Tag Archives: Japan

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #121: Focus on the Subject

This week for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #121, Patti shared “some helpful techniques from the experts that can help us create images that lead our viewers to our subject.”

Using Lines and repeated patterns to bring focus to the subject

At Valencia, Spain, we visited Hemisferic which is a splendid Laserium, Planetarium, and IMAX cinema (over 900 square meters of the screen). It is in the City of Arts and Sciences complex. The building was designed by Santiago Calatrava. The lines and repeated patterns draw the viewers’ attention to the shape of the eyes (one eye opened, one eye shut).

The tour bus arrived at a large parking lot. We entered a 124 m (407 ft) tunnel which leads to an ornate elevator that ascends the final 124 m (407 ft) to the building of Eagle’s Nest in Germany. The lines on the wall and the lights point to the elevator at the end of the tunnel.

Using colors and contrast to draw attention to the subject

The contrast light color of the flower and dark green background bring the attention to the single yellow Daffodil.

Using arches and doorways to frame the image

This is the St. Johns Bridge in Portland, Oregon. The bridge has a 1,207-foot (368 m) center span and a total length of 2,067 feet (630 m). The arches of the bridge towers framed the Gothic cathedral-like image. The adjacent park and neighborhood of Cathedral Park are named after this appearance.

Using freezing the moment to capture the subject

Hummingbirds flap the wings more than 60 times a second. I had fun freezing the moment of the hummingbird flapping the wings. My baby Ruby Throated hummingbird was in a “standing” still position.

Using the eyes to draw attention to the subject

I had fun finding the eyes of the animals for you to fall in love with them. The cat in the neighborhood, the deer, and the monkeys in Nara and Kyoto, Japan.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #121: Focus on the Subject

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #116: Symmetry

This week, Patti invites us to explore Symmetry as a way to create dramatic and impactful images.  I made a quick review of symmetry in photography and learned something new. Thank you, Patti.

There are four most common types of symmetry in photography

Vertical Symmetry

Vertical symmetry is the most common type of symmetry. Draw an imaginary vertical line at the center of the photo, if both sides are symmetrical, your photo will look visually appealing. Vertical symmetry is often used in architectural photography.  It emphasizes the size, shape, and design of buildings.

This Tea Garden at a restaurant in Hong Kong in which my nephew and his wife had the tea ceremony before the wedding banquet.

Kasuga Grand Shrine in Nara, Japan, is famous for its many bronze lanterns, as well as the many stone lanterns that lead up the shrine.  

The Champ de Mars is one of the most beautiful, large public green spaces in Paris, France. This is one of the 360o views on the viewing level of the Eiffel Tower.

Horizontal Symmetry

Horizontal symmetry is often used in landscape photography. Especially when a body of water is present. This can be confused with reflective symmetry. The difference is that horizontal symmetry does not necessarily have to feature a reflection. Reflective symmetry always does.

The following beach photo shows the horizon reaching the sky, and the horizontal lines of the waves, and the line between the sand and water.

Seville was one of our stops during the Spain tour. This photo shows both vertical and horizontal symmetry. This is the Plaza de España in Seville built in 1928. It is a landmark example of Regionalism Architecture, mixing elements of the Baroque Revival, Renaissance Revival and Moorish Revival styles of Spanish architecture.

Radial Symmetry

Radial symmetry usually involves shapes that go round and round with the same patterns. This is often associated with ripples, succulents, domes, wheels, etc.

There are many circular layers in the Central Garden at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Reflective Symmetry

As its name suggests, reflective symmetry is all about reflections. We can find reflections in water, surfaces like glass, and buildings to create a mirror image.

This is the Patio de los Arrayanes in Alhambra, Spain. The image of the building is reflected in the pond.

Our favorite get away is the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens in Los Angeles. This part of the Chinese Garden is reflected in the pond.

LENS-ARTISTS PHOTO CHALLENGE #116: SYMMETRY

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #96: Cropping the Shot

This week, Patti invited us to use cropping a shot to bring out the better quality of photography. I’m always interested in doing that, especially when I take photos in a hurry or have a limited choice of my position where I take the photos. The photos may extra elements not desirable to me.

I found several photos in which I applied the cropping. I’ll explain the reasons of doing so. You can let me know if you agree with them.

Before the crop

In this photo I took on the way to Road to Hana in Maui, Hawaii, I liked the cliff but it is in the center and I wanted the focal point to be a little off center to make the composition interesting.

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After the crop

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I took two steps:

  1. I cropped a little of the foreground and part of the slope on the left to change the composition.
  2. I increased the clarity to being out of the texture of the cliff and have more contrast between the land and the waves.

Before the crop

In the next photo I took in the Kowloon Park in Hong Kong, I included a group of flamingos. It was a smoggy day, and the air was not clear.

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After the crop

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I took three steps:

  1. I cropped of a scattered part of the flamingos on the left and the man on the bench.
  2. I increased the intensity of the color to being out a little more of the pink in the flamingos.
  3. I increased the clarity, even though there’s no way to add sunshine to the sky.

Before the crop

I took the last photo in Nara Deer Park in Kyoto, Japan. With the busy tourists taking photos of the deer, it was hard to get in front of the deer to get them to look at me. This deer turned to me, so I took the shot regardless of the busy surrounding.

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After the crop

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I took two steps:

  1. I cropped the immediate tourists who were taking photos.
  2. I increased the clarity to bring out the texture and the clarity of the deer’s eyes. Now I got the deer looking at me.

Tina suggested to crop less to include the tourists as part of the story. Here is the one with less cropping.

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Thank you for reading and please let me know what you think!

Next week, Sue of Mac’s Girl will be our special guest host for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #97 on Saturday, May 16th. Our regular schedule for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #98 on May 23rd will have Ann-Christine as our host.

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #96: Cropping the Shot

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #80 – Leading Lines

This week Tina introduced us the important rules in photography – the leading lines and illustrates with her fabulous photos and quotes.

Leading lines are my favorite compositions of photos. I included in this post some of my favorites as well as some quotes on leading lines.

 

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T.S. Elliot

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Maui Bamboo forest, Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii

It was our fourth trip to Maui last year. We drove through the Road of Hana during the previous trips but not the last trip. I decided to go hiking and see the waterfalls. The Seven Sacred Pools is a beautiful series of pools at the base of waterfalls in the Oheo Gulch. This is on the ocean front part of Haleakala National Park on Maui, Hawaii.

There is a 2-mile trail (Pipiwai Trail) along the gulch that takes us past Makahiku Falls. Along the Pipiwai Trail is a majestic Maui bamboo forest. As far as our eyes can see, dense groupings of bamboo stalks are everywhere. The trail ends at the base of the 400-foot Waimoku Falls.

 

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” – Maria Robinson

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The road leading to Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii

We took this road to the Seven Sacred Pool, the same road leads us to the Road to Hana, but we didn’t go through the Road to Hana on this trip.

 

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt

3.Yellowstone

Uncle Tom’s Trail, Yellowstone

My family and I hiked down then up the Uncle Tom’s Trail in Yellowstone.

 

“Make sure you visualize what you really want, not what someone else wants for you.” — Jerry Gillies

4.Alaska

Alaska Railroad between Anchorage and Denali Park

Hubby and I took the train back to Anchorage from Denali Park. The train stopped here for the north bound train to switch crews.

 

“You have to see failure as the beginning or middle but never entertain it as the end.” – Jessica Herrin

5.Bergisel ski jump stadium, Olympic site, Innsbruck, Austria

Bergisel Ski Jump stadium, Innsbruck, Austria

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Bergisel Ski Jump stadium, Innsbruck, Austria

The Bergisel Ski Jump stadium has a capacity of 26,000. It is a ski jumping hill located in Bergisel in Innsbruck, Austria. It was the Olympics site in 1964 and 1976. I climbed the steps to the top of the ski jump.

 

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” Walt Disney

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Hiking trail leading to the Monkey Park, Kyoto, Japan

We visited Iwatayama Monkey Park in Arashiyama in Kyoto, Japan in January 2019. The Park is on top of this mountain. The hiking trail was quite steep to me and I had to slow down a few times to catch my breath while Hubby waited for me.

 

“You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” Christopher Columbus

8.Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach, California

Huntington Beach is 23 miles from our home. It is less than an hour drive with traffic to get there. It’s our frequent place for outing or just going for walks.

 

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” — Arthur Ashe

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Kasuga-Taisha Shrine, Kyoto, Japan

While we were in Kyeto, Japan, after visiting the Nara Deer Park, we visited Kasuga-Taisha Shrine which is the most important Shinto shrine in Nara. More than just the shrine buildings, Kasuga-Taisha is a mysterious world of forest, pathways, lanterns and wandering deer.

 

“Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert

 

10.tunnel to Eagle's Rock, Germany

Tunnel leading to Eagle’s Nest, Kehlsteinhaus, Germany

Bavarian Alps.Germany

Bavarian Alps, Germany

 

We visited the Eagle’s Nest at Kehlsteinhaus when we were in Germany. It is situated on a ridge atop the Kehlstein which is an 1,834 m (6,017 ft) sub-peak rising above the town of Berchtesgaden. The tour bus took us to a parking lot, we then walked through a 124 m (407 ft) tunnel leading to an ornate elevator that ascends 124 m (407 ft) to the building. We could see the spectacular view of Bavarian Alps, the most majestic mountain range with rivers and lakes at the foot of the enormous limestone.

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #80 – Leading Lines

 

 

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #69 – Seeing Double

Tina for Lens-Artists Challenge #69 said, “Double trouble, double-time, two’s company, take two ….  the world is filled with references to twosomes. This week, let’s double our pleasure and focus on things that come in twos.”

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The following photos are from our trip to Hong Kong and Japan in January this year.

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There are more than 300 kinds of gold fish, Ocean Park, Hong Kong

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These two pups enjoyed each other, Ocean Park, Hong Kong

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Flamingos – amazing animals at Kowloon Park, Hong Kong

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Decoration at the entrance of the hotel, Kyoto, Japan

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Monkey Park at the top of Arashiyama, Kyoto, Japan

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These reindeer were waiting for food from the visitors in the Reindeer Park, Nara, Japan

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #69 – Seeing Double

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #51: Unique Nara Deer Park

The theme from Amy this week for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #51 is: Unique. I want to post our unique experience in Japan.

Our family went to Kyoto, Japan in January 2019. While in Kyoto, we visited Nara Park.  

 

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 Nara Park is a public deer park located at the foot of Mount Wakakusa. Established in 1880, it is one of the oldest parks in Japan. The park, including the adjunct temples and gardens, is as large as 1,600 acres.

 

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Nara Park

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Kasugataisha Shrine

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Evergreen Botanical Garden

 

The wild sika deer are designated as natural treasures. They are freely roaming around the park.

 

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Visitors can purchase “deer-crackers” to feed them.

 

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Well, this deer wanted to taste the ice cream

The number of deer grew to around 1,200 in 2008 and created concerns about environmental and crop damage.

 

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During fiscal 2016, 121 people were injured by deer. In 2016 the area around Nara was designated into four different zones, with the outer zones allowing deer to be captured and killed. The culling started in 2017, with a limit of 120 deer to be culled during 2017.

As of July 2017, there were around 1,500 deer living in the park, and at least 164 people had been injured by them in fiscal 2017-2018. Most of them were tourists feeding the deer.

In April 2018 Nara city set up new signs in English, Chinese and Japanese informing tourists that the deer are wild animals and to not tease them during feeding.

I took the following video when a deer bowed to ask for food from visitors.

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #51: Unique Nara Deer Park

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #43–Less is More

This week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, the theme Amy gave us is:

“Less is More.”

 

We have heard of this phrase often. When I saw this theme, I was curious of the origin of the expression. The research took me to several places and I wanted to trace the origin. This is what I found out:

This is a 19th century proverbial phrase. It is first found in print in Andrea del Sarto, 1855, a poem by Robert Browning written to Lucrezia:

“Who strive – you don’t know how the others strive
To paint a little thing like that you smeared
Carelessly passing with your robes afloat,-
Yet do much less, so much less, Someone says,
(I know his name, no matter) – so much less!
Well, less is more, Lucrezia.”

 

The phrase is often associated with the architect and furniture designer Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe (1886-1969), one of the founders of modern architecture and a proponent of simplicity of style.

Simple architecture in Kyoto, Japan.

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Kasugataisya Shrine

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #30 – Unexpected

Anne-Christine asks us to show how we interpret “Unexpected.”

My trip to Hong Kong and Japan was filled with unexpected experiences. Even though I grew up in Hong Kong, nothing is the same as the place I left it years ago. During our nine-day stay, we were accompanied by family members to go places. I found all these places new to me except remembering some of the street names.

I only include some photos of a few places we visited..

Kowloon Park is the largest park in Hong Kong. I couldn’t believe seeing flamingos there.

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We found a huge indoor playground for Autumn to run around.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #10: Fences

The theme for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge this week is Fences. There are fences near and far, close to home and around the globe. Some fences are made with rod iron, wood, stones, cement, plants, flowers, lava rocks or a combination of the above. The functions of the fences are to be for prohibition, protection, security, divider, or beauty. In this post, I have included some examples of the forms and functions of the fences.

1.1 Cherry Blossom Japan

Cherry blossoms between the stone and wooden fences in Japan.

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