Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Kyoto Zen Gardens  (Read 843 times)

vjbelle

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 523
Kyoto Zen Gardens
« on: March 05, 2019, 03:26:47 pm »

My wife and I are traveling to Japan next month and will be using Kyoto as our base for 5 days.  I know tripods and even cameras are taboo in numerous Shrines but I'm more interested in Kyoto's Zen Gardens.  Are tripods allowed in any of them?  Are there any that even ban cameras?

Thanks in advance to any info.....

Victor
Logged

FabienP

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 119
Re: Kyoto Zen Gardens
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2019, 07:28:03 pm »

Photography restrictions in Kyoto temples are increasing every season but I couldn't find any current information about practices at the temples which might be of interest to you, such as Ryoanji or Daitokuji which have the most famous Zen rock gardens.

For Buddhist temples, expect photography to be banned inside the main hall. Photography of gardens is usually allowed but restrictions during peak seasons for cherry blossom and autumn foliage are more common than before. If the garden can only be seen from a temple building (like in Ryoanji) there will be a small terrace where visitors will be briefly packed together and will try making the best of the view and the limited time. Bringing a tripod there is unlikely to work even if it isn't explicitely forbidden. Most of the time, there will be no sign stating that such a practice is forbidden but an attendant might come to you to tell you this as soon as they see your tripod. This will depend on the crowds present at the location.

My advice would be to either leave the tripod at your accomodation or bring a smaller tripod which could be used opportunistically when the conditions allow. Anything bigger than a foldable Gitzo Traveler GT-1545T will be too bulky to lug with you in crowded places. Try to be at opening time (8:30 or 9 AM) during weekdays at the places where you absolutely want to have more time taking pictures and you might even be allowed to use a tripod until more visitors come in. This obviously works better in larger temple grounds.

And if you think the particular temple you are looking for is too crowded, try the other one where no one is going. There are little gems that are easily overlooked.

Cheers,

Fabien
Logged

BernardLanguillier

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 12220
    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlanguillier/sets/
Re: Kyoto Zen Gardens
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2019, 10:35:46 pm »

As far as I recall from my last visit in 2018, tripod were not allowed in Ryoanji and in the inner gardens within the temples making up Daitokuji. They were allowed in the alleys leading to the temples.

Cheers,
Bernard

vjbelle

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 523
Re: Kyoto Zen Gardens
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2019, 11:33:31 am »

Thanks for the replies.  I will be traveling with a fair amount of stuff but all of it is very portable.  My shortest lenses, so far, will be my 45mm for my Fuji GFX and my 35mm XL for my Actus/Phase 3100.  I can hand hold the Fuji if necessary but the Actus must be on a tripod.  I'm bringing my RRS TFC-14 but also have the Gitzo GT-1545T which is a little smaller so I'll also bring it. 

So far there are two things I really want to photograph - The Cottage of lingering Fragrance at Kodai-Ji and the Golden Pavilion at Kinkaku-Ji.  There will be many more locations I'll want to see/photograph but a lot of it can be photographed hand held.  The exceptions are if I want some 'rise' or if I want to stack.  Tripods are mandatory for those situations.  I had thought of renting/buying the Fuji 23mm but so far in all of my reading I can't see many images where I would strictly need it and probably could get by with my 45mm.  Would appreciate any comments regarding lenses for these type of images. 

Thanks again for all responses.....

Victor
Logged

John Nollendorfs

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 526
Re: Kyoto Zen Gardens
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2019, 01:13:56 pm »

Victor:
Remember you can always stitch together 3-6 shots for greater a greater field of view! Turn camera vertical and overlap exposures by 1/4 frame.
Logged

vjbelle

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 523
Re: Kyoto Zen Gardens
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2019, 02:46:41 pm »

Yes..... I do a lot of stitching and am very aware that in Portrait position numerous images will increase FOV.  One of the ways I use this technique is to eliminate foreground and gain some 'rise' when shooting without movements.  Three images, when stitched, can then be cropped to a landscape image keeping the top and eliminating some of the bottom foreground.   This pretty much mimics what a level image would have been in landscape mode but with rise.  This is great for Architecture as it eliminates keystoning..... as long as the camera space allows for the portrait position to get to the top of a building or whatever is being shot. 

Victor
« Last Edit: March 13, 2019, 02:55:54 pm by vjbelle »
Logged

BernardLanguillier

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 12220
    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlanguillier/sets/
Re: Kyoto Zen Gardens
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2019, 06:39:32 pm »

For what its worth, I would personally use a Z7 with 19mm T/S. The IBIS makes all the difference in such situations.

An a7rIII with adapted lenses would be another option.

I would leave the Fuji home and bring the mirrorless 35mm camera together with the P1. I have been doing exactly that when going to Kyoto (except I use the H6D-100c instead of the P1).

This being said I've had some success shooting the H6D-100c handheld too.





The second one is a pano.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: March 13, 2019, 07:04:39 pm by BernardLanguillier »
Logged

FabienP

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 119
Re: Kyoto Zen Gardens
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2019, 06:47:34 pm »

Stitching is indeed a solution, but you will have to deal with lots of ghosts (i.e. moving people in front of buildings or in gardens). I am not even sure that a long exposure of several minutes would totally get rid of them in some crowded places such as the Arashiyama bamboo grove.

Having had a look at the lenses used in my last trip, it was a mix of 21 mm and 35 mm (on a FF camera) for buildings, coupled with details photographed with a 55 mm and 90 mm. I found the 21 mm useful for some pictures where stitching would have been impractical, due to the afore mentioned ghosts or due to the presence of moving water in the ponds of some gardens (Daigoji and Byodoin in Uji come to my mind). Long exposure could mitigate this but obviously wouldn't work in places where tripods are forbidden. A wide lens was also essential for shots at Fushimi Inari Taisha.

Kinkakuji is certainly worth a visit but be prepared to stand your ground against groups of selfie stick wielding people ;D. Every person visiting Kyoto is likely to go there at least once and place is scarce where the iconic view can be seen, right after the entrance. Tripods are absolutely forbidden at this location for safety reasons.

But the glowing gold of the pavilion is irresistible, even when the sky is heavily overcast.

Also, it seems that cameras larger than FF are forbidden at some temples, according to this older article. So Bernard's suggestion to downsize could also help in such cases.

Cheers,

Fabien
« Last Edit: March 13, 2019, 07:24:45 pm by FabienP »
Logged

vjbelle

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 523
Re: Kyoto Zen Gardens
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2019, 09:40:36 am »

Lots of valuable information...... thanks!  I have great interest in the Z.  This trip isn't scheduled until April 19th so I have time to explore that camera.  It's good to have lens focal length information.  It sounds like my 45 would work in most locations.  I may just leave the P1 home and only take the Fuji/Nikon.  I have tried to shoot with my 110 handheld but it is impossible.  That lens is tripod only.  IBIS could help but it would have to be really effective.  I'm staying away from any gardens that ban tripods!...... although I can't blame them.

Victor
Logged

mshea

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 174
Re: Kyoto Zen Gardens
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2019, 03:29:00 pm »

I'm beginning to research a trip to Japan within the next couple of years, for a month or so, to photograph Japanese Gardens. There are three books by Stephen Mansfield (100 Japanese Gardens, Japanese Master Gardens, and Japanese Stone Gardens) which I can easily acquire. I'm wondering if there are any other good reference sources out there.

I'm thinking that autumn may be the best season, given what little I've read about the craziness that surrounds cherry blossom time. I visited Kinkaku-ji, Ryoanji, and a couple of other Kyoto temples years ago. I'll certainly revisit Kyoto, but I'm mostly looking to travel farther afield.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Merrill
Logged

vjbelle

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 523
Re: Kyoto Zen Gardens
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2019, 02:54:29 am »

A follow up to my OP..... Tripods are not allowed in numerous gardens.  A shame but very understandable.  The Golden Palace was one of the 'must have' images for me so I made sure I was at the entrance before opening - just like another 200 people :P.  Just after the entrance is the best place to be for any kind of shot and since I was carrying my tripod with me I used it as a monopod for my images.  No one even saw it as the crowd behind me was so large that it drawfd me and my small tripod.  I took 30 shots on a somewhat overcast and drizzly day - perfect lighting for me.

Taken with 50s, 63mm.

Victor

« Last Edit: April 29, 2019, 03:05:38 am by vjbelle »
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up