Archive for the 'Pretty Photos' Category

Posts including photos that I think are particularly pretty, usually about nature.

Bicycle Ride Around Japan’s Largest Lake, Part 2

一ヶ月前の琵琶湖一周の物語を続きます。第一幕はこちら。

I'm finally getting around to continue the story from "Bicycle Ride Around Japan’s Largest Lake, Part 1", a 230km (143 mile) ride I did with a few friends a month ago. I've done a bunch of long rides since (115km, 143km, 147km, 145km, 50km, and 140km), but this remains my longest ride so far.

Here I'll repeat the map that leads the first post:

In the upper-rightish is the city of Nagahama, and that's about where the first post ended, so that's where this one picks up. We're moving around the lake in a counter-clockwise direction, so we're still [...]


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That Kyoto Temple With the Many Whimsical Statues

After so many cycling-related posts lately, it's time I get back to my basics with some pretty photos.

最近僕のブログはサイクリング関係ばかりみたいので、やっぱりたまに美しい京都の写真にも戻らなければいけない。

I've been meaning to write about the Otagi Nenbutsuji Temple (愛宕念仏寺) temple for years, and indeed all the photos on this post are from 2012 (from visits to the temple in April and December of that year). A few of the photos appeared a year ago in "A Few Desktop Backgrounds from the Delightfully Whimsical Otaginenbutsuji Temple", and one appears as the subject of my Photo-Development Challenge #2.

It's at the far north end of the Arashiyama area that is already [...]


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Bicycle Ride Around Japan’s Largest Lake, Part 1

I had a nice bicycle outing on Wednesday with friends, riding around Lake Biwa (the largest lake in Japan). I ended up covering about 230km (143 miles).

Despite being almost twice as long as my previously-longest ride, it was much easier for two reasons: it was mostly flat (just 1,600m / 5,250' of vertical climb over the 230km, compared to, for example, 2,500m / 8,300' over 99km), and I was much better at keeping myself filled with calories. I'm starting to discover that it's easier to ride the bicycle when you have energy.

To explain the last line of the [...]


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Miyama Cycling Tour with Joshua and Manseki, Part 2

Continuing from "Miyama Cycling Tour with Joshua and Manseki, Part 1", this post picks up after we (Joshua Levine, Manseki Kanemitsu, and I) had left the main road to take an old road over a mountain instead of a new, flat, boring tunnel through it.

When we turned a corner and were presented with this vista, I jokingly asked Josh to return so I could have some "human interest" in my photo, and even though I was obviously joking, being the mensch he is, he hesitated only long enough to flash a big grin, and bolted down. Just as quickly, [...]


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Discovering Kyoto’s Wonderful Toji-in Temple on a Tour with NORU

I had a fun outing this morning on a temple tour led by Joshua Levine, who wanted to lead a test tour in preparation for offering tours by bicycle as part of his "cycle cafe" NORU, scheduled to open near the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine at the end of the month.

Unlike the cafe whose target demographic is cyclists, the tours merely use bicycle as a means to move around freely, so they're cute highly-adjustable easy-to-ride little bikes. Riders ranged from 153cm to 192cm (5'0 ~ 6'2) and we all had a great fit. The bikes were surprisingly easy to ride.

[...]
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Architectural Details at the Kyoto Imperial Palace

最近の記事はサイクリングと撮影ソフトばかりので、やっと僕の基本に一雄戻ります。

I've been posting mostly cycling and Lightroom stuff lately, so time to return a bit to my roots with something Kyoto...

Last November I took a tour of the Kyoto Imperial Palace, and at the time posted "A Few Photos From The Start of a Visit to the Kyoto Imperial Palace", but got sidetracked, as I often do, before posting more. So today I'm picking up from there with a few architectural shots....

Let's start with a simple wigglegram of the courtyard that ended the previous post...

Looking through, the columns and doors on the wall on the right [...]


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Matt Campagna Wigglegrams Kyoto

I got to meet Matt Campagna of The Turning Gate Software yesterday for coffee, conversation, and a hike over the mountain paths of the Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社). He makes highly-regarded Web Gallery plugins for Lightroom, so we had plenty to talk about with the release of Lightroom 6 that had happened earlier that day.

I think this is my second wigglegrams I've published from this location, the first having been this one in December. Neither are quite as nice the previous wigglegram I published last weekend. 😉

I've tweaked the code for the wigglegram on this one so [...]


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A “Flowers Among the Flowers” Wigglegram at Kyoto’s Haradanien Garden

Here's a wigglegram from the same outing that produced "Photoshoot at the Peak of the Haradanien Garden’s Awesomeness".

I think it's nicer than my first Haradanien wigglegram, for a variety of reasons.

However, when I showed this to a friend, he said that he felt that the foliage in the foreground was a bit distracting. My reaction was "there's foliage?"

Joanne (at left) had to leave Kyoto that day, but Ting Ting (at right) joined my friends for a photoshoot the next day (which I couldn't participate in because I was making tofu). But I could join in the [...]


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Photoshoot with Ting Ting at the Murin’an Gardens

I spent a few hours today in the Murin'an Garden (無鄰菴) in eastern Kyoto, doing a photoshoot with Ting Ting, which you might remember from "Photoshoot at the Peak of the Haradanien Garden’s Awesomeness" two days ago.

Like two days ago, I was with Eric, Gigi, and Damien, but this time Gigi was behind her own camera as well...

I really enjoyed the situation with three photographers and one subject. While someone else is directing Ting Ting to look this way or move that way, I can capture pseudo-candid shots that I'd probably not get otherwise.

For example, early on [...]


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Photoshoot at the Peak of the Haradanien Garden’s Awesomeness

I visited the super-duper unbelievably amazing Haradanien Garden (原谷苑) today, in the mountains above the Golden Pavilion temple in northwestern Kyoto. It was my first visit since the photoshoot with John and Ai two years ago.

This time I went with Eric, Gigi, and Damien just to practice portraiture. Gigi wore a kimono she bought yesterday.

I can not begin to tell you how wonderful Haradanien is. When the blossoms are at their peak, such as now, it's 100× better than any other garden I know of, anywhere.

金閣寺の近く、原谷苑、は今メチャメチャメチャ美しいです。 行きにくい所ですが、今週はおすすめです。今日は全然満開でした!

I wanted a different kind of shot of Gigi than [...]


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Ohio Amish Farm

After crossing the Rockies and leaving Denver, we drove 1,500 miles to make our way to Ohio to visit my folks. It was chilly at 17°F. Today we took a leisurely drive around some Amish country in northeast Ohio, and even though the countryside is still stuck in the blah of winter, it's remarkably beautiful country.

Dinner at Der Dutchman was a fantastic followup.

Tomorrow we return the RV and head to the airport.

デンヴァー市から東へ、2,500kmの運転の後、僕が育った所(オハイオ州)に到着しました。 今日は実家から一時間位離れているアーミッシュの田舎を見に行きました。平穏な所です。

明日は空港へ。

Continued here...


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Vacation Update: Bryce Canyon Hike

After visiting Bryce Canyon National Park yesterday mostly by car, today we went back for a short hike.

Here's a bonus wigglegram:

This evening we're in Grand Junction, Colorado, four hours out from Denver. We'll probably stay in Denver tomorrow.

Continued here...


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Vacation Update: Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend

After yesterday's wonderful visit to the Grand Canyon, today outdid it.

This evening we're at Ruby's Inn near Bryce Canyon National Park. They have an RV campground that's not open yet, but they also have some RV spots with electrical hookup right behind the hotel, and that's where we're staying. This place is fantastic (best RV spot we've had so far), and we quickly decided to stay here tomorrow night as well so we can enjoy Bryce Canyon at leisure tomorrow.

Continued here...


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Attempting a 100km Bikeride in the Mountains of Kyoto, Part 2: The Last 70km

In part 1 about last weekend's cycling into the mountains north of Kyoto, I ended the story 23km into the journey at the top of the Hanase Pass (花背峠). At 769m it would be the highest point of the trip (a trip that started and ended at an elevation of about 60m).

With a nice downhill to look forward to, I didn't linger long at the pass. After a minute-and-a-half's rest and a selfie, I carried on.

I couldn't let myself build up much speed because the road was quite snowy/icy, so I dragged on the rear brake most of [...]


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Unexpectedly Snowy Photoshoot at the Joshokoji Temple

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 [...]


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The 2015 Young-Adult Archery Event at the Sanjusangendo Temple

Today was the annual toshiya archery event for new adults at the Sanjusangendo Temple (三十三間堂) here in Kyoto. I blogged about it extensively three years ago starting with "Traditional Archery Like a Boss".

I then followed up with what turned into one of my most popular series of posts, starting with "Total Discipline: Anatomy of a Japanese Archer’s Shot", followed by a note about the crowds and the hubub outside and the instructors taking their turn ("More Badass Japanese Archery") and then a look at the colorful wardrobes of the ladies and then perhaps my favorite post on the subject: [...]


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Inside the “New” Temple Building at Shogunzuka Overlooking Kyoto

This post continues from "New Views of Kyoto from Shogunzuka’s New Observation Deck", about some big construction at Shougunzuka (将軍家) on a mountain overlooking eastern Kyoto that finally completed last fall. This post looks at the "new" temple building.

In that previous post I showed this photo of the new temple building from the outside:

This looks a bit odd for a temple building, and from the back you can see that it has what appears to be distinctly-new and distinctly-old sections:

Above the entrance is a richly engraved/painted sign showing the name of the place. It's rare for me [...]


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Kyoto At Night During a Heavy Snow, Part 3

A continuation from part one and part two of my nighttime stroll during a rare snowstorom in Kyoto on the early morning of January 3rd.

The photo above is much less impressive than the actual view was, with the trees receding at various stages up the mountain in the background in crisp relief to the temporarily-clear sky, it had a particularly three-dimensional feel, with added weight and depth due to the heavily-laden trees.

I wish I would have made it a Wigglegram. When this thought first popped in my mind as I wrote the caption above, it was as a [...]


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Kyoto At Night During a Heavy Snow, Part 2

She could have been commenting on my inability to set up the tripod, aim the camera, and actually focus the shot properly in time, but I think she was talking about the weather.

これは真夜中の大雪中の撮影散歩の続きの記事です。 今朝の零時から5時間の散歩をしました、平安神宮と南禅寺の周辺で。 京都新聞により, 61年ぶりに20センチを超えました。

At 7am this morning I posted "Kyoto At Night During a Heavy Snow" after having spent the night wandering around my area of Kyoto with a camera and tripod. I suspected that the evening's snowfall had beat the record-breaking snow of the previous day, and indeed now after four hours of sleep I see in the paper that it was the 4th most [...]


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Kyoto At Night During a Heavy Snow

三日の零時から5時間、大雪のなかで京都市東山周辺でカメラと三脚と一緒に散歩しました。

At 100,000,000 US dollars for the single-family residence, I suppose it's not a Motel 6, but apparently he'll leave the light on for you nevertheless.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is reported to have bought this villa near my house several years ago, for a reported 100 million US dollars, though it's not known whether he's ever actually visited it in person. It's been reported, though, that he's pouring an additional 100 million dollars into renovations.

(Larry's house has appeared on my blog once before, here.)

Anyway, I wasn't outside his front door at 3:40 am just to loiter. [...]


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