Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

Moon Jellyfish

Thursday, June 17th, 2010
Moon Jellyfish

I finally managed to get out shooting again, this time at the Toronto Zoo.  Although not my most successful trip there, I did come back with some keepers.  This is one of them.

Moon Jellyfish (colour)

The original colour version

These are moon jellyfish, lazily swimming/floating in their tank at the Toronto Zoo’s Australian Great Barrier Reef exhibit.  I really love the black background and translucent nature of these fish.  There is so much texture in the fish, yet with subtle tones.

I had a tough time deciding on the monochrome black & white version, or the original colour version.  You can let me know if you agree or not in the comments below.

It’s hard to believe that jellyfish can be so beautiful, yet potentially so deadly (I don’t think moon jellyfish are terribly dangerous, but there are other jellyfish that are much smaller and much more lethal).  The box jellyfish is feared in Australia as it is one of the most painful and deadly jellyfish on the planet.  After being stung, severe agonising pain will ensue, which can be followed by cardiac arrest leading to death.  But they sure are pretty to look at! 🙂

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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.

Blowing Leaves at Yasukuni Shrine

Friday, February 5th, 2010
Blowing Leaves at Yasukuni Shrine

Yasukuni Shrine honours soldiers who have died fighting for the Emperor of Japan. It is fairly famous in the far East for various reasons (historic and political), but this photo is not about the shrine as much as the entrance to it. Leading up to the shrine is a long mall bordered with trees. At the time I was there (early December), the trees were pretty much at their peak colours. The clear blue sky and bright sun really made the yellow leaves seem extra bright. An occasional gust of wind would stir up leaves, making it a really beautiful sight to behold.

I really wanted to capture the scene complete with blowing leaves, so I waited around with camera in hand for more than a few minutes. But of course, like a watched pot that does not boil, the wind didn’t blow while I waited. Finally, as I was about to leave, a small gust picked up some leaves which I quickly snapped some shots of.

I used a polarizing filter to help the colours pop and to darken the blue sky a bit. A slight vibrance and saturation boost were added in Lightroom. I think the final image comes pretty close to depicting what I actually experienced there. I only wish the leaves were a little more visible in the shot.

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.