Path to the forbidden forest

Path to the forbidden forest.

Path to the forbidden forest. Japan. A stairway of stones, plentifully bestrewn with the last leaves of autumn, leads to the heart of the sacred forbidden forest.
With this work I wanted to convey a sense of mysticism, which can be felt during this particular moment of autumn, when the flaming red leaves of the Momiji trees (japanese maple trees) adorn the ancient stairway of stones that leads to the temple into the forest. This scene represented for me the perfect bond between nature and the work of man to approach the divine.

To capture this image I used my Pentax K-3 camera with the Pentax SMC DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM lens, mounted on a tripod, and the Lee Polariser filter. To reach the highest possible resolving power of the sensor, I’ve set the aperture to the lens’ sweet spot of f/5.6, then I shot using the Mirror Up function and the wireless trigger, avoiding any unwanted micro-movement. This is actually a composite image of seven different shots, blended together to remove some tourists from the scene.

EXIF:
Camera: Pentax K-3
Lens: Pentax SMC DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) SDM
Focal lenght: 58mm
Shutter time: 1/2 s
Aperture: F/5.6
Sensitivity: ISO100

 

This photograph has been awarded with an Honorable Mention in the 2018 edition of the ipa int’l Photography Awards: “The Path to The Forbidden Forest” – Category Nature/Seasons

 

 

Visit to the shrine

Visit to the shrine.

Visit to the shrine. Two japanese girls, dressed with colorful kimono, pay a visit to the Hirano Shrine, part of a large complex located in the north-western area of Kyoto. I took this shot after what it seemed an endless waiting: the shrine was packed with tourists dressed in the most disparate ways, resulting in a somewhat uninspiring view. In a stroke of luck, I seized the only moment in which those two girls were alone inside the frame and, what is more, it coincided with some clear up in a rather cloudy day.

EXIF:
Camera: Pentax K-3
Lens: Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
Focal lenght: 35mm
Shutter time: 1/100 s
Aperture: F/2.8
Sensitivity: ISO100

 

 

Fortress of the sky

Fortress of the sky.

Fortress of the sky. The mighty castle of Osaka, at sunset. To emphasize its imposing structure I’ve composed the frame placing the camera below its base. Long exposure executed using a Lee Big Stopper and an additional Lee Soft ND Grad.

EXIF:
Camera: Pentax K-3
Lens: Samyang 16mm f/2,0 ED AS UMC CS
Focal lenght: 16mm
Shutter time: 25 s
Aperture: F/6.3
Sensitivity: ISO100

 

 

The great white heron

The great white heron.

The Himeji jo, known as “The White Heron” or “Shirasagi jo”, is the biggest castle of Japan. After the restoration works that took several years and ended on March 27th 2015, the walls of the structure were dazzling white and its reflection on the moat was more visible than in the past.
Shot with the Lee Filters Big Stopper to obtain a long exposure and the Lee Filters ND SoftGrad 0.6 to darken the sky.

EXIF:
Camera: Pentax K-3
Lens: Samyang 16mm f/2,0 ED AS UMC CS
Focal lenght: 16mm
Shutter time: 34 s
Aperture: F/7.1
Sensitivity: ISO100

 

This photograph has been awarded with an Honorable Mention in the 2016 edition of the ND Awards: “The Great White Heron” – Category Special/Long Exposure

 

 

The mirror of lacquer

The mirror of lacquer.

The mirror of lacquer. Japan. One of the most sought-after sights during this season in Japan is definitely the one you can enjoy inside the Rurikoin: in this private temple there’s a room opened on two sides to the garden. The special feature of this room is a polished lacquered table that reflects the amazing palette of colors of the Momiji trees in late autumn.
If you are going to visit Kyoto, this is a must see location. Unfortunately the stiff admission ticket is not a deterrent for the hundreds of tourists who want to enjoy this place everyday, so you have to be a bit lucky and hope not to visit the Rurikoin packed in a crowd…

EXIF:
Camera: Pentax K-3
Lens: Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM
Focal lenght: 10mm
Shutter time: 1/30 s
Aperture: F/5.6
Sensitivity: ISO100

 

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

 

Last snow on the Kinkakuji golden pavilion in Kyoto

Last snow on the Kinkakuji.

Last snow on the Kinkakuji. After a light snowfall in Kyoto, some white spots still adorn the dark roofs of the Kinkakuji golden pavilion and its surrounding garden. The lightly rippled surface of the pond reflects the shiny color of this unique monument.

EXIF:
Camera: Pentax K-3
Lens: Pentax smc DA 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR
Focal lenght: 28mm
Shutter time: 1/500 s
Aperture: F/5.6
Sensitivity: ISO200

 

Kinkakuji golden vision during a heavy snowfall in Kyoto

Kinkakuji golden vision.

Kinkakuji golden vision. A view of the Kinkakuji golden pavilion during a heavy snowfall. The entire garden is covered in snow, becoming almost monochromatic: this makes the shiny color of the pavilion stand out even more, turning the Kinkakuji into a golden vision.

Note that this photograph is licensable for many different uses through my Stock Photography Agency SIMEPHOTO.

EXIF:
Camera: Pentax K-3
Lens: Pentax HD DA 20-40mm F2.8-4 Limited DC WR
Focal lenght: 20mm
Shutter time: 1/200 s
Aperture: F/8
Sensitivity: ISO200

 

Sacred elements – The waterfall of Minoh in autumn

Sacred elements – The waterfall of Minoh.

Sacred elements. A view of the waterfall of Minoh, inside the Meiji-no-mori park, in early autumn. The Momiji tree that grows close to the wall of rock, whose harsh surface is polished by the flow of water, stretches toward the waterfall, as if it would breathe the air full of droplets.
Using a 6 stops ND filter, which extended the exposure time, I managed to emphasize the shape and the jumps of the waterfall, as well as smoothing out the surface of the pond.

EXIF:
Camera: Pentax K-3
Lens: Samyang 16mm f/2,0 ED AS UMC CS
Focal lenght: 16mm
Shutter time: 13 s
Aperture: F/5.6
Sensitivity: ISO100

 

 

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