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

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Some more from Kyoto

Once a year, all across Japan, people go slightly crazy and very happy for a few days.  This is when their country changes from winter greens into spring time pinks and whites almost over night.  This is the cherry blossom week, or 'hanami', when all the millions of 'sakura' cherry trees blossom with the advent of spring and better weather to come.  People will go out and have picnics under the trees, take photos, take part in celebrations; and the television media will report on the progress of the blossoming 'front' as it makes it's natural way up the country from south to north.  The Japanese are rightly very proud of their cherry trees and all of the historical and cultural meanings attached to them. They truly are an iconic image of Japan. Here is a shot of a crowd of people in Kyoto, who were having fun under the lightly falling blossom leaves.

I talked about bikes in a previous post, but have since found another shot which I quite like, processed in my favourite square format.  Kyoto is a great place to cycle around, and is probably the most popular method of travel. The vehicular traffic in central Kyoto always seemed to be very light compared to other cities.  This image is a good example of showing how the Japanese do not differentiate between a gents cycle or a lady's cycle. They all seemed to have little handy shopping baskets and no cross bars on the frames.  All very practical as opposed to cool or technical.  Simple works.

This final image I have always been pleased with.  It is not necessarily a technically great shot, but I have always liked the lady in white at the very forefront, dwarfed by the huge torii gate.  These gates are absolutely everywhere in Japan, and more so in Kyoto than anywhere else.  A torii gate represents the entrance to a sacred place or area, and are often part of shinto shrines.  This particular one is probably the biggest by far.  As this is black and white, I should just add that the torii gate is bright red.


Gerry's Blog said...

Hey Bill, another set of awesome shots... the last one to me seems timeless, in a way it feels like it was taken in the sixties or seventies but as I know it was taken recently. The lady in the photo gives scale to the gate and a wonderful angle.

Michael Gatton said...

Lovely, as usual. The first one certainly has that "decisive moment" quality to it with the girl's hands clasped on a petal, I presume, and the little kid's hands open in anticipation of a similar capture. A dynamic moment frozen in time.

Bill Wellham said...

Thanks Guys.

Gerry, I know what you mean about a seventies feel for that shot. Maybe its just the way the lady is dressed, but I don't really know why. It doesnt look modern for sure.

Michael, thanks, it was nice to see the usually very reserved and quiet Japanese actually having childish fun in the sunshine.