Monk in contemplation

Monk in Contemplation

Monk in Contemplation. Japan. A monk of the Buddhist temple Hasedera, Sakurai City, Nara Prefecture, contemplates the beauty of nature during autumn, when the leaves of Momiji trees turn red. Moments of contemplation like this are a common factor in all those meditative disciplines and activities which detach from the hectic modern daily life, slow down and meet the “pace of nature”.

EXIF:
Camera: Pentax K-3
Lens: Pentax SMC DA* 50-135mm F2.8 ED [IF] SDM
Focal lenght: 135mm
Shutter time: 1/13 s
Aperture: F/4.5
Sensitivity: ISO400

 

You can find the full blog post about the culture and history of tea in Japan at the following page: Tea culture in Japan: history, tradition and plantation of Wazuka

 

 

Enkei Chabatake tea field

Enkei Chabatake a unique tea field in Japan.

Enkei Chabatake tea field. In Harayama, Wazuka (Japan) there is a tea field that grows in a small space, at the edge of a wood, on a steep slope, and its unique circular shape is amazing: the perfectly trimmed rows of hedges wane along the curved survace, creating a mesmerizing effect.
The diagonal light of the afternoon produces a “chiaroscuro” pattern caused by the shadow of a row projected on the row below and on the space between them.

EXIF:
Camera: Pentax K-3
Lens: Pentax SMC K 30mm F2.8
Focal lenght: 30mm
Shutter time: 1/80 s
Aperture: F/8
Sensitivity: ISO100

 

You can find the full blog post about the culture and history of tea in Japan at the following page: Tea culture in Japan: history, tradition and plantation of Wazuka

 

Chatsumi

Chatsumi

Chatsumi. Japan. Chatsumi (茶摘み) is the japanese traditional method of picking tea leaves. In Wazuka, the rural area of Kyoto, during the sunny seasons there’s the chance to take part to this educational activity, in which typical clothes and tools are illustrated and used.
This is undoubtedly a fascinating jump in the past, to discover one of the many traditions of Japan.

EXIF:
Camera: Pentax K-5
Lens: Pentax SMC DFA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR
Focal lenght: 100mm
Shutter time: 1/500 s
Aperture: F/5.6
Sensitivity: ISO160

 

You can find the full blog post about the culture and history of tea in Japan at the following page: Tea culture in Japan: history, tradition and plantation of Wazuka

 

Brushing the tea

Brushing the tea

Brushing the tea. Japan. A tea farmer inspecting his plantation in Wazuka, Kyoto. Taking care of tea growth is an essential part of farmer’s work because, depending on the period of the year and on the size of the leaves, the resulting tea will be very different.
This is one of the moments that I appreciated most during my visits to the tea fields of Wazuka: a simple gesture, brushing the tea, which shows how much the farmer is involved in what he does; there is not only the professionalism in knowing how to inspect the leaves to understand if everything is going well, but there is also an “emotional” bond towards the life that sprouts and grows. For me it was touching, in a certain way, to note that not everything is now mechanized and managed automatically, to maximize productivity but, in places like these, there is still a real closeness between man and nature. A knowledge handed down and refined with experience.

To capture this moment I’ve used my Pentax K-5 with the Pentax 100mm F2.8 tele lens; I loved this view so much that I visited this spot again in a different season to capture it again.

EXIF:
Camera: Pentax K-5
Lens: Pentax SMC DFA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR
Focal lenght: 100mm
Shutter time: 1/320 s
Aperture: F/8
Sensitivity: ISO160

 

You can find the full blog post about the culture and history of tea in Japan at the following page: Tea culture in Japan: history, tradition and plantation of Wazuka

 

The land of tea

The land of tea

The land of tea. Japan. The rural area of Wazuka, Kyoto prefecture, is one of the most renowned tea plantation site of entire Japan. Many hills are literally covered with round shaped bushes of Camellia Sinensis, which characterize the landscape in an unmistakable and enchanting way.
With its approximately 800 years of history, this is the “cradle” of tea in Japan (especially the renowned Uji Matcha), together with a few other fields, mostly scattered in the central-southern geographical areas of the archipelago.
Visiting this land of tea is a unique experience for many reasons: firstly, the pleasant feeling of moving away from the modern and hectic megalopolises that characterize Japan, to enter another dimension, more silent, peaceful, and in contact with nature, in which time slows down and you have the freedom to breathe deeply and notice details. In addition, there is the wonder that one feels in admiring the beauty and attention to detail of these plantations, of the geometries, of the colors and of how the light caresses them, in an harmony with the surrounding landscape that is difficult to reach if not through a deep knowledge of nature.
For those of you who were wondering, all those white poles are fans. They are used to prevent the formation of frost, especially in autumn and winter, which is harmful to the buds and apical leaflets. In this way, it is possible to make Camellia Sinensis plants grow healthy and strong without necessarily having to cover them with plastic sheets.

To capture this image I used my Pentax K-3 camera with the Pentax SMC DA 15mm f/4 Limited lens and a circular polariser filter, which helped to make the colors of the sky and of the foliage a bit deepeer.

EXIF:
Camera: Pentax K-3
Lens: Pentax SMC DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited
Focal lenght: 15mm
Shutter time: 1/250 s
Aperture: F/7.1
Sensitivity: ISO100

 

You can find the full blog post about the culture and history of tea in Japan at the following page: Tea culture in Japan: history, tradition and plantation of Wazuka

 

Oiran

Oiran.

During an historical reenactment held in Kyoto, many traditional figures, wearing faithful reproductions of original dresses, paraded before the public. This is a photo of an Oiran, that is a courtesan of the Edo Period; specifically, the role of the Oiran was a mix of entertainer and prostitute: they were classy women and talented in singing, dancing, playing instruments like the shamisen and they were always dressed with luxurious garments. Being “high class entertainers”, they were very expensive to hire, to the point that only the aristocrats and the wealthiest people could afford their company.

EXIF:
Camera: Pentax K-3
Lens: SMC DA* 50-135mm F2.8 ED [IF] SDM
Focal lenght: 50mm
Shutter time: 1/250 s
Aperture: F/2.8
Sensitivity: ISO200

 

The Daruma family

The Daruma family.

The Daruma family. Japan. In a big temple near Osaka, a sort of tabernacle shrine packed with Daruma shows how devoted are the people to these symbols of good luck and hope. Usually, a person who has a wish buys a Daruma doll, which has both eyes blank, and paints in black just one of them. If the wish comes true, the believer paints the other eye and brings the doll back to the temple.

EXIF:
Camera: Pentax K-3
Lens: Samyang 16mm f/2,0 ED AS UMC CS
Focal lenght: 16mm
Shutter time: 1/320 s
Aperture: F/2
Sensitivity: ISO200

 

The rose and the grapes

The rose and the grapes

A rose in the vineyard has more purposes besides the aesthetical one: it’s an “alarm” that signals if the vines risk a sickness.

EXIF:
Camera: Pentax K-3
Lens: Pentax smc DA 15mm F4 Limited
Focal lenght: 15mm
Shutter time: 1/50 s
Aperture: F/7.1
Sensitivity: ISO200

 

If you want to read the entire article about the ancient wine cellars of Tuscany, just click HERE

 

Yabusame Falling

The Yabusame archer loses the balance and falls from his horse.

Due to the complexity of riding the horse and take aim on the target while standing up on the stirrups, falling from the horse is a concrete possibility for the yabusame archer. Losing the balance is a matter of a fraction of second. Moreover, if the horse is nervous the ride is even harder. Luckily, in this case, the archer has fallen just a few centimeters beyond the poles and he didn’t report any injury. The jury is watching the scene with worry…

EXIF:
Camera: Pentax K-3
Lens: Pentax SMC DA 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 ED AL IF DC WR
Focal lenght: 100mm
Shutter time: 1/1000 s
Aperture: F/6.7
Sensitivity: ISO200

 

This shot belongs to the award-winning series in the PX3 Prix de la photographie 2014 edition: “Yabusame” – Bronze medal – Category Press/Performing arts

 

You can find the full blog post about the japanese traditional horse mounted archery at the following page: Yabusame, the japanese horse mounted archery

 

Yabusame Tightening the bow

The Yabusame archer, standing on his legs, tightens the Yumi bow as he approaches the target.

Being a special longbow, the Yabusame archer has to tighten it above his head and then align the arm to the eyes just before shooting the arrow. It’s a very difficult position to keep, while standing on a running horse. During the act of shooting, called “hanare”, the archer shouts “In You” that means “Yin and Yang, Darkness and Light”, the two opposite forces of the universe. Shouting these words, the archer focuses all his spiritual energies inside the arrow that, through the Yumi, is thrown to the source of the Universe, the true essence of Buddha.

EXIF:
Camera: Pentax K-3
Lens: Pentax SMC DA 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 ED AL IF DC WR
Focal lenght: 115mm
Shutter time: 1/1000 s
Aperture: F/6.7
Sensitivity: ISO200

 

You can find the full blog post about the japanese traditional horse mounted archery at the following page: Yabusame, the japanese horse mounted archery

 

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