Our last morning in Kyoto we headed over to the Imperial Place. It was flooded with people so I decided instead of taking photos of the palace like everyone else was doing, I'd take photos of the photographers taking photos around the palace. It was a lot more fun.

Photographers Taking Photos At The Imperial Palace

The most interesting part of this exercise was seeing what kind of cameras, phones and tablets everyone was shooting with. I saw very few DSLR's and almost no mirrorless cameras, but also there was almost nobody younger than 50. That tells me old people are into smart phones and compact camera photography just the same as the younger generation.

The Flip Phone Shooter

Saw a bunch of flip phone shooters. It was surprising. I didn't even think people still used flip phones let alone took photos with them. 

Flip Phone Photographer

The Video Camera Shooter

Not sure if he was shooting video or stills. Maybe videos but he seemed a little too all over the place for video. One thing's for sure, that camera is a classic.

Old Video Camera Photographer

This Guys Got The Shot

A Nikon DSLR shooter. Maybe 15% of the people shooting that day were on DSLRs.

Nikon Photographer in Japan

The Leica Shooter

I didn't get to see his camera up close. But definitely a Leica. Probably film from the looks of it. 

Leica Photographer In Japan

The Compact Sensei

Didn't catch the camera but it was a cool shot. 

Compact Camera Sensei

Another Compact Or Smart Phone Master

Smart Phone Photographer

Above The Crowd

This guys shot probably turned out pretty cool. Looks like a little compact.

Compact Camera Photographer In Japan

One of the really cool things about Japan and visiting the temples and palaces is the amount of photographers that are everyone. People love taking pictures and the variety of cameras is so unique. I'm still not seeing a lot of mirrorless cameras and only have seen two Sony A7s or A7rs my entire trip.

One of the A7's I saw was accompanied by a woman dual wielding with a 1Dx on her other sling. I was thinking. "What do you need that for, you've got the A7." :)


A Day With The Sony A7r And The Cutest Little Girl In Japan

While in Japan I always get caught up in some lifestyle family photography, sometimes it's weddings, sometimes it's children.

This time it was my wife's cousin's little niece. Kaho. And it was a lot of fun to really put the autofocus speed of the Sony A7r to the test. I think it passed. 

Sony A7r Auto Focus Speeds

The Sony A7r is not crazy fast like the A6000, but it's fast enough. Faster than my old 5Dmkii, but that's not saying much. You can see my complete review with more sample images here.

Photographing children in action is one of the most difficult to shoot. Anyone with children can testify to this. They just don't stop moving for more than a second which makes it incredibly difficult for a slow autofocusing camera.

The Zeiss 35mm f2.8 Banding Issue

I love the Zeiss 35mm lens but I can't get past the banding it adds to the clear blue skies. I'm not positive it's the lens in this case but am pretty sure since it's a known problem which you can read about here at my Zeiss 35mm f2.8 lens review.

The Depth Of Field

I almost always like to shoot open with this camera and lens set up. It just produces beautiful images. 

I was a little shallow on my focus on this shot but for blog images you can't hardly tell.

My next test is even better. I did some shooting in The Owl Cafe of Fukuoka which I'll be posting very soon. 


The Onsens Of Yufuin

We spent a day in Yufuin and a night at the Onsen in Yamashiroya.

I wish I took more pictures of Yamashiroya because it was super cool. Felt like it was decorated in the 60's and never touched since. Still magazines and games around from that period. And the onsens were very relaxing.

Yamashiroya Onsen

There were many different onsens with different styles. Only took a photo of this one but the others were also very cool. 

Yamishiroya Onsen of Japan

Yamashiroya Food

The food was amazing. The overall experience and the deal of this place was great.

Typically in these Japanese Onsens that I've been to at least, you pay a set amount of money and you get unlimited access to the onsens, and they give you yukata, a room and feed you for the night. We actually got breakfast as well.

The Dinning Room

Dinner at Yamashiroya Hotel

The Food

There was a variety of food. Best egg plant I've ever had and the Yakiniku was great.

Yamashiroya Yakiniku

A Day In Yufuin

After the night at the onsen we spent the day in Yufuin. It's a very cool little touristy town. 

The Lake Hotel

Kinrinko is an awesome lake in Yufuin that is very photogenic.

Kinrinko Lake in Yufuin Japa

The Floral Village

In the town of Yufuin there is this Floral Village that's like something out of Alice and Wonderland. They even have little rabbits and ducks you can feed.

Getting this shot was next to impossible. There were so many tourists, I had to wait about 15 minutes and grab a few shots over time and use pieces with nobody in the scene to stitch together.

The Floral Village of Yufuin Japan

The Yufuin Doctor Fish

There are a few places you can find Doctor Fish here. I've seen them in the airport in Bali before but never tried it out until now. 

For the first few minutes as they start eating the dead skin off your feet, it tickles pretty good but you eventually get use to it. When you're done your feet feel so clean.

Doctor Fish feeding on feet

The Vending Machine Kid

While waiting for the train in Yufuin I saw a kid trying to get a drink in the Vending machine. i just liked the shot.

Street Photography of boy getting soda shot with the Sony A7r

We've been having some pretty crappy weather so I haven't been doing that much photography the last few days. We've had a few rainy days. Hopefully it clears up soon.


Last Days Of Kyoto

The last day of Kyoto was probably the most fun day. Although it's very crowded this time of year with bus loads of tour buses tourists where ever possible. It didn't really bother me though, being 6'3" likely had something to do with it, but it was also a very friendly crowd. And the people I was with all dressed up which only added to the antics. 

Yumiko And Steve

As full blooded Japanese they fit perfectly in their traditional Japanese Kimonos.

Yumiko And Steve In Kimonos

Business As Usual

Walking through Kyoto is always a lot of fun, especially near Kiyomizu Dera which is where this photo was taken.

Some shop owners had finished spraying down the street for the night as the sun set perfectly between the two buildings.

Business As Usual

The Kiyomizu-dera Of Kyoto Japan

Every time I have come here some form of the structure is under construction. I just can't get a break. Luckily I was able to find the right angle where you couldn't tell.

This shot is what you could call an HDR photo. Because of the position of the sun I had to shoot three separate exposures with my Sony A7r to capture all the detail, then process them together in Photomatix with a lot of Photoshop and Lightroom color work. It takes a lot of time to do this but is well worth the effort.

HDR Photo of Kiyomizu-Dera Temple

The Ghost Of The Geisha

This was my first time going to a Geisha show. It was surreal.

The Ghosts Of The Geisha

I've been doing a lot more landscape HDR work now. I've been going to the country side so street photography with my Sony A7r is just about at it's end for this trip. Expect more Landscapes in the coming days.


Nara Japan And The Toji Temple

It took me awhile to process all the photos from Nara Japan. I shot more landscape stuff despite it being the middle of the day. Everything here is also shot on the Sony A7r. 

Usually sunsets or sunrises is when most photographers like to shoot landscapes, but it's not always necessary. Just a lot more of a challenge to post processes when trying to get the colors and saturation correct compared to sunset when the sky can change the scene to the most wild colors.

You can follow the rest of my Japan Photography here.

Nara Japan And The Todai-Ji Temple

Nara is a little outside of Kyoto. It's sort of this ancient Buddhist sanctuary where deer roam freely fearless of people. It's an amazing place to shoot some iconic photography of Japan.

Nara also houses the Todai-ji temple which is the world's largest wooden building. The Buddhist Hall Diabutsu also holds the world's largest bronze statue of Buddha Vairocana. It really is quite the site. 

Photo of Todai-ji the great Buddha hall during the sakura bloom.

Photography Of Todai-Ji Temple of Nara Japan

Deer Walking Freely Among The Sakura

I grabbed this shot as a deer was feeding under a Sakura on my way to the Todai-ji temple.

I gave it more of an HDR feel since the colors of the scene weren't great to begin with. I've noticed tonemapping images in Photomatix or by hand tend to help the colors pop a little more. In this photo I used Photoshop's 'Shadows/Highlights' tool. As well as Color Efex Pro's 'Low Key' filter.

Deer Amoung The Cherry Blossoms or Sakura

Shopping In Nara

Nara also has a little shopping district. It seems every city in Japan has this same style shopping arcade. From my experience the one in Kyoto is probably the best but the most crowded. Fukuoka's has an Owl Cafe which is pretty cool, and Osaka's is a little more old fashion. 

This photo is a good old fashion three shot HDR. Processed with my Free Photomatix Presets.

If you don't shoot HDR Photography and are looking to get started, start with Photomatix, and use these presets. You'll love them.

HDR Photo of the Nara Shopping Arcade

Sunset In The Arcade

This is a shot from inside the arcade look out into the setting sun. The Sony A7r's favorite conditions.

With this cameras crazy dynamic range and low light capabilities, I'm learning you can really do what ever you want in any condition. And Sony did not pay me to say that. Although I wish they would. :)

If you haven't already, you can see my living breathing Sony A7r review here.

Nara Shopping Arcade At Sunset

The To-Ji Temple Of Kyoto

This is the most beautiful places I've ever been. It'd hard to capture it in a photograph but I'll certainly be posting more shots soon.

At night they light up the cherry blossoms set around the largest wooden tower in Japan, and as far as I know is the largest five story Pagoda in the world. 

My apartment was about a three minute walk from here.

Night Photography Of The To-Ji Temple Of Japan

Tomorrows Photos will have a lot more Kyoto photography. The girls I was with rented Kimonos.

It's been a lot of work to get through all these shots but the few free days I have this week should let me get caught up. Then it's off to Okinawa.


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