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Photography has changed the way I see the world around me.

Through it I discover new things and rediscover old ones. Like my island, New Caledonia.

This blog is just me sharing my world through my photography.

Hope you enjoy.

Posts tagged day
A PATH IN PERFECTION

Kanazawa, Japan

Originally the outer garden of the Kanazawa Castle, Kenroku-en is one of three great gardens in Japan. For it to be so, it must have certain attributes and be beautiful throughout all four seasons. It was the end of Spring when we visited and it was magnificent. With luscious green foliage, ponds, waterways, waterfalls, paths, bridges, teahouses and the list goes and despite all that, the garden is harmonious and peaceful. You can easily find solitude and tranquility as you walk through it, even though the garden is spacious and there are many visitors. You may have seen another photo from a previous post of the largest pond of the garden. It’s one of my favourite photos of our Japan trip.

As you can see in this photo, Géraldine is alone. I asked her to walk up the path and had plenty of time to frame and take the shot. I didn’t have to wait for anyone to get out of my frame nor was anyone waiting behind me for me to finish. Yet there were a lot of people visiting. Having Géraldine there also helps give dimension to the scene without altering the mood. I really like this image.

41 mm, 1/400th second @ ƒ/2.8, ISO 100

KAHOKU-MON GATE

Kanazawa, Japan

We only spent one day in Kanazawa and no, it’s not enough to see or do everything they have to offer here. We arrived around 11 am and headed straight for the hotel. Once unpacked, we went back to the Omicho Market, which we walked through to get to the hotel, for some lunch and a bit of a wander.

Kanazawa Castle was only a couple of blocks from the hotel so we headed there next. Wide, open grounds outside as we approached and the same goes for inside the compound. Unbeknown to us, we entered through the main gate called Kahoku-mon. The photo is taken looking back out from where we came in. I saw the huge, wood and metallic doors and frame and used them to, well, frame the Hishi Yagura. Which is a part of the Castle. From the gate to the grounds to the castle, the workmanship, the details, the beauty is amazing. And quite peaceful as you stroll through the grounds. This Castle is a must when visiting Kanazawa.

Once again I used my preferred split-tone preset, at the moment, for this image. Not a lot of colours in the middle of the day and black and white just wasn’t good enough for this photo. And I think it suits this kind of image well.

28 mm, 1/320th second @ ƒ/11, ISO 100

KINKAKU-JI

Kyoto, Japan

Better known as the Golden Temple or Golden Pavilion, Kinkaku-ji literally means Temple Of The Golden Pavilion. It’s located on Rokuon-ji complex, Deer Garden Temple complex. That aside, I have to say, this temple is magnificent. Photos do not do it justice. Unfortunately, you can’t visit the temple but just walking round and being so close to it is impressive enough and worth the visit.

Though there were a lot of people here, I was able to capture two or three images void of them. You just need a little patience.

The surrounding pond is stunning with it’s tiny garden islands. I’d love to see this place in winter or autumn. Beautiful surroundings as you snake your way through the grounds towards the exit. Here you’ll find the teahouse and many stalls of food and souvenirs. A few interesting things to see and taste here.

It’s well worth the trip and visit, and it doesn’t take long to tour the complex. Just to see Kinkaku-ji in person is worth the visit.

46 mm, 1/250th second @ ƒ/11, ISO 200

ARASHIYAMA BAMBOO GORVE

Kyoto, Japan

The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is just on the other side of the Katsura River from the Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama. But don’t do as we did and visit the monkeys first. If you’d like a little peace and quiet and take beautiful photos void of people, visit the bamboo grove/forest first and early. Very early in my opinion. We made two mistakes. The first was to visit at midday. Way too many people and impossible to appreciate this potentially beautiful and peaceful area. The second, was bad planning on our part by entering the forest from the main street of the town. The forest didn’t feel as impressive as I had imagined and the stroll felt quite short. But that’s because, we realised later, we’d visited only half… a third of the bamboo forest. Very disappointing. You’re better off walking along the river and entering from the west. It’s a longer walk but there’s less people, it’s more beautiful and there’s more to visit. Don’t misunderstand me, you can get to see all that from entering via the town, just don’t take a wrong turn or your visit will be very short.

I was hoping to capture a couple of beautiful photos but came away with nothing special. And you’ll need a wide angle, maybe even an ultra-wide angle, lens to really capture the narrow path or canopy of the bamboo forest. I was hoping to include a lot more in this shot but 28 mm wasn’t wide enough.

Though we didn’t appreciate the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest as we had hoped, I, for one, am leaving it on my to-do list. With just a small reminder to get there very early and enter from the west. And always do your homework before visiting a place.

28 mm, 1/80th second @ ƒ/16, ISO 200

KOBE NUNOBIKI ROPEWAY

Kobe, Japan

We only had half a day in Kobe before moving on. We decided to visit the Nunobiki Herb Gardens in Fukiaicho, just outside Kobe City. So we checked out of our hotel and headed to Shin-Kobe Satation where we left our luggages in a storage place while we visited the gardens. It’s a 10 minute walk from the train station to the ropeway station. You can walk up to the gardens but I recommend you take the ropeway up and walk down. You can take the ropeway back down but the walk is easy, worth doing and most often in shade. The ropeway is a must as well with it’s stunning view of Kobe’s cityscape and the gardens below. There is a midpoint station you can get off at but we kept going to the Herb Gardens right at the top.

You’ll find stalls, boutiques and a restaurant once there. Flower and herb gardens amongst city views and beautiful architecture too. I didn’t take many photos up here, none worth sharing anyway, but I did film the area so keep a lookout for the video. The walk back down is quite pleasant too. All down hill so easy peasy. A few more gardens and waterfalls await your descent.

A beautiful place to visit, have a meal and even stay for a sunset photo. It’s open till 8:30 so plenty of time to get that perfect shot. Nunobiki Herb Gardens, I can highly recommend it.

28 mm, 1/100th second @ ƒ/11, ISO 100

STARBUCKS COFFEE KOBE MERIKEN PARK

Kobe, Japan

We don’t eat a huge amount in the morning so paying for a buffet breakfast at the hotel wasn’t worth our while. The problem though, most places open around 8 am. No matter, we went for a stroll around Meriken Park and Kobe Harborland and checked out a huge shop that opened at 7:30 before coming back here, to Starbucks, for a simple breakfast.

This shot was taken a couple of hour beforehand though. Just before I headed back to the room. I liked the reflection of the sun in the front glass panels and having the Port Of Kobe Tower in the frame, gives the viewer a location. A destination.

28 mm, 1/25th second @ ƒ/11, ISO 100

HAKURO-JO

Himeji, Japan

Himeji Castle, also known as Hakuro-jo or Shirasagi-jo meaning White Egret Castle, is a prototypical architectural example of Japanese castles. It is magnificent ! Even from afar you can tell it is something spectacular.

Himeji was only a quick stop for us before heading to Kobe for the night. We didn’t want to visit the castle, just have a quick wander around the grounds and take a couple of photos. You need a half a day to visit the castle and it’s grounds. You can actually see Hakuro-jo as you approach Himeji Station and it’s only a ten minute walk from there. We couldn’t resist the stop-over.

Again here, I used one of my split-tone presets to give the ancient era feel to the image. Check out my last post for a quick rundown on my editing process for these types of images.

75 mm, 1/4000th second @ ƒ/2.8, ISO 100

TAHOTO PAGODA

Miyajima / Itsukushima Island, Japan

Though there was a thin layer of cloud in the sky, beautiful golden light blanketed the forest. Golden hour was here and had transformed the landscape. It was upon these trees that I first noticed it and seeing the second story of the Tahoto Pagoda protruding above the canopy was too beautiful not to photograph.

I wish I had a longer focal lens though. I would've preferred to have isolated the pagoda within the forest. Minimise distractions and simplify the composition. I like this image nonetheless.

Tahoto pagodas are very interesting and unique in their own right so check out the link above to learn more.

I’ve mentioned this on a previous post but let me stress again that the links I provide on my blog posts are purely provided for extra information and I am in no way remunerated. They are not affiliate, sponsored or commercial links and I am not payed in any way, shape or form to providing these links. If this changes in the future, I will let you know.

75 mm, 1/13th second @ ƒ/11, ISO 100

HIROSHIMA AND MIYAJIMA

Japan

day two

Ohayo my friends and welcome to day two of our trip in Japan. Today we leave Kyoto and head to Hiroshima. From there a local train then a ferry to Itsukushima Island, also known as Miyajima.

We had a late night and thus didn’t want to get up for the early train to Hiroshima. We decided to wait after peak hour to avoid the locals going to work and school. We had breakfast at Delifrance (of all places) but ate things that weren’t very French. Delicious though and their coffee brewing method is interesting to watch.

By the time we arrived at Hiroshima Station it was lunchtime. We left our bags at a luggage holder and went looking for something to eat. One of the dishes my friend, Géraldine, had on her to-eat list while in Japan was the famous Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki. To our great surprise we saw advertisement for the dish everywhere as we were walking through the station. A couple of floors up and we found a corridor of restaurants with two or three of them specialising in okonomiyaki. We picked the one with the most crowd, Goemon Okonomiyaki, and sat right at the counter in front of the hotplates. A very memorable experience. From watching them prepare the dish in front of us, to tasting the meal, to seeing every single staff member saying goodbye to every single client leaving the restaurant. That was amazing. It was quick, delicious and surprisingly fun.

With our stomachs full, we started our long walk to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial or more popularly known as the Atomic Bomb Dome. Though long, it was nice to see a little of the city along the way. The landmark is quite impressive in itself but to see how everything has been rebuilt around it, is just a amazing. It makes you wonder if there ever was a atomic blast. Walking around the park felt like I was on religious grounds. I’m not a religious person but I felt an inner calmness and peace. A respect for what had happened here and the courage and strength the people of Hiroshima, of Japan, had to get through it. And build a park that evokes peace. A well named park.

On the way back to Hiroshima Station, we walked by Carp Castle, better known as Hiroshima Castle. Actually, it’s the castle’s second compound that you see here. The original castle was, obviously, destroyed in the atomic blast and a replica built in it’s place. Now though it serves as a museum of Hiroshima’s history before World War II. We didn’t get to visit as time was short to get to Miyajima before sunset.

Back in Hiroshima Station, we jumped on a local train to Miyajimaguchi to catch a ferry to Itsukushima Island, better known as Miyajima. This is a gorgeous place. Little town atmosphere on the shores of Hiroshima Bay. The old and the not-so old architecture. The Itsukushima Shrine is amazing and it’s Torii is just a wonder. We got here in time to drop our bags at the hotel before heading straight back down to the torii. We stayed about two and half hours taking photos of it and the shrine, and watching the sun set. What a beautiful sunset it was too. Then we made our way to the town to have a look around and find one of the very few restaurants still open. Both Géraldine and I loved the main street of Itsukushima Town for it’s old look and atmosphere. It gave us the impression of being in a different era. We chose to eat at Mametanuki restaurant. A wonderful little place where the owner is, I think, English but the cuisine definitely Japanese. Very friendly place with good service and delicious food.

Once full and warm we made our way back to our hotel, Kikunoya. A beautiful hotel with a restaurant and onsens. When we told the receptionist we weren’t going to have dinner there, they happily showed us the locations of restaurants that were going to be open and advised not to eat to late as their kitchens close quite early. Very friendly and helpful. Oh and they have a foot spa at the front entrance.

Well that’s it my friends. The end of another wonderful day in Japan. Hope to see all of you for day 3. Oyasuminasai.

CARP CASTLE

Hiroshima, Japan

We took a different route from the Peace Memorial Park to get back to Hiroshima Station. Walking by Hiroshima Castle, sometimes called Carp Castle. We didn’t visit the castle itself but could see the tiers of it’s roof from this point and from almost a kilometres back too. We didn’t have the time to spare as we wanted to be in Miyajima before sunset.

This is actually the entrance to the second compound of the castle. You may not know, I surely didn’t, but the castle is a replica of the original which was destroyed by the atomic bomb blast. It now serves as a museum of Hiroshima’s history before World War II. I would’ve loved to have visited it. Though a replica, I still find this architecture amazing.

40 mm, 1/125th second @ ƒ/11, ISO 100

HIROSHIMA PEACE MEMORIAL

Hiroshima, Japan

Continuing from my last post, once we had finished lunch, we made our way to the Peace Memorial Park to see for ourselves the remains of the atomic blast of 6th August 1945. The Atomic Bomb Dome or officially the Hiroshima Peace Memorial.

We checked both Google and Apple maps for directions and they both us it would be a 25-30 minute walk. It took us 45 minutes. And we weren’t dragging our feet either. Go figure. We did get to see the city and especially liked the side streets with their small restaurants and boutiques, and beautiful old buildings.

When you think about the impact of an atomic bomb and the sheer destruction it can cause, you start to wonder how it is possible for this building to still be here, standing. I can understand why some would want it torn down but am glad to see it stand. A memorial of the bombing and a symbol of peace. To me, it’s also a reminder of how far mankind is willing to go to destroy each other. Very sad.

This photo was taken from the Motoyasu Bridge looking through it’s guard rail. At the time of taking the shot, there was no way of avoiding it, I wasn’t content having the modern building as a backdrop. Once home though I quite like it. Actually, now I’m a little pissed at myself for not having centred the dome with the Hiroshima Chamber Of Commerce building. Too late now. I went with a split-tone edit after I had edited another photo of the Dome beforehand. I liked it so much I applied it here.

40 mm, 1/640th second @ ƒ/5.6, ISO 100

PAIHIA - BAY OF ISLANDS - NEW ZEALAND

THE FALLS AND THE HOLE

Here are the photos from the last video. I think I added a couple more in there too. 

So to recap the third day of our New Zealand trip of the North Island, we woke up in Kaikohe, a town west of Kerikeri and made our way to Haruru Falls in Waitangi. From there we headed to Paihia where we had booked a ferry to visit the famous Hole In The Rock on Motukokako Island. On the way there and back, we stopped over at Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka Island. The Hole In The Rock is just after Cape Brett, where you will notice a hut and lighthouse on the hill. Back in Paihia I took a photo of the beautiful stone building, the St. Paul’s Anglican church.

We hit the road back towards Auckland that afternoon and stopped for the night at the Sheep World Caravan & Camping Park. A wonderful place and so is the owner.

Again, I’d like to thank Alain, my friend, for letting me use a couple of his photos.

THE LAST DOCK

So now that we’ve reached the end of Newquay Promenade (Melbourne, Australia), we arrive at the last dock. A quiet, little getaway spot. Day or night. With wonderful views of Bolte Bridge, Yarra River, Docklands piers and Melbourne’s skyline.

I had taken a couple of photos here very early one morning but, unfortunately, they came out slightly blurred. It was very windy and the movement of the dock on the water didn’t help either. So I though I’d come back and a get a day shot of the bridge. Just  snapshot for a souvenir.

1/1000 sec @ ƒ/4.5, 36 mm, ISO 100

SPIKY & THE TWINS

A little farther down Newquay Promenade (Melbourne, Australia), I saw these wonderful buildings. The unusual architecture of the spiky, teardrop shaped tower and the leaning twins behind made for a great photo. I didn’t search for a composition here. I saw, I took the shot.

Another day shot so I went for a black & white edit. I darkened the blues to give more contrast to the photo. The sun and the buildings did the rest.

Not much to talk about here. I don’t know the names of the buildings but you’ll see more of them in the next couple of posts.

1/800 sec @ ƒ/5.6, 55 mm, ISO 100

BANKING REFLECTION

A very different shot of the National Australia Bank (nab) building. I was wandering around Newquay (Melbourne, Australia) on a beautiful winter’s day. There was very little to no breeze at all. I saw the colourful reflection of the nab building on the Yarra River and thought it would make a nice photo. As always, my first instinct was to capture everything. The building, the reflection, the blue sky, everything. But again, as I was framing my shot through the viewfinder, I realised it wasn’t what really attracted me to the scene. The reflection is what I want to show. I included the bottom of the building at the top of the image because that part is very dark and blurred in the reflection. And I liked the semi abstract look it gave the image.

1/80 sec @ ƒ/5, 44 mm, ISO 100

NAÏA POND

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to Naïa (Païta, New Caledonia) to celebrate a friend's birthday. Naïa is a private waterfront residential suburb. It's about a half hour drive north of Noumea. A couple of friends bought land there but haven't started building yet. You can't really see it on this photo but there's a large pavilion on the right of the pond amongst the trees. That's where we settled for a little BBQ picnic. Just beyond the pond, you’ll find the beach with Angel Island in the distance. There are some gorgeous views as you arrive toward Naïa. I’ll have to plan a couple of sunrise/sunset shots.

For those interested, this panorama was made with 8 vertically shot photos. All taken at 18 mm, f/11, 1/320 sec, ISO 400. Stitched and processed in Lightroom.

MODERN HUT

I took this shot for a photo contest in 2017 but didn't end up using it. A modern building based upon the Melanesian huts found all around New Caledonia. I'm not 100% sure but I think it's a one of a kind. It's situated on the grounds of the Sénat Coutumier in Nouville (New Caledonia). The grounds are on the waterfront and the hut is placed near the water on the opposite side of the main entrance. I wasn't sure if I was allowed to walk in and start napping shots so I didn't wonder in. I noticed it was low tide though and soon realised I could walk along the, usually underwater, rocks to get up close to the hut. I took a few photos through the fence and done.

HIKE ON THE CHEMIN DES BAGNARDS
Hike On The Convicts' Path

Another little recon on this beautiful little path situated in the municipality of Yate (South Province, New Caledonia). The path starts at the Kanua Terra Lodge in Port Boisé Bay. About an hour an a half's drive from Noumea. The road down is descent enough for a small car to make the journey. You will hit a couple of bumpy dirt roads but not to the point of needing a 4X4. Beautiful view are to be seen and also the huge Goro nickel mine (which brings up mix feelings).

Once at the lodge, it's an easy going 5 km walk inland following the Trou Bleu River. The path is mostly shaded, which is great, as the sun can be quite harsh but humidity very high, nonetheless. The whole area is preserved with fishing, camping and fire prohibited. At the end of the path, if you wish, you can go farther (much farther) but you'll have to cross the river. Not a difficult task but a very slippery one. If you're not careful you'll get wet or, worst, hurt yourself. Otherwise you take the same path back to the lodge.

I'll definitely come back for sunrise and sunset shots but this is an area with no light pollution so it's perfect for astrophotography. 

Oh and I thought I'd add my friend's dog Lycan. Trained for security but loves to play.

HIKE ON THE SENTIER DE L'ANCIEN BARRAGE DE DUMBÉA... ALMOST

HIKE ON THE TRAIL OF DUMBEA'S OLD DAM... ALMOST

I wanted to do a recon of this trail for some photos later on. Like myself, a friend and her two kids had never been here either and so came along. We parked the car at the start of the dirt road. we didn't realise we were allowed to drive further up the trail but it was a good think as it gave me the chance to see what scenery offered. The trail follows Dumbea River upstreams to where you eventually reach the old dam.Unfortunately, we didn't quite get there. With the two young kids it took a lot longer than expected to get to the trail heading to the dam. We did stop for lunch and a bit of a swim for the kids as it was a hot day and there's no shade. Nonetheless, it was a great little hike and I got some nice pictures. I'll be heading back out there for another recon to the dam. 

Dumb, South Province, New Caledonia.

UN VOLS TROISGROS

My best friend's step-father got his pilote license at the end of last year and proposed a flight from Noumea to Boulouparis, Thio, Yate and back to Noumea. I could say no to that. This was back in March and only now had to chance to edit the photos. I'm not very happy with the quality of the photos but the flight was fantastic. My fault for the photos not turning out right. My settings were off. I hope you enjoy these photos. I've got a few more to share later on.