Kyoto Dynamic Weather, Rainbow, and Panorama
NOTE: Images with an icon next to them have been artificially shrunk to better fit your screen; click the icon to restore them, in place, to their regular size.

Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/250 sec, f/8, ISO 4500 — map & image datanearby photos
Sun and Rain
and some pretty strong hazy lens flare

I posted the other day about the wonderful and moody Kosanji Temple (高山寺) — commonly referred to, in error, as the “Kozanji” Temple — in the north-west mountains of Kyoto. Part of the mood was the really dynamic weather... brilliantly sunny above the high canopy of the towering pines, punctuated by dark clouds and fits of spritzy rain. It had been the same all day, including while at our earlier visit to the Jingoji Temple (神護寺) a short distance away.

Leaving the cover of Kosanji and returning to the relative openness of the area's parking lot, we got a new appreciation for the dynamic mood.

Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/250 sec, f/2.5, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Bare, Complex, and Bright

Photographically, the photo above is junk, but I include it for the memory of the striking nature of the tree, with bare branches so complex that they appear to be full of bark-colored leaves at first glance. (Click through to the larger version and you'll be able to see quite a bit of detail in the branches.)

The tree was being lit up by the sun while the background trees were not. I reminds me of the Stark Tree that I posted in February, which I still use as my laptop's desktop-background.

Other trees nearby were still in their autumnal glory...

Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/250 sec, f/2.5, ISO 280 — map & image datanearby photos

Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/250 sec, f/2.5, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos

Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/250 sec, f/2.5, ISO 360 — map & image datanearby photos

It was perfect conditions for a rainbow, and we watched for one on the way home. An adult in the car (who will remain nameless to protect the guilty) suggested that in Japan rainbows happen only at 2pm. The physics of rainbows requires that the sun be within a particular ranges of angle, and this doesn't necessarily include 2pm. The discussion raged for a bit before we all got the joke: the Japanese word for rainbow, niji, is a homophone with the word for “two o'clock”. Sigh. We hadn't thought of it as a joke at first because we aren't in elementary school. 🙂

Anyway, we eventually did see a rainbow from the car...

Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/640 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

... and later I stopped on my own to take the shot seen in “Rainbow and Helicopter over North-East Kyoto”, similar to this one:

Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/640 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Heli and Rainbow

Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/250 sec, f/9, ISO 900 — map & image datanearby photos

It had weakened considerably by the time I got home...

Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 280 — map & image datanearby photos
Main Gate to the Heian Shrine

I wondered weather the dynamic afternoon light might translate to a spectacular sunset, so I hiked up to the Shogunzuka overlook, but was relatively disappointed in a nice but uninspiring sunset...

Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Nice. Not “Bad”, but Not Great.

As I often do, I took the shots to make a panorama, such as the one I posted two months ago....

Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/60 sec, f/3.2, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Brisk Kyoto Dusk

Here's a slightly larger version of the panorama that can be scrolled...

— scroll side-to-side —

In this case, though, I decided to go ahead and make Kyoto look a bit more vibrant by brightening up the city. It turns the detail into mush, which is why I'm not posting a large version, but it gives the wide view a nice (if unrealistic at the time) vibe.

And like in the previous panorama, and in other posts, at the far left you can see the skyscrapers of Osaka some 30 miles away.

All 2 comments so far, oldest first...

Even though you’ve indicated that you’re not a fan of the second shot you posted, I really like the first two. I like the second shot for its contrasts: a very light tree against a darker set. The last few shots were also breathtaking.

Unrelated to this post, but I also wanted to thank you for assembling these posts and putting them online. I make a similar, private journal and it takes a fair amount of time and effort to put it all together. Aside from enjoying your perspectives of Japan, I also find your photos to be very inspirational. I think that since I started following your works about 10 months ago (according to when I made my first post in response to one of your entries), there have been two times when you gave me a “jump start” for my own photography. On top of all that, I still marvel at how, even before I found your photo blog, I used your Japanese to English online dictionary heavily for three years of Japanese study. You’ve done quite a bit for me!

As always, I look forward to your future entries. Happy holidays to you and your family!

— comment by David K. on December 31st, 2011 at 3:27pm JST (12 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Writing from Kagoshima, Japan.

I really like “Sun and Rain.” It’s the kind of shot that reminds one that the ultimate subject of photography is light.

Best wishes for the new year for you and your family.

— comment by Philip Adamek on January 2nd, 2012 at 9:10pm JST (12 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink
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