Amami Superman Photography

A Place to Share My Photos

Jan 12, 2010

Sakura in January

Posted by Amami Superman

They have over 100 varieties of cherry blossoms here in Japan. The variety they have here in Amami usually starts blossoming around the beginning of February to middle of February. Last week we had had a few days of gorgeous weather which in turn brought the temperature up a bit. Some of the cherry trees here in Amami got a bit faked out by this and started blossoming early. I took the family out yesterday to look for some of these and we found just one tree with blossoms (and not that many I might add).

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 36mm, 1/160 sec, f/5.3, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Pretty in Pink

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/50 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 -- EXIF
"Perfect... They are all... perfect..."
(Katsumoto from The Last Samurai)

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/80 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Paler Than The Others

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 -- EXIF
I thought the colors were nice.

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 -- EXIF
Buds to Blossoms

Well, I wasn't thinking about The Rule of Thirds when I took these photos. I used a PL filter when I took them. The only post editing I did was upped the exposure a little on one or two of the photos. Other than that, they're just as I took them.

I didn't get the chance to go out last year and take photos of the cherry blossoms so I'm excited to go do that next month. Most of the cherry trees are lined along mountain roads here in Amami. It will be fun to see if I can take some creative shots. I'll have to take my time and think about it for a while.


Jeffrey Friedl said...

Just gorgeous... delicious! We only very rarely get blue sky like that here in the valley of Kyoto (most often when it does happen, it exists only in the fleeting world of Lightroom's develop module :-).

Try slamming the "clarity" slider on "Meh" over to the left and see whether you like the effect.

With cherry-blossom photos, it's all about balance in the composition.... balance about what is in focus and what is not (and how "not" the not-in-focus stuff is), how the frame is filled, etc. It's very artsy stuff that the rule of thirds won't help you much with in this case, I think.

An exercise that might be fruitful is to revisit the tree and pick just one clump of blossoms, then take 100 different pictures of it.... different compositions, different distances, different apertures, etc. Then go home and study the results... what do you and don't you like, and delete them. Then return again and spend time to find a different clump, thinking about the possibilities, and take just one photo.

Amami Superman said...

Thanks for the advice. I'm glad you liked the photos.

I did what you said to the "Meh..." photo and downed the clarity. I also upped the blacks a bit and did a little sharpening. This is what I got. I don't know if I like it or not. Maybe it's the telephone pole in the background...

The exercise you mentioned sounds like really good practice. I'll get out and try that as soon as the weather turns a little better.


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