My favorite photo from Japan

Itsukushima Torii Monochrome - Miyajima, Japan

Itsukushima Torii Monochrome – Miyajima, Japan

Of all the many thousands of photographs I shot in Japan last summer, this is my favorite. Two days ago, I talked about the day I truly fell in love with monochrome. I made this photo during the same time, but decide to separate this image into a separate post. I very much like all the photos I featured in that post, but this one stands out for me.

When I first got to the Itsukushima shrine, I was disappointed that the tide was out. I was hoping for the typical and iconic view of the water surrounding the entire shrine, creating that remarkable floating effect. But then I realized that the low tide was a blessing. It formed a curvy leading line to the distant torii. The wet and shiny ground created more character and depth than water at high tide.

I know yesterday’s bold, colorful, close-up of the torii is the typical expected photo. And, there’s nothing wrong with it. I got good color and I think it’s well executed. However, today’s is what I prefer. Atypical, moodier and more artistic. It’s a different take at a popular tourist site.

Like my other monochromes, I made this photo with the Olympus PEN-F and the Olympus 9-18mm wide-angle. This is at a 36mm equivalent. I shot with both JPEG + RAW and opted to convert the RAW to black and white to allow some extra subtle processing, which brought out the light gray mountains in the distance. I made a nice deep back print of this, fitted with a simple black frame and a white matt — now on display in my home gallery.

Some people say, the ultimate expression for a photograph is the print. Perhaps this is an old-fashioned notion. But, as nice as this looks on screen. That framed print on the wall looks even better.


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