Archive for the ‘Landscapes’ Category

Fall in Kamakura

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010
Fall in Kamakura

Fall colours at the lower gardens of Hase temple in Kamakura, Japan.  The Japanese really have beautiful gardens, and they come to life during the fall/winter seasons when the leaves turn spectacular colours.

Imperial Guard House

Thursday, February 18th, 2010
Imperial Guard House

This is one of the guard houses, or lookouts in the Imperial Gardens in Tokyo.  The accessible areas of the Imperial Gardens aren’t really that spectacular in the winter, but this was one view that seemed to be worthy of a snapshot.

Lighting was a bit tricky on this one, as the sun was just out of frame to the right.  A little localized reduction in exposure and a little post-crop vignetting was done to tame the sun and bright sky.

Tokyo & Mount Fuji

Monday, February 15th, 2010
Tokyo & Mount Fuji

This shot of Mount Fuji and the skyscrapers of Shinjuku is one of my favourites from my trip to Japan.  Before my trip, I had made a list of quintessential photographs to take while in Japan, and Mt. Fuji with the city in front of it was at the top of my list.  After a fair bit of internet research, I managed to find a “top secret” location in a public building to get this shot.  I was surprised when I eventually got there to find a handful of other photographers with the same shot in mind.  Obviously my secret location was well known.  🙂

Those familiar with Tokyo will undoubtedly know that such views of Mt. Fuji are quite rare.  In fact, even on a clear sunny day the chances of being able to see the distant mountains and Mt. Fuji are slim to none due to the typical heavy layer of smog covering the city.  I somehow lucked out on this occasion, as a weather system had rolled in over night.  It was quite windy the night before this shot, which I suspect helped clear out the smog.

I will admit, that when I made my way onto the observation gallery and saw this spectacular view I got quite excited.  This was exactly the view I had pictured in my mind.  Unfortunately, in the rush of it all, plus the lack of coffee (I’m a mess without it) I forgot to switch the ISO on the camera back to 100.  I had been shooting night scenes the night before.  Sadly, all of the shots I took of this view were made at ISO 800 on my Canon 20d, which is quite a shame.  This actually ruined my day when I realized my mistake about an hour after I left the gallery (and by then the smog would have hidden the mountains).  I highly doubt I will ever get this shot again, so this is one of life’s hard lessons I learned.

Reflections of Tokyo

Monday, February 1st, 2010
Reflections of Tokyo

Tokyo is a very old and historic city. Scenes like this are not uncommon in this city. Here, one of the Imperial Palace’s guard houses sits in contrast with the modern city’s skyscrapers. Traditional rule by the monarchy versus today’s importance of the economy and capitalization.

Due to the Allied bombing in World War II, much of the city has been rebuilt in the last 50-60 years. This makes Tokyo a fantasticly modern city, but at the expense of its historic roots, even despite the preserved temples and gardens that tourists tend to flock to.

South Korean Tomb Hills

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010
South Korean Tomb Hills

These hills are actually royal tombs where the ancient rulers of Korea are buried. These are located right in the middle of the city of Gyeongju where I was staying. As this was taken in winter, the grass was brown, but still makes for a scenic landscape. In total there are 35 royal tombs in this area and plenty of others. In fact, one can see recent burial mounds located throughout the country, on road sides, in woods, and in fields.