matsuri

Yasukuni Shrine summer festival

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From an distance and up close

buddhist statue from kamakura

The heart of a temples the image of the deity within. Imagine the journey which brings you to Kamakura. The massive gate when you arrive. You cross the threshold and in the distance is the temple and within in the spirit with which you came to commune.    

Summer couples

In the hot summer with broad hats and lose fitting clothing you might find a an older couple in repose. A temple in the distance. A slight rustling in the trees. A small crested bird gliding by. I took this photo on a tripod for 30 seconds with several neutral density filters. I toned down the highlights in the greens and brought up the highlights overall. I’m surprised how much like a painting this looks like. Because the couple wasn’t perfectly still they blur enhancing the painterly effect. I converted it to… Read More

Canon and Hotoke-sama, Kamakura

This weekend I went to Kamakura to practice my photography. Here are images from one temple, details of the Buddha (Hotokesama/Sidhartha) and the most famous bodhisattva, Canon. (The Buddha is an individual who achieves nirvana and is no longer part of our world while a bodhisattva is an individual who reached nirvana but choses to stay in this realm to help others follow the Buddhist path.)  

Living at the station

I make it a point to capture images of the homeless when I can. They are few. They form a community and, from what I’ve observed are friendly with one another, well groomed, organized, clean. I think it’s important not to forget they exist even here.

Nobody knows

  I’ve been thinking about a kitten. The other day in the middle of the two lane road I walk down to work I saw an animal, white and red fur. As I walked it came into view. A kitten just large enough to cup in my hand. Its face turned away, one shoulder mashed into the pavement, the other twitching and unnaturally bright red. It made no sound. The kitten’s shoulder and grey tipped tail only shuddered. I thought to go into the road to break its neck, but I walked past…. Read More

Loving Lightroom — Looking for feedback

I could use some suggestions, feedback, guidance. I know I’ve gone overboard with some of these — it’s a new toy — but I’d like to know what you think. My favorite is the black and white of the baby. I brought out the contrast then removed the color info. I used a similar technique with the young man but I put color into his skin tone. The little girl was a fairly, so I distorted the image and played with the color information (I’ll need to learn how to remove selective… Read More

Temples are not always quiet

Last weekend my friend and I stepped out from the rain into the main hall of the Kawasaki Daishi Temple. The great hall is partitioned. A quarter of the room, set before the alter, is covered in tatami mats for people to sit and meditate while the remainder is the alter packed full of ritual objects from the Shingonshu branch of Buddhism. To the right of this main alter was a young monk practicing the drum. The hall was too dark for a low ISO, so didn’t think I could use any… Read More

I’m doomed — I’ve downloaded Lightroom — doomed, doomed, doomed

Last week my image editor, ViewNX 2 from Nikon, suddenly stopped working. I went over to Adobe to check out Photoshop and decided I was too smart to pay, so I found clones (like Gimp). Blah. iPhoto wrecked my RAW photos. I’d decided I wasn’t going to pay for software. I downloaded a pirated version of Adobe Creative Suit and, gosh darn it, the hack wouldn’t read my RAW files. By this time I weighed the cost vs frustration and decided the investment would be worth it, so I signed up with… Read More

The Fox, part one

(The first in a series.) This is the first act of an outdoor play. This character is the fox god Inari. The audience was filled with small children. The progression shows the character as he transformed into the awesome god he represents before he reaches down to those brave young people to be blessed. (You can click on them for full size versions.)

Details: A face in the crowd

  I loved this guy’s style and sense of self. He didn’t love me back. He waved me off with a wag of his finger. Fair enough. I only wish that the photos were sharper, but then again, the more he took note of me, the less of the real him came through, so I’ll think of it as apropos. 

Kids with guns

Guns are illegal here in Japan. As an island nation, they’re difficult to smuggle in. Gun death is nothing you hear about in the news. Though I’ve seen toy guns in hobby stores before this was the first time to ever see children playing with them. Oh, Japan, you have no idea what you’re doing, do you?