Nice little surprise – in their recent Sunday edition the Guardian Observer published my photo of the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto! The image was taken during my trip through China and Japan in December 2016.
A fine reward for the effort it took to actually get the shot in first place. The Kinkaku-ji was rammed with people this particular afternoon, most likely because it was a mild, sunny and calm winters day.
There is is this one vantage point from where you get to see the whole beauty of the pavilion and the reflections of the entire scene in the calm waters – and on this day hundreds and hundreds of people where there to witness one of the most iconic pictures of Japan with their own eyes.
But here it’s an advantage to be small – at least once in life! You can squeeze your way through the crowds easily, and so I made my way to the front and was able to fend of the masses for a couple of minutes to take this photo – which is one of my favourites of the entire trip – yet it doesn’t do the place justice. It’s SO beautiful.
One of the iconic symbols of Japan – The Kinkakuji Temple in Kyoto, also known as the ‘Golden Pavilion’ – a place of such rich beauty, particularly when calmness is in the air and the sun reflects the gold in the water.
I’ve been lucky – today was such a day of pure tranquillity. Perfect conditions for photography and to enjoy the stunning view.I really like the final image I got – which is actually two different exposures in post production in order to retain all the details in the highlights and shadows.
What you don’t see: how desperately hard I had fight my way through hordes of people to actually get not only the shot, but even nly a glimpse of the scene. Setting up a tripod for a longer exposure to smoothen out the water? No freakin’ chance!
Now, crowds are not the issue. They are expected. But selfie-sticks! My word, they are everywhere these days, and I feel it’s getting worse. You can’t walk half a meter, let alone get your own camera out, without a stick pocking your eyes and nose.
People don’t seem to care about these beautiful places any longer – these days it’s only about themselves, a funny pose, and the coolest selfie for their social media profiles.
I said before I was lucky to find perfect conditions today – true, but I was certainly not when I arrived at the Kinkakuji together with two or three big busloads of guided tours. Thing is: one of these folks actually took a proper look at the pavilion and the breathtaking scenery. First thing is the stick out, their back turned to what they actually came for to see and then posing for the picture they so desired to show the world but will never look at again.
Look, each to their own. If that’s the way these people want to experience these places – fine with me. I got a photograph I’m really proud of – but I would have loved to take in more of the scenery myself, which was near impossible with people pushing from all sides to get in front for their selfies.