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

 

A warm shelter

A warm shelter, winter night in Ainokura

During the night the ancient village of Ainokura is not less beautiful than daytime: in winter the Gassho-style farmhouses pops out from a sea of snow with their warm lights. In the darkness and cold of the valley, the traditional houses offer a safe and comfortable shelter.

This image is the result of HDR blending of three long exposures, taken with my Pentax K-5 and the smc A 50mm F1.2

EXIF:
Camera: Pentax K-5
Lens: Pentax smc A 50mm f/1.2
Focal lenght: 50mm
Shutter time: 97 s
Aperture: F/11
Sensitivity: ISO100

 

 

In the coldest winter night

In the coldest winter night, the traditional japanese village of Ainokura

A winter night has just fallen on the small valley of Ainokura village, and this is my only chance to capture its beauty, because tonight my girlfriend and I will sleep in one of those Gassho farmhouses. With my backpack full of gear and the tripod in my hand, I undertake the “climbing” of the path that leads to an high viewpoint on the slope of nearest mountain: it’s completely dark, and turning off the headlamp is the same as closing the eyes. The path is steep and incredibly slippery, because the soft snow has turned itself into compact ice; so I proceed with the speed of a turtle for about half an hour. My efforts are repayed when I reach a good vantage point and a beautiful scenery discloses itself at my eyes: the traditional houses are embraced into the warm yellow lights of the lamppost, the same light that comes from their windows sealed with thick rice paper. Outside of the illuminated area, there is the darkness and the silence of the mountains, that is where I am: the only sounds come from my steps and my breath, and from time to time I can hear some little snowdrift falling from the tall trees and rolling down on the slope. If this is not heaven, I can’t imagine what could be: I feel the peace of being close to nature and my soul lightens itself in the thin cold air of this this snowy corner of Japanese beauty.
After about an hour of contemplation, my hands and feet are freezing, I turn on the headlamp again and… a couple of tiny eyes glows in the reflection of the light beam! They are about 100 meters away and I don’t know if they belong to a fox, a raccoon or a wolf, but maybe it’s time to go back to the village cautiously…

This shot is a single long exposure of about 3 minutes, took using the “mirror up” function, in order to avoid the slightest vibration. In the out-of-the-camera shot, the only visible things are the lights and some details of the houses but, thanks to the incredibly high performance of the Pentax K-5 sensor (it has a massive 14EV of latitude!), I managed to recover a lot of details in the darkness.

EXIF:
Camera: Pentax K-5
Lens: Pentax smc A 50mm f/1.2
Focal lenght: 50mm
Shutter time: 185 s
Aperture: F/11
Sensitivity: ISO200

 

 

Ainokura town

Ainokura, a traditional and rare japanese town

Hidden between the mountains of Toyama lies a rare gem: the traditional town of Ainokura. Together with Suganuma and Ogimachi, in Ainokura the time flows with a pace completely different from the giant japanese cities. Everything seems to be remained unchanged from the past: the most distinctive aspect of this town are the farmhouses, made completely in wood and built using just the technique of joint; no nails are used and the timber joints are strengthened by thick ropes. The roofs are steep and made of straw, to cope against the winter’s heavy snowfalls and to keep a constant temperature inside the house. This is the only region in which the Gassho-style houses can be found: for this reason these three villages have been registered by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage. When the forest discloses the view on the small valley of Ainokura, the farmhouses are a real beauty to see and are perfectly integrated in the surrounding nature, in harmony.

This shot is an hdr blend of three exposures, executed with the “mighty” Pentax 50mm f/1.2 and the Kenko Zéta EX Circular Polarizer.

EXIF:
Camera: Pentax K-5
Lens: Pentax smc A 50mm f/1.2
Focal lenght: 50mm
Shutter time: 1/25 s
Aperture: F/11
Sensitivity: ISO80

 

 

Winter paradise II

Winter paradise II in Ainokura traditional town

The Gassho farmhouses of Ainokura have faced a strong snowfall and now the first floors are completely buried in this pure white winter coat. This beautiful village seems to wait patiently and quietly the coming of spring, breathing the cold air of a sunny winter morning.

To take this shot I climbed up with all my gear a small hill of soft snow, sinking more than once up to the waist. After some tries, I found a sufficiently stable vantage point where shoot from. This is an HDR tone mapping of five exposures, taken with my wide angle Pentax 15mm F4 lens and the Kenko Zéta EX Circular Polarizer. I succeeded in capturing almost the whole tonal range, preserving the clouds’ details in the brightest upper-right corner of the frame and the darkest details of the wooden houses. As for many previous shots, I worked to created a tonemapped image as near to reality as possible, showing the real scene as seen with my eyes.

This is an HDR tonemapping of three different exposures, taken with my wide angle Pentax 15mm F4 lens: even without the sun there is quite an high dinamic range to capture, due to the dark wood of the farmhouse and the brightness of the snow. Winter paradise II.

EXIF:
Camera: Pentax K-5
Lens: Pentax smc DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited
Focal lenght: 15mm
Shutter time: 1/125 s
Aperture: F/8
Sensitivity: ISO80

 

 

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