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I'm a Cairns, far north Queensland, Australia professional photographer specialising in travel, editorial and environmental portraiture.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Kyoto trip sneak preview!


A young couple pose in traditional Japanese dress in Kyoto, JapanThe downside of digital photography? Editing, keywording and captioning thousands of photos after a trip. Although I have to admit I do enjoy looking at all the images I've shot and reminiscing about what a great time I had!

This trip was a bit of a blast from the past for me. I lived in the city of Kobe, in Western Japan, as a high school exchange student in 1989. So I often visited Osaka, Kyoto and Nara. This year was the first time I had been back since then - so roughly 23 years!

The overwhelming theme for me this trip was green. It was Spring and all the trees were bathed in their new growth foliage. You can see why Fuji invented Velvia slide film. For those of you who've never shot slide film Velvia was famous for its highly saturated blues and greens. I used to think that the colours were pretty over the top until this trip where I experienced them for myself in real life.

We spent a lot of time visiting various temples and shrines. The difference between the two? Temples are Buddhist and shrines belong to the Japanese Shinto religion. They are often found side by side as Buddhism was imported into Japan and had to find its way alongside the already ancient Shinto traditions and beliefs.

You can tell Shinto shrines by the famous Japanese torii gates that are often found at their entrances. Shinto believes in gods residing within every living thing so often you will find sacred ropes tied around large trees which are believed to house gods. Buddhist temples are of course famous for their iconic statues of the Lord Buddha in many different forms.

Anyway I'm still busy keywording and captioning but wanted to show a quick preview. The first image is a young couple on holiday who are having their photograph taken in traditional Japanese dress - a kimono for the lady and a yukata for the man. This was taken from a small street in Kyoto just near the famous Kiyomizudera Temple. I was walking past and just noticed it out of the corner of my eye so made a quick image. I love the pose of the photographer - any lower and his bum'd be hitting the ground!




This second image was taken inside the grounds of Ryoan-Ji Temple - home to the famous raked gardens and rock islands seen in so many tourist brochures. I was overwhelmed by the intensity of the greens but, like the rainforests here in north Queensland, knew that just green alone a photo does not make (I sound a bit like Yoda!). Anyway I was thrilled when I came across this conveniently placed Japanese Maple leaf, one of only a few which had just started to turn yellow.

Anyway back to the keywording! Keep tuned and I'll have some more images to come as we go along.

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