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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 woman
GEIKO

Kyoto, Japan

One of the reasons we wanted to visit the Gion District was in hopes of seeing a Geisha or Geiko as they prefer to be called in Kyoto and Maiko, apprentice Geiko. We were not disappointed as we saw a handful of them while strolling the alleyways. They are just stunning. Beautiful. And we both wished we had booked in advance a restaurant where they performed. Next time.

I’m not a portrait photographer but on very rare occasions I’ll tempt it. This evening didn’t start as one of those occasions but ended as one. We had seen a few Geiko and Maiko on our stroll and though Géraldine captured a couple of portraits, she wasn’t satisfied with the results. Not her fault though but largely due to seeing them too late and not being able to frame in time. Don’t get me wrong, we kept our eyes open but they seem to come out of nowhere. So I thought I’d try as well, hoping between the two of us, we’d come back with, at least, one satisfactory portrait. And we got lucky. Seeing these Geiko and Maiko early enough to be able to snap half a dozen photos from full body to head shots. Unfortunately, only two are usable but two more than we had and are happy with.

So how did I get the shot? Preparation.

  1. I needed a fast enough shutter speed to freeze the action and get a sharp photo. Because of their attire, Geiko do not walk very fast so I thought 1/250th of a second shutter speed would be fast enough.

  2. I wanted a shallow depth of field to blur the background. ƒ/2.8 is the widest my lens opens too so I used that.

  3. Have an ISO high enough to give me a proper exposure. In those little alleys nearing sunset it was 400.

All I had to do now was frame and shoot. But I forgot one thing, to put my camera in Continuous-Auto-Focus mode. I had left it in Single-Shot-Auto-Focus which isn’t ideal for subjects moving towards you. Hence, getting only 2, out of 6 or 7, shots in focus. A real shame because the close-up portraits were pretty good but unfortunately out of focus. A lesson learned for me and, I hope, a lesson for someone out there.

Now you’re most likely to see a Geiko and/or Maiko from an hour before and after sunset as they make their way to an appointment. They’re not on the streets for very long as their place of preparation and their appointments are not far from one another. Just keep your eyes peeled and your camera ready.

75 mm, 1/250th second @ ƒ/2.8, ISO 400

KYOTO BLUE HOUR

KYOTO, JAPAN

This is one of my favourite photos from Japan. Blue hour with warm colours for contrast, my friend in action with an icon in the background to show where she is, the blurred background, the lighting… definitely one of my favourite photos of the trip.

If you have read my last post, you’d know we were unable to go up Kyoto Tower because of a bomb scare. The men in black were still in position. So we took photos of the tower from the Kyoto Station side. We were also surprised by a small water, light and music display which is what Géraldine is photographing here. It was quite delightful.

1/80th second @ ƒ/2.8, ISO 1600, 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

AMIDA HALL

KYOTO, JAPAN

The Higashi Honganji Temple has two halls, the Founder’s and the Amida. The roof of the latter is what you see here. You would have seen part of this roof on a previous post too. I asked my friend, Géraldine, to pose to show perspective and add a human element to the image. As you can see just by the railing that everything is grandiose. The structures are made of huge wooden pillars. Very impressive. It’s hard to believe these structures have stood for centuries. I can’t imagine the work that goes into maintaining it all. It’s a shame we weren’t allowed to photograph the interior because it is amazingly beautiful. Check this link to see interior photos from their website. You’ll be blown away.

1/500th second @ ƒ/2.8, ISO 100, 28 mm

LAST RAYS OF VITAMIN D

Copying one of my favoutire photographers here, Paul Zizka. He often posts landscape photos with himself in them to show the scale of things. That's not me in the photos though but a friend that I invited to tag along. I may do more of these kind of photos with someone in them to show thw scale of things. What do you think?