Using a Ricoh GRD III and a Nikon DSLR to photograph streets, people, architecture and anything else that catches my eye.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Kyoto Street Shots

Japanese springtime is wonderfully sunny; sometimes crisp and sometimes warm.  The skies seem clear for weeks, with very little miserable rain. Japanese people seem happiest in the springtime, and the climax of their happiness is the nationwide cherry blossom phenomenon. More on that another time.  They are probably making the most of the fine weather before the summer rains arrive, and the country is thrown under a blanket of intolerable humidity and heat. Japanese weather runs like clockwork, and the seasons are very defined. This is very much unlike the British weather, which is unpredicatble, complex, annoyingly wet, and most overcast. This is why the weather is the British national conversation obsession. Whereas the Japanese know how every month will be, they can relax and enjoy the seasons.

Here are a couple of street(ish) images taken with my Nikon D80.

This is a shot of a small path in Kyoto along some small market shops and stalls. The sun is bright and the weather is lovely. The parasols are out all across Kyoto. I rather liked this couple of girls marching along together, with confident and happy expressions.  I just had to get a shot before they marched out of my frame. Just about got them then!  I think she is just opening the parasol as they approached...  or was it the other way round?

The main river which runs through Kyoto, is one of the most calm and peaceful rivers I have seen.  It is wide enough to require many road bridges, but shallow enough in many places to wade across without getting your thighs wet. (not that I would try that).  In some places there actually are stepping stones.  It seems to be clear and clean, with thriving fish and bird life.  All along both sides of this river are wide banks of grass and paved areas, where people cycle or walk along, sit and relax, or in the case of the following image, enjoy picnics in groups of friends.  I took this from the other side of the river with a 70-300mm lens, (probably about 100mm). The buildings behind are riverside restaurants and bars, and I have only just noticed the dark sillhoutte of a person sitting in the top left window.

I am still a little hooked on the 1:1 square crop on any street images. I don't know why, but I find myself automatically cropping them this way as soon as they are in my computer. (of course, I always keep the originals of all shots, on several back up places).


Gerry's Blog said...

Nice shots Bill, I am drawn into the second image, from the lady sitting on the second floor eating to the reflections and expressions of the kids faces. I love it I also like the crop.

Michael Gatton said...

The crop is so natural that I didn't even notice it until you mentioned it in the text. Again I love the tonality and contrast in your B&W.