Sunday, 21 January 2018

Beyond The Frame | Kyoto's Fushimi Inari Shrine | GFX50s

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy | All Rights Reserved
The Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社) is an important, and very popular, Shinto shrine in Kyoto. It is famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates, which straddle a network of trails behind its main buildings. The trails lead into the wooded forest of the sacred Mount Inari.

Naturally, the site is a magnet for tourists, who come here in large groups or individually, to walk its trails and to pose for either selfies or for pre-arranged photo shoots.

Not far from the entrance to the shrine, I watched one of these photo shoots in progress, which involved a young couple wearing identical dress being photographed by a photographer and his assistant. They had a chosen a spot that had small replicas of torii gates hung as souvenirs, and were clearly enjoying their pre-wedding event.

I approached the group, and asked permission to photograph as well...and it was readily agreed to by all. It turned out that the couple was from China, while the photographer was from Kyoto, hired for the photo shoot. Understandably, he was the least enthusiastic about my taking pictures, but was won over seeing I was using the Fuji GFX50s...which he had not seen before.

The photographer's directions to the couple as to how to pose were unimaginative and repetitive, but during a break while he was chimping, the bride-to-be just dropped her head unto the chest of her partner to show she was getting tired and/or bored...and I caught the tender and reflexive moment.

I had bought the GFX50s and its 63mm lens in Tokyo a few days before, and it felt very unfamiliar. I had decided to have all its settings on "auto"; essentially turning it into a point and shoot, relying on its "brain" to produce the images, rather than my inexperience blowing the opportunity.

Technical details are: GFX50s + 63mm. 1/200 Hand Held. f10. iso 800. Pattern Metering. Date: 2017-03-27 at 14:40:00 (Kyoto time). Post Processing using Iridient Developer 3.