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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 entrance
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

YASAKA-JINJA

Kyoto, Japan

Our long day in Kyoto and beautiful night in Gion ended with this photo of Yasaka Shrine. Though it was late, around 10 pm, there were still a number of people going in to visit or worship. A stunning shrine located on a main road and surrounded by greenery. Behind this entrance is a huge park with many shrines, gardens and ponds. Magnificent.

I took two photographs of this shrine. This one and another with light trails in the foreground. The light trails weren’t criss-crossing the way I liked so I kept this one. I went with a desaturated look with one of my split-tone presets added on top of it. It’s the same preset I’ve used on a number of other photos from Japan. Now, I wasn’t sure about keeping the dead space in the foreground but without it, the mood of the image changes. It becomes cramped and busy. Not forgetting the aspect ratio changes to panoramic. Keeping it, I found, pulls the viewer back, showing a more tranquil scene. Less busy. Showing a few people instead of a small crowd. Makes all the difference.

We were going to catch a bus, just to the right of the image, back to the motel but when I saw a cab approaching, we jumped in that instead. Home in 10 minutes, fantastic. And the cabs are super clean and quite affordable. We hesitated taking them for the first two, three days of our trip, thinking they were expensive. Hearing they were expensive. Not the case at all. The only time we caught them though was to head home quickly at the end of a night. More sleep. Sleep is important hahaha! Goodnight.

28 mm, 1/30th second @ ƒ/2.8, ISO 3200

ARASHIYAMA MONKEY PARK IWATAYAMA

Kyoto, Japan

Lovely entrance to the Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama. I had a bit of apprehension coming here, having thoughts of mistreated monkeys in cages. I couldn’t have been further from the truth though. A nice, easy going walk climbs through the forest to a small, open platform. Here, dozens of adult and baby monkeys roam around freely. There are also quite a number of supervisors to prevent the monkeys from fighting or being too aggressive with tourists. They also feed then some kind of nut, the moneys seem to love it. There’s a shop with a caged off area where you can buy bags of nuts to feed the monkeys and, tables and chairs if you need to rest. Just to be clear, the caged area is for us, the humans, and not the monkeys. The monkeys approach from outside. It’s to prevent the them from snatching food and possibly hurting someone by accident. And prevents us from throwing food at them and making a mess outside.

Check out one of my previous posts to see a baby human in a cage and a baby monkey outside. This is a lovely place and worth visiting. It’s not too far from shops, restaurants, boutiques and a bamboo forest. Lovely little area.

28 mm, 1/160th second @ f/11, ISO 2000

FUSHIMI INARI SHINTO SHRINE

Kyoto, Japan

After the Yamazaki Distillery visit, we headed back to Kyoto for two nights, one full day. We arrived late afternoon and once settled in our room, we made our way straight here, to the Fushimi Inari Shinto Shrine.

We arrived just as the sun was setting and there were still hundreds of visitors around. This shot was taken as we were leaving. To the eye, blue hour had gone but not to the camera sensor. I bracketed four different exposures and merged them in Lightroom. Very happy with the result. This is not a unique photo but it’s my photo.

This shinto shrine is spectacular. This is the main entrance to many shrines, small to large, and to the senbontorii or thousand torii. Everything is beautiful here, from the architecture to the decorations and everything in-between. It’s one of the places you have to visit while in Kyoto. Give yourself some time though, there’s quite a large area to cover. Oh and talking about senbontorii, check out my blog post where I photographed my friend, Géraldine, inside the tunnel.

28 mm, 5 seconds @ ƒ/11, ISO 100

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

FUSHIMI INARI TAISHA OTABISHO GATEWAY

KYOTO,JAPAN

We wanted to go to the Gion District but ended up heading in the opposite direction. We did try to use Google Maps and Apple Maps but they both failed us. They both showed the maps, where we were on the maps and the directions to where we wanted to go but as we thought we were following the path, we later realised the buildings around us weren’t matching the ones on the maps. When we restarted the maps and it relocated us, we had walked in the opposite direction. Even though on the maps it showed us following the right directions. Go figure.

It didn’t bother us too much though. We were coming back to Kyoto later in the week and we saw a different part of the city that we probably wouldn’t have otherwise. Interesting little alleys, beautiful Japanese women dressed in kimonos and this wonderful torii of the Fushimi Inari Taisha Otabisho shrine.

Sometimes getting lost is a good thing.

1/80th second @ ƒ/2.8, ISO 100, 28 mm

FOUNDER'S HALL

KYOTO, JAPAN

As I mentioned on my last post everything is larger than life here. This is the terrace and huge side entrance of the Founder’s Hall of the Higashi Honganji Temple. As you can see the doors are huge, I’d say around three metres high. Just awesome. Again I asked Géraldine to pose to show how high these doors were. I think she’s around 160 cm tall.

You probably noticed she’s barefoot. That’s because you have to take your shoes off before stepping onto the terrace and inside the halls. They provide plastic bags to carry them because you may start from the Founder’s Hall and finish at the Amida Hall, which are joined by an extension of the terraces.

Photos of the interior weren’t permitted, as I mentioned in previous posts, so I can’t show you the magnificent hall. I guess I could have snapped a shot from the terrace but I didn’t want to offend anyone by doing so. There were people praying and they were preparing for a ceremony or something. It’s sacred and private and I respect that.

1/80th second @ ƒ/2.8, ISO 200, 32 mm

HIGASHI HONGANJI CHANDELIER

KYOTO, JAPAN

Just look at this magnificent chandelier. Intricate details covered in gold leaf hanging at the entrance of the Higashi Honganji Temple main gate. You can see it on the photo from my last post. This chandelier is huge, I’d say almost two (2) metres in circumference. I’m not sure if they’re the same size but you can find many more in the Founder’s and Amida Halls. A lot of protection from birds added to the temple and rightly so. Not so great for photos though. As you would have seen from my first post from Japan, the chandelier isn’t the only thing covered in gold. Some details on the roofs and carved murals in the halls have had the treatment as well. Make sure you visit this beautiful temple if ever in Kyoto. Entrance is free and it’s only a five (5) minute walk from Kyoto Station. Well, maybe ten (10) by the time you make your way out of the station.

1/400th second @ ƒ/2.8, ISO 100, 57 mm

HIGASHI HONGANJI TEMPLE GATE

KYOTO, JAPAN

Though we arrived in Tokyo, we didn’t stay there on our first night. We headed straight to Kyoto. Yes I know, we could’ve landed in Osaka, which would’ve been a lot closer, but it’s a long story. We arrived in Kyoto mid-afternoon. Once we found our hotel, we just dumped our stuff and headed straight back out. The hotel was well situated. Only a ten (10) minute walk from Kyoto Station and Kyoto Tower, and only a five minute walk from this temple, the Higashi Honganji Temple.

I had to cross to the other side of the road to capture this photo. The gate entrance is gigantic and you can tell by the couple walking in the middle. Massive wood pillars accentuated with white paint (I think it’s paint) and beautiful tiles. A huge chandelier and other detailed decorations are covered in gold leaf. Stunning ! A huge courtyard as you walk in with two (2) halls on the other side. They are just as stunning and amazing with the amount of gold covered decorations, carvings, chandeliers (yes, plurial) and other things. Not to mention the near one thousand (1000) tatamis covering the floor just in the Founder’s Hall. Not allowed to photograph nor film in the halls, unfortunately. You’ll see more of the inside of this temple in the video I’ll post sometime in the future. Don’t rush me, I haven’t even checked nor organised the video clips yet hahaha ! It’s a must visit and best of all, the entrance is free.

Oyasuminasai for now.

1/160th second @ ƒ/11, ISO 400, 28 mm

KERIKERI - BAY OF ISLANDS - NEW ZEALAND

THE CLOUD & THE TOWER, THE STORE & THE FALLS

I thought I’d share the photos that were in the video of my last post. I’ve wanted to share them for a while but wanted to get the video out first.

You might have noticed that the first two photos are not from Kerikeri but Auckland (New Zealand). This was on our first full day in New Zealand, I got up early, before my friends, to check out the Piers at the end of Queen Street, where we’d eaten at the night before.

Later that morning we were picking up our camper-van and heading up to Kerikeri. We lost three hours at the camper-van company because of a problem with their system, which made us arrived in Kerikeri mid afternoon instead midday.

We headed straight for The Stone Store and Kiroripo Pa. A beautiful area along the Kerikeri River. We spent a couple hours there then visited the Rainbow Falls (Waianiwaniwa) a little farther upstream.

Unfortunately that’s all we had the time to visit. The next day we were off to Paihia. Kerikeri is a large town with plenty to visit and do, and absolutely beautiful. Well worth a visit.

MELBOURNE'S CHINA TOWN

I had never visited Melbourne’s China Town so I though I’d take a quick stroll through it’s main street. The photos show what really caught my eye. First of all, the entry arch is so beautiful, colourful and the work that’s gone into it is just amazing. If you didn’t take the time to look, you’d probably miss seeing the numerous restaurant in the small alleys. And I’ve never seen so many signs on a building wall before. I love restaurants where you can see the cooks at work, preparing your meal. It’s all part of the dinning out experience, in my opinion. Those enormous, wooden arches are very impressive. Especially the carvings and roofing. And so are the marble carved creatures guarding the entrance. Just beautiful. The dome ceiling, I just stumbled upon. Loved the symmetry and colours. Had to take a shot. Glad I wandered through there. I got some nice souvenirs shots.

BOURKE'S BRIDGE

I mentioned only last post that the photo was taken atop the stairs of the Bourke Street entrance to the Southern Cross train station. Well turn 180º and you get this view. A walk bridge with a small shopping mall on the right side and entrances to the station on the left. The bridge passes over the rails that cut Bourke Street in two. You have a great view of the railway tracks and the station from the bridge.

Because of the lack of colours in the photo, I went with black & white and added the slightest of blueish split-tone to it. The photo is cooler and darker with a slight silver tone. I really like this effect. It doesn’t work on all black & white photos though.

1/80 sec @ ƒ/5.6, 55 mm, ISO 800

BOURKE'S TRAM

While we’re on street photography, I took this photo from atop the stairs of the entrance to Southern Cross train station, opposite Bourke Street (Melbourne, Australia). I was hoping for a very busy intersection with cars, trams, people and even though it was already half pass nine in the morning, it wasn’t that hectic. And if it wasn’t for the rain, this photo would be quite bland, I think. The wet grounds reflect a lot more light and colours which makes for a more interesting photo. I really like this photo though. It reminds me of the tram trips I took through this intersection.

1/125 @ ƒ/4, 18 mm, ISO 800