Thursday, February 7, 2008


Kiyomizudera 2004 (redux), originally uploaded by 3amfromkyoto.

This photo is one of my all time favorite shots on flickr. I love the monochrome treatment and artful composition. The lush greenery fills the foreground and surround the temple which presides over the entire scene, overlooking the city of Kyoto. Then in the extreme distance, there are misty mountains, cradling the city from the other side. Add the billowing clouds above, and the scene is complete. I like how the slight halo effect around the pagoda and above the trees, probably a result of contrast/sharpening adjustments in post, seems to mirror the way the clouds are lit in the sky.

If this were a composite, I'd nod and think, wow, well done. However, in the comments on flickr, 3amfromkyoto reveals that aside from the standard post-processing tweaks to color and contrast, there was no editing (removing/adding objects). I believe it. The framing of this shot feels to me like its the result of careful deliberation and patience. Not sure how he did it, but each element has such a crispness to it. Must be a mix of great lighting, attention to exposure, and post-production finesse.

3amfromkyoto is truly a masterful artist who features amazing work on his flickr account. He deals in textures and ambiances, choosing to capture and create scenes both real and surreal. I think one problem I face in my photographic pursuits is that I don't have my own style or voice. There have been shorts spurts where I've leaned heavily in one stylistic direction or another, but an overarching theme or look has been missing. And so it's with envy and admiration that I look up to photographers like 3amfromkyoto, who have such breadth, yet retain an instantly recognizable style.

No comments: