Ecstasy

Ecstasy

My friend Aurora has an obsession with pink. Then, if you’re a photographer and lived long enough in Japan, you develop this fascination with Mt. Fuji. So when we went to the Fuji Shibazakura Matsuri, near Lake Kawaguchiko, Japan, Aurora could hardly contain herself. As you can clearly see!

PINK!

A Sea of Pink

When retouching photos, it is very rarely that you have to decrease color saturation to make it believable. This is one such instance!

Last weekend I went to a Shibazakura (芝桜/Phlox) garden in Hitsujiyama, Saitama Prefecture, Japan. Luckily the weather was excellent and the flowers were in full bloom. And when those two were combined, it was an endless sea of pink! I spent the whole day there, circling the whole garden first with the zoom lens, then with the wide angle, and then a third time with the zoom lens again but this time going all paparazzi on people taking selfies (that’s for a different post later) which turned out to be quite fun.

Processing this photo, I merged 3 bracketed shots in Photomatix to bring up the mountains and clouds in the background, then masked back one of the originals to get rid of ghosting caused by moving people. But even then, the pink in the foreground was still too much; so I actually decrease the saturation of the flowers a bit because it was a little too much to believe true.

Calm after the Storm

Serenity

During the cherry peak of the spring cherry blossoms, this place comes to live; people gather round to see Sakura, to picnic under the trees on the floorboards to the left of the picture, and there are continuous festivals. There’s just continuous buzz around. After living here for 7 years you kind of get used to it, although you never get tired of it.

After the peak it’s a different story. People leave leaving us permanent residents to get on with our lives, the flowers fall (except for this lonely outcast) and everything turns to a lively green. I grabbed the camera and headed out the other day, and fittingly for a gloomy day there was a general peace and serenity of which I hope I at least captured a little bit of.

It’s a true calm after the storm.

Dreamland

The Perfect Spring Day

Believe it or not, this is more or less right in front of my apartment; yes I’m that lucky. This small stream and the road alongside it runs for more than a kilometer long and there are Sakura trees (cherry blossoms ) just like this the whole length.

Unfortunately because of work I couldn’t take a day off during the weekdays, and then it rained to add to that so by yesterday they were past their peak which kind of ruins the photo. You can see small brown/green ish budding leaves at the end of twigs. Otherwise there would have been even more flowers, but no matter, it still is an awesome sight. Since I knew better I went there early, around 8.00 a.m., before people gathered so I could take a few decent shots without all the moving folk in them.