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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 gate
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

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

STONE TORII

Miyajima / Itsukushima Island, Japan

Leaving Miyajima was quite difficult. It’s such a beautiful island with so much to see, visit and experience. It’s also one of those places that transforms itself with the passing of each season. A place that makes you long to come back and discover it’s other facets. A word of advice, if Miyajima is on your bucket list, move it to the top of it. And stay a minimum of two nights, you won’t regret it.

Since the day we arrived I’ve wanted to photograph the Stone Torii of Itsukushima Shrine. It was the first stone torii I’ve ever seen and, to tell you the truth, didn’t know they existed. In stone, that is. We were slowly making our way to the ferry to leave the island, when I took this shot. Not the best composition, I admit, and I don’t know why I didn’t take the time to find a better one. From the get-go it was going to be a black and white image. Apart for the trees and sky, the lack of colours, a lot of stones and sand, I could only see this image in monochrome. Taking the shot at midday added contrast and a little interest to the image. Oh and before I forget, the lights next to the lion-dog weren’t on in the middle of the day, I added that in post. It attracts the eye just enough to make you notice the, otherwise, camouflaged lion-dog. This is a snapshot, nothing more. Glad I got something though.

28 mm, 1/3200th second @ ƒ/2.8, 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.

TORII SUNSET

Miyajima / Itsukushima Island, Japan

We arrived on Itsukushima Island, also known as Miyajima, with enough time to drop our luggage at our hotel and make our way back down to the majestic Torii of Itsukushima Shrine. This gate is humungous ! I’m 180 cm tall which is the high tide level on the torii. It must be at least three stories high. Every time I see these huge architectural feats I wonder how they were accomplished in their era. And how are they able to weather time for so many centuries. Just amazing.

I wanted a clean shot of this torii meaning I didn’t want anyone in the photo. So I took two photos. This one and another a few minutes after. Hoping people wouldn’t stay still longer than that. I used this second image to mask people out of this photo. Taken toward the end of golden hour, I really like the contrast with blue hour coming in. The luminosity on the torii is a warm coloured spotlight located just off frame to the right of the photo. Just perfect with that sunset.

38 mm, 0.8 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

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.