Primeval Forest

Autumn morning deep in Kasuga Primeval Forest, Nara, Japan

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.

By Dawn’s Early Light

A deer in the early morning autumn light in Nara, Japan

A deer in the early morning autumn light in Nara, Japan

I remember reading that the best photo opportunities occur when most people are inside…either because it’s too early or because the weather is too bad. Yesterday morning, I set the alarm early intending to go for a run, but one look outside at the thick fog and I was out the door, camera bag in hand. Nara is not a very foggy place, and so it was an opportunity not to be missed.  This corner of the park is about 10 minutes from our front door by bike…I’m lucky to live in such a gorgeous place!

I ended up with 112 images in less than 3 hours before the fog cleared completely, and this is one of the last one’s I took before the mist finally cleared. Some minor adjustments in Lightroom followed by some layering and final cropping in Photoshop. This was taken with the same kit lens that I dropped in the local pond last month, and it’s showing no ill effects so far. This was an exposure of 1/250 second taken at f8.0, with the lens zoomed all the way in at 50mm.

Misty Morning

Westminster-Morning

The Thames is at its best on a misty December morning. This section of the river has always attracted me for some reason. I don’t know what it is about it, but perhaps it’s something to do with the contrast between the vibrancy of the South bank and the pomp of the North.
Anyway, I was lucky enough to have some free time on a business trip to London so I took the Tube to Piccadilly and walked through Soho and down through Trafalgar Square looking for inspiration. Although it was after 10, I noticed that there was still quite a lot of mist around so I headed down towards the Thames and found a good spot on the Golden Jubilee Bridge on the Westminster side of Hungerford Bridge. There was still quite a lot of cloud around but the sun was starting to break through. I quickly got a few shots before the light changed. This one was taken on Aperture Priority at f11 and 100 ISO to try to keep the noise down, which gave me a shutter speed of 1/500. The light and mist seemed to evoke memories of Victorian London, and so I tried to bring out those slightly sepia tones in Lightroom.