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 looking up

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


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



The tallest non steel-frame construction in the world, Kyoto Tower. Abosutely stunning at blue hour. My friend noticed the reflection on the glass facade of Kyoto Station. The contrasting colours, patterns and, of course, the reflection all came together for, what I think, a beautiful photo. Thank you Géraldine.

We, unfortunately, didn’t get the chance to go up the tower. Don’t get me wrong, we wanted to but were stopped by police from doing so. Let me explain. Late that afternoon I wanted to go up just to see the view and the kind of photos I could take later around blue hour. As we arrived at the tower, sirens were blasting and cops were coming from everywhere. We thought they were after someone and kept walking towards the entrance. We were stopped by a policewoman from entering and motioned to step back. So we did and waited in hopes it would end quickly. The policewoman came back to see us and showed a translation on her phone saying “There is a bomb alert. Please move away from this area.”. She didn’t have to tell us twice, we took off. We came back just at the beginning of blue hour, in hopes it was all over. But the police were moved to the other side of the road and replaced by men in black. No kidding. Black suits, black ties, black in-ear communications and black unmarked cars. They were positioned at all entrances. Very impressive, I must say. Still surprised they didn’t evacuate the whole area though hmmm…

Hence the photo from the station side. We took a few photos from here and even saw a small light and water show. I might post a photo of it otherwise you’ll see it in the video of our first day in Japan.

1/80th second @ ƒ/2.8, ISO 800, 75 mm



Kyoto Tower is very visible from inside Higashi Honganji Temple. You may of seen my first post from Japan that shows a different perspective. I didn’t know this but Kyoto Tower is the world’s tallest non steel-frame construction. Interesting huh ?!

So one of the reasons I took this shot was because the side exit of the temple made me think of an underground tunnel leading to the tower. Wish it was true.

I went with black and white here, simply because of the high contrast and the coloured version was boring. Love the trees too. Oh and I also added a slight split-tone to the shadows to cool the image just a touch.

1/200th seconds @ ƒ/11, ISO 100, 60 mm


Newquay (Melbourne, Australia) has many high rise buildings along it’s promenade. I’m guessing but I think many of them are residential apartments. We rented one of them in this building called Palladio. Secure building with modern interiors and stunning views. We were on this side and had views of Docklands, Etihad Stadium and the city behind it. Absolutely gorgeous! I took a panorama from our balcony which I will share with you on a later post. For the moment, we’ll keep heading down Newquay Promenade.

This plank looking structure is actually U-shaped and as soon as I walked underneath it, I had to include it in the photo. Quite difficult to get the right angle and I ended up with a sore neck for a few minutes afterwards. Hand-held shot taken late in the morning, which is the reason I went with black & white. The building has no colour and blue skies are just perfect for b&w. I just had to darken the blues, increase the contrast and voilà.

1/1000 sec @ ƒ/3.5, 18 mm, ISO 100


I was heading back to the hotel, one late afternoon, and spotted this anchor decoration in mid air. I was more interested in the Etihad Stadium (Melbourne, Australia), which was just behind me, but then I saw the street lights. They reminded me of black & white architectural photos that I had seen with street lamps. Since I wanted to take a photo of the anchor, adding the lights made the photo more interesting. Including the buildings on the bottom and left, it framed the anchor in mid air. I was going to remove the cables holding the anchor but I thought you would think this image was a composite. This is a street photo and what I want to come across.

1/400 sec @ ƒ/3.5, 18 mm, ISO 100


I’d like to share one more photo of the Southern Cross Station before I move on to other street photos. The Water Tower Clock has a lot of history that I won’t go into but isn’t it beautiful. As soon as I saw it, I had to snap a photo. Before I did though, I did a quick Google search for images of the clock. Not many out there and none that I could see from this angle. Simple. Love the colours. And I absolutely wanted to avoid including the base of the tower. Big advertising screens, yuk!

For those interested, it’s a straight forward hand-held shot with the aperture wide open and ISO bumped up a bit.

1/60 sec @ ƒ/5.6, 42 mm, ISO 800


On the other side of Swanston Street opposite the State Library of Victoria there’s this. The Lead Pipe & Shot Factory tower is situated in the Melbourne Central Shopping Mall (Melbourne, Australia). I think anyone who’s been to Melbourne has seen this tower. A magnificent brick structure and the dome enclosure is just as impressive. We were just wandering around and I wasn’t going to photograph it but how can you not? Very difficult to get a unique perspective though. If you’d like to know more about the tower, check out this link

I went with black and white because there wasn’t any other colours apart from the red/orange bricks. There’s not a huge amount of light in the mall and I didn’t have my tripod with me so I had to bump up the ISO but I didn’t want to go too high. So I stopped down to ƒ/4.5 to let a little more light in. Depth of field didn’t matter as everything was far away from me. I took about half a dozen shots of this tower but I liked this one the most. It shows the height of the tower and the how giant this glass dome is. Yeah, I like it.

1/200 sec @ ƒ/4.5, 18 mm, ISO 400


A lazy afternoon under the shade at the Kou-Bugny bar/restaurant in Kuto, Isle Of Pines (New caledonia).  Situated on the beach of Kuto Bay, the view is just magnificent. Sunsets are magic. A must visit if you ever get the chance. You can get there either by boat (2 1/2 hrs) or plane (30 mins) from Noumea. Both offering a unique view of New Caledonia.