Kyoto Imperial Palace

The Kyoto Imperial Palace used to be the residence of Japan’s Imperial Family until 1868 (Emperor Meiji moved to Tokyo). The current Imperial Palace was reconstructed in 1855 after it had burnt down.

The complex is enclosed by long walls and consists of several gates, halls and gardens; 1,300 meters (4,300 ft) north to south and 700 meters (2,300 ft).

Google map brought us to the location of the palace, but we took a long walk around the walls to find the gate entrance.

There are many beautiful gates around the palace. This one below was used on the rare occasions of the emperor welcoming a foreign diplomat or dignitary

This gate is special because of the cypress-wood roof. This one is shape and structures are different. the cypress-wood rood is supported by four wooden pillars:

The roof is the dominant feature of traditional Japanese architecture.

Through the Jomeimon Gate we are approaching the Shishin-den main hall.

The Shishin-den main hall is the Hall for State Ceremonies of the palace.

This photo tells the story of the imperial ceremony at the Shishin-den main hall looks like in the old time:

While I was busy with taking photos, hubby was looking at these buildings carefully, and he kept wondering what kind of material they used for the roof.

This model answered his question of regarding the material and how the cypress-wood roof was constructed:

Here is interesting information about Japanese architecture:

During the Kamakura period (1185–1333) and the following Muromachi period (1336–1573), Japanese architecture made technological advances that made it somewhat diverge from its Chinese counterpart. In response to native requirements such as earthquake resistance and shelter against heavy rainfall and the summer heat and sun, the master carpenters of this time responded with a unique type of architecture.    —Wikipedia 

This post is getting pretty long, I should do another post for the Imperial Gardens.

Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂

Into the Woods–Experimental

Taking our photography to the next level is a journey. Each stage is an experimenting process, that learning never ends.

WPC: Experimental

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XDrive Photography Learning – 15 – Part 2

Raj says, “By definition, the backlit condition is, when the source of your light is facing the camera. Unlike other types of photography its kind of tricky to set the proper exposure here.” This topic is fun to learn.

I found another three images in my file.

#1 Sun was rising

Captured through a hotel window with iPhone 6+ and processed through Lr:

I removed the crane on the right as Raj suggested having two instead:

#2 Sun was about to go down at the Grand Canon

1/400, f13, iso 250 with 28-135 mm lens

#3  Horse hair

1/160, f9, iso 100 with 18-300 mm lens

Two of the five were misinterpreted (big time, sorry about that) on my previous post. Hope I do better this time.

I made some adjustments for these two images below according to Raj’s feedback.

Raj was right about the HDR. I edited the photo through Snapseed and added HDR. That was several months ago, I didn’t remember until now. But, Mater Raj detected it. Awesome!

For this one, I removed the vignetting. It does look better.

Thank you so much, Raj! Click here to learn more.

Looking forward to hearing from you! 🙂

XDrive Photography Learning – 15 – Backlit Photography

Raj is offering Backlit Photography this week, “Generally, camera’s exposure control sees a bright light falling on the lens, so it will restrict the aperture or the shutter speed to reduce the light and you will end up with a picture with a lot of shadows.” He shows us how to get cool shots when the camera is facing the sunlight. Raj “strongly recommend manual exposure”, which I don’t mess with it often because I don’t always remember to turn it back to normally. I need to practice on it.

Here are my submissions for this series. Canon 7D II with 18-300 mm lens. Photos were edited through the basic panel of Lr and added 30-40 sharpness for the raw files.

The one below was taken at the Rocky MNP. We were hiking up toward east, the morning sunlight was right behind the moose.

1/250,  ss f9, iso 1600 (auto)

We continued the hike, and Sun was shining through the trees.

1/50 ss, f22, iso 500

While watching Elks, I turned around and saw this dramatic scene. It was at around 5:15 pm:

1/250, f10, iso 100

When I visit my horse friends on Sunday morning, I get backlit shots all the time.

1/50 ss, f7.1, iso 100

Raj says, “Your black and white photography can take great advantage of backlit photography.”

See what iPhone can do:

Raj provides a set of backlit photos and take time to explain about why and how. He also gives a list of tips, click here to learn about it. Thank you, Raj!

I look forward to reading your critics. 🙂

More About Tokyo

The places we visited in Tokyo were just a small part of the big city. Even though we didn’t get to see all the “must see” places, nonetheless, our trip was a very unique experience.

To say it was a unique experience, it wasn’t about gigantic monuments, grant castles, stunning cathedrals, fancy restaurants, etc. as we have seen in other countries, though they have many in Japan. Rather, it was about people, how people live in a hustle and bustle of the city still respect one another and take responsibility to keep their environment neat and clean; at the same time, they are meticulous about everything and don’t mind to go the extra mile. It is a way of life in Japan.

I’m posting a few more photos to wrap up part our trip to Tokyo so we can move on to Kyoto.

A couple more photos of the International Forum and the areas around:

Outside of the Famous Tsukiji Fish Market (Earth’s biggest fish market) served street food, all were nicely presented and were displayed in good order.

This article explains “How Does Something Get Recycled?

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Monochrome Madness 4-

These are the my recent submissions to Leanne’s Monochrome Madness. MM is in the 4th year.

Leanne Cole is a photographer, take time to visit her stunning posts.

I thought the image this temple was a good choice for BnW due to lines, curves, details of the structure. But, straightening for this image was tricky. It was either centered or straightened, but not both. It probably has a lot to do with the angle I was aiming.

These three young women were posing for a photographer. I asked for permission to take a couple of photos of them, the photographer politely gave the okay to go ahead. 🙂

The waterfall photo below was submitted for this week’s MM 4-28.

1/15 ss, f11, 18 mm

The monthly theme for MM December is Up in the Air. 

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Meiji Shrine, Tokyo (Part 2)

Walking through this gate, you are in the Meiji Shrine.

 At the purification fountain near the shrine’s entrance, visitors take one of the ladles and fill it with fresh water and rinse both hands:

After a group of visitors rinsing their hands, a staff walked up to the fountain carefully rinsing each ladle, then gently placed each in a perfect order.

Shiromuku is an all-white kimono commonly seen in Shinto weddings, and is regarded as the most formal wedding gown.

The bride and groom were walking together to have their wedding photos taken in the back of the shrine. I took these two images from a distance.

Many blog friends and viewers echoed the recycling I mentioned in my previous Meiji Shrine post. I found another interesting article that I want to share with you:

 The secret behind why Japanese people never litter (June 20, 2014): 

“Japanese football fans stole the thunder when they cleaned up an entire stadium last week. It is a routine way of life in their country, we discover.”  —

Below is a typical ‘recycle bins area’ in Japan which features a plethora of categories ranging from plastic, paper, glass, and even bottle-tops. —

BTW, this is how they recycle milk cartons in Japan:

Please visit the Sea Talk post

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