Our Christmas present to ourselves was a few days visiting Awaji Shima, a small island not too far away. Ah, bliss! Several days of Japanese hot springs and delicious food was such a treat! We've both been exceptionally busy these past few months so the chance to relax and unwind was most welcome. Unfortunately, the weather wasn't all that cooperative - mostly cold winds and overcast skies - but still there's something about the open expanse of sky and sea that is good for one's soul. And, well, hot springs certainly help too...
Despite several days of heavy clouds and light rain I did manage to take a few photographs. Here are some from our very last day.
Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and all the best in the coming year.
Thank you so much for your visits. The number of visitors has been steadily growing and I'm so encouraged! Unfortunately, I don't have as much time as I like to be active here but I will continue to post when I can. (Less demanding days are coming but they're not here yet...) Thanks again for your support. I feel blessed.
(This ornament was on the Christmas tree at my workplace.)
TITLE: Topsy-turvy Christmas Tree
Every December, the St. Regis Hotel in Osaka erects a huge Christmas tree decorated with beautiful ornaments made from Japanese paper. The colors of the tree are blue and gold and it's quite spectacular. We visit often and I always try to take photos of the ornaments but I've never been happy with the results. However, that doesn't stop me from trying and so I return as often as I can to try yet again. (No luck yet.) One year I was distracted by a food cart off to the side full of empty glass jars with lids. They looked like oversized cookie jars and perhaps had been used earlier in the day for that very purpose. The glass knobs on the tops of the lids were particularly interesting and as I got closer, I realized that the colors and shapes I could see in them were upside-down reflections of the room. So cool! Thankfully everything was aligned so all I needed to do was position myself in the right place and - ta-da! - the result was this topsy-turvy Christmas tree.
WHAT I WAS THINKING
Plum Blossoms at Kitano Tenmangu Temple, Kyoto
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine in Kyoto holds a monthly temple sale on the 25th of each month. I had wanted to visit for many years and finally everything aligned so we could go. On the drive there my husband told me that the shrine was famous for plum blossoms and that we would probably be able to see some. I didn't believe him. It was the end of February, after all, and my Canadian brain could not conceive of anything blooming that time of year. Well, as you can see, I was mistaken. The plum blossoms were spectacular! I was still struggling with my camera at that time and so I fumbled with the settings and muttered under my breath as I tried my best. To my great surprise, once I got home and looked at the images on my computer, I discovered I had some that were worth keeping. I'm very happy with the photos from this day but I always see them as a bit of a fluke.
WHAT I WAS THINKING
It's a crazy busy time of year and many days are cold and dark. On top of that, the chances to get out and take photographs are few and far between. Ah, poor me...
This was me a short time ago but thankfully I've come to my senses. I already have thousands of images! What a perfect opportunity to look more closely at some of the photos I've already taken rather than mope about the ones that are yet to be. Enough of feeling sorry for myself!
However, as happy as I am with this idea, I still need some criteria for choosing what to post. And so, after some thought, I've decided to start of a series called "The Take". The plan is to choose a photo that could benefit from a bit more explaining and then do just that. I'll also include what I was thinking at the time and the camera settings details. (To be honest, I don't know as much about camera settings as I should. I'm hoping that by paying closer attention to these details, I'll learn something.)
Well, enough with the introductions! Let the series begin! \(^.^)/
P.S. If there is a photo on this website that you are curious about, please let me know. Just tell me what page it is on and the title. If it's in the photo gallery, the gallery number would be helpful as well. Thanks!
P.S.S. The series is currently titled "The Take". However, that's because my brain can't think of anything better at the moment. If you have any suggestions, they are more than welcome!
I'm a photographer based in Osaka, Japan. I love to take photographs. I like to share.