


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Cherry-Blossom Season Winding Down in Kyoto

I went out for a bit today with the Big Lens. Nothing too exciting, but a few pleasant shots...

This post's last shot reminds me strongly of the last shot on "Cherry-Blossom Joie de Vivre in Kyoto" from four years ago.


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Funky Kyoto Marathoners: More Lightroom Processing Fun (and a mini challenge)

So I was going through the photos from last weekend's Kyoto Marathon (京都マラソン2012) and came across an out-of-focus shot that I'd normally just delete, but it had some kind of odd sense of space about it that I found somehow appealing, and wondered whether I couldn't use some funky processing to turn the lack of focus into an asset.

I don't know whether I succeeded, but the result is what you see above, something that vaguely reminded me of my memory of some Leroy Neiman Olympic paintings.

I don't use develop presets very often, but I saved the extreme develop [...]


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Some Random Japan Desktop Backgrounds From the Past Year

Some random desktop backgrounds in my photo library from the past year. I used these as practice with the new render engine in Lightroom 4, which I like but am not completely used to yet.

Often, a photo here is from some trip or event that I already blogged about; the "nearby photos" link under each image brings you to related posts.


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Kyoto Marathon: First Runners

So picking up from my previous post about the Kyoto Marathon (京都マラソン2012), once the runners started arriving, I practiced taking photos. The depth of field with this lens is so incredibly thin that it's only luck that I got anything, but like hitting the lottery to get something so close like the next shot:

It was odd for me to see the "OMRON" on each runner's number bib. They're a large international electronics company headquartered in Kyoto; I worked for them for eight years when I was fresh out of grad school back in the late 80s.

The challenge of [...]


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Kyoto Marathon: In Search of a Photogenic Spot

As I mentioned in my previous post, yesterday was the Kyoto Marathon (京都マラソン2012). I thought it'd be a fun experience to photograph, to see what I could come up with. The first challenge was to pick a location along the 42-kilometer course that was both photogenic and accessable. (Huge swaths of the city were shut down to traffic, so I wanted something I could easily reach by bicycle.)

The course runs for several miles south along the rivers in the east of the city, so guessing that would be fruitful, I set off there, only to find mile after mile [...]


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