Ukimido in Autumn

Nara Japan Autumn

“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.”
– William Cullen Bryant 

The Koyo (autumn colors) season is here and Nara Park is stunningly beautiful. I headed to one of my favorite spots before sunrise but quite a number of photographers were already there. Nonetheless, I managed to find a spot and get quite a nice view of the Ukimido pavilion through the trees. I wanted to keep the ISO down to 100, so I used the tripod and I took this at f11 with a shutter speed of 1/90. I particularly love the slight mist that was still lying on the surface of the pond…

Gion Corner

Gion Night Kyoto Japan

This is one more shot from the same evening visit to Gion. Most of the buildings in that area are very dark in color so this red restaurant stood out. It is unfortunately on a very busy street, and on this Sunday evening, there were a lot of tourists and locals in the area. I set up the tripod and set the sensitivity to 100 ISO with an aperture of f11 to ensure a good depth of field, which meant a shutter speed of 20 seconds. I waited until there were fewer people and cars and then tried to get the shot. It took several attempts, but I finally got a reasonably clear shot and the few people who did walk past simply turned into ghosts and disappeared…

Evening in Gion

night in shirakawa gion kyoto japan

I have wanted to take night shots in Kyoto for some time, but only having a heavy Canon 50D and a Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod meant carrying a lot of gear a long way. In the summer, after much research I finally made the transition to mirrorless and in particular to a Sony a6000, paired with a Manfrotto Compact Light (MKCOMPACTLT) tripod that only weighs 810g. Since making the change, night shots have been a much more practical proposition as the camera and tripod together weigh less than 1.2kg, which is less than the 50D with a standard lens. This shot was taken on one of my first trips to Kyoto with the new pairing and I was very happy with the result. It’s hard to beat mirrorless for portability, and the best camera is always the one you have with you…