Thursday, December 3, 2009


The Ginko trees in Osaka-jo Park, were a very bold yellow.
I hope to get some shots of the fall maple trees this weekend.

The moon, was also out recently, looking larger than usual due to being near the horizon and the effects of the atmosphere.
Exposed for the clouds

and exposed for the moon.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Kyoto - Arashiyama and Kinkaku-ji

Back in august the family and I went to Kyoto prefecture, notably to Arashiyama and to Kinkakuji the Golden Pavilion.

Details of an old steam locomotive that was used in Arashiyama.

Roasting Chestnuts

On the latter part of the trip we visited the Golden Pavilion
about half an hour before it closed for the day.
Though this did provide very good light for taking pictures.

The upper floors are completely covered in gold leaf.

A close up of the phoenix that adorns the very top of the roof.
A heron patrols the island that the temple is built upon.

An interesting roof tile on one of the buildings on the temple grounds.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Nara Park

The Big Buddha and the Small Deer Who Guard Him

Situated in the park, the largest temple called Todai-ji, is a truly impressive temple complex with a rich history.

In the first of the gates each side is guarded by two enormous Nio Guardians.
Carved in the 13th century.

Next is the second gate on the way to the centre of Todai-ji, where the Daibutsu-den, or Hall of the Great Buddha stands.

The Daibutsu-den
It is the largest wooden building in the world. The current structure was rebuilt in 1709 and is actually only 2/3rds the size of the original building.
He doesn't look very big from this angle.
The statue is 16m tall and made up of 437 tonnes of bronze and 130kg of gold.
I think his hand is about 2 metres or so in height.

More guardian statues ward the inside of the hall.

Though it looks a bit macabre with the black and white patterns, this statue is reputed to have healing powers. The legend states that by rubbing the part that ails you on the statue and then correspondingly on yourself, you will gain some relief. The patterns on the wood are from people rubbing the statue.

Outside the Kasuga Shrine are many stone lanterns with traditional paper, upon which I think prayers are written affixed to the lanterns.

The famous deer are all through the park, though very seldomly do the enter the temple and shrine complexes themselves.
Atop a small mountain overlooking Nara City.

Drinking from a stream in the park, just below the Nigatsu-do Shrine.

Quite fearless and actually a bit aggressive they will try to eat anything that looks like food. There are special biscuits that you can buy to feed them, many people do, the money goes towards maintaining the health of the deer population but feeding them does encourage them to look to humans for food. This goes against almost all of what I, as a Canadian have learned about living with wildlife, but this is the only place in Japan that I have come across this attitude, most places sensibly telling you NOT to feed the animals.

Good thing the deer are small!
Don't run out of biscuits!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Yukata Photoshoot

This time I actually took the lead in organizing a photoshoot with fellow photographer Zach (you can find his blog on the right).
Summer in Japan is never complete without Yukata and fireworks neither of which you can wear or see everyday. So, even though it was on short notice we had a record turn out of people willing to step in front of the lens wearing traditional and not so traditional Japanese clothes.
It was my first time using the lighting equipment that I recently bought and I did get some very nice shots, and some not so nice ones (those aren't posted :p). I think I will revisit this theme again, more crazy make-up next time too.

Thank you again to everyone who came to the shoot!














Monday, July 27, 2009

What a big horn you have?!

All the better to knock you off the branch and claim the females for myself!
I was fortunate enough to spot this rhinoceros beetle clinging to the underside of a leaf as shelter from the earlier rain.

I put him back where I found him, no worse for wear.

A yellow dragonfly resting on a dried up plant.

My noise maker goes to 11!
Cicadas are also out in ear splitting force. They are harmless, most with a ridged radiator like plate where their mouth would be and surprisingly well camouflaged for their considerable size. 8cm from head to the end of the body, about 12cm to the end of the wings.
Even though they are incredibly loud, it is very difficult to discern exactly where the noise is coming from as they all 'sing' at the same time in the same pitch.
There are brown ones too! Different species, different pitch, same volume.

And ending with a not so creepy butterfly.
Until you consider its tongue is longer than its legs.