Autumn morning deep in Kasuga Primeval Forest, Nara, Japan
Kasuga Primeval Forest is an old-growth forest on the eastern edge of Nara city. It’s actually registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is inhabited by wild boar, raccoons and Japanese deer. I have spent many peaceful hours up in the forest trying to capture the spirit of the ancient woodland, and no matter how long it takes, it’s pleasure just to be there. The deer are very tame and if you don’t make too many sudden movements, they seem quite happy to share the forest, even in the rutting season.
This was taken with a Sony a6000 and the kit lens that comes with the camera. I had to push the shutter speed to 1/200 in order to freeze the deer, so I had to use an aperture of f5.6 and ISO of 1000. That created quite a lot of noise but it was easily corrected in Lightroom.
The old Mizuya Chaya tea house in Nara Park, Nara, Japan
The old Mizuya Chaya tea house is one of the most beautiful spots in Nara Park, and I’m lucky enough to pass it every weekend on my morning run. The website is here.
It opened in 1948 and nestles amongst the trees between Kasuga Grand Shrine and Wakakusa Hill. For a long time, I’d thought about the possibility of getting a photo of it, but when the sun was shining, it didn’t seem to create the right atmosphere. I decided to give it a try when the weather was not so good and I think it works much better. This was taken on a very hot and humid rainy day in July 2014. Even on a day like that, it is very popular with tourists, so I had to take several different frames with tourists in different places and then blend them together with layer masks to remove them from the finished shot. It’s a technique I learned from a very good post over on Jimmy McIntyre’s excellent website. Link here.
This was taken with a Sony a6000 and the kit lens that came with the camera (E 16-50mm f3.5-5.6 OSS) at a focal length of 16mm. Exposure was 0.5 seconds at f13.
I hope the finished photo captures the magical quality of this really gorgeous spot.