This is an image i took on my tour modified with a drawing i did of the forrest spirit from Princess Mononoke. The location is kinkaku-ji in kyoto.

One of the things that inspires me most when I’m in need of something are the Miazaki and studio Ghibli movies. There is something about their films that just makes me want to give everything away and go live on the country side. They remind me of a simpler time when I was growing up and didn’t have anything to worry about and we were free to run with our imaginations. As i find myself in the stage of life where every week seems like the last and I am working so hard to get through each week i sometimes need to remember to slow down and enjoy life. Anyway, long story cut short, if you haven’t seen any of these films check them out at his imdb page here.

Back to the point, some of the places i traveled in Japan were things that inspired Miazaki himself and things and I’ve attempted to draw in some of his characters into pictures that reminded me of his worlds.

This is a Pagoda in Kyoto that we visited as apart of the Samurai Tours … tour.  Around this area there were tons of little shops and people walking around dressed up in their summer yukatas. This was on an incredibly hot day but the sky was always so beautiful.

Pagoda in Kyoto

This is a photo taken in the Gion District of Kyoto. It was close to the end of my trip on last day our group would be all together with both the “Tokyo and Kyoto” crew and “Kyoto and Beyond” crew. We were walking to the restaurant where we would be entertained by a Gieko and have the ability to ask her questions about her life as one.

In this photo, you can see the members of my group walking into the sunset and as you can guess i was always slightly behind the group from all the photos I was taking. There’s a second photo with a similar composition after the jump, just without the group.

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Gion District in Kyoto

On my travels through the internet I’ve found a couple photos of these locations in Japan where everything was either purple or white or other unnatural yet beautiful colors in the leaves. Desiring to try and find out where these places were so that i could plan another trip to visit them i discovered that i had already experienced them. They were at the moss temple in Kyoto. The greens would fill the environment and create a “natural green screen” that could allow someone to easily shift the colors. I was disappointed when i found this out but wanted to try and experiment with it myself.

So here is the front and back of the same building with completely different color correction applied. It shows the types of editing I’ve been applying to the photos. I know “editing” is a pretty vague term so hopefully this gives some context. Currently, I’m attempting to mimic other photographs colors i see on inspiration images i find to hopefully figure out what i like and don’t like in order to develop a style. It is very much a experimental process.

As for the location, this was a really cool and renown area in Japan. Any time you see an image of thousands of toori gates lined up in japan it is mostly likely at the Fushimi Inari Shrine (and yes, i took several that i’ll be posting later). However for these photos, just think of them as a giant awesome building in Japan. The colors were really brilliant, vibrant and all around amazing. Ken, our Samurai Tours guide, scheduled us to visit here at the perfect hour. The sun was setting which created some of the most amazing shadows and lighting. However be warned if you visit around this time because there were a tons of mosquitoes feasting. In hindsight, it would have been wise to wear pants here.

Hit the Jump to see the non-color shifted version of the second image.

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This is a slightly panoramic image (if panoramas can have degrees) of one of the rivers of Osaka. There were bridges everywhere, and it was amazing to see the city built around them. Ken, our Samurai Tours guide, showed us this spot to take photos. It was one of his many secret spots to take photos and to see the city. One of my favorite parts was that those stairs just go straight down to the river. Osaka was originally a merchant city that used boats for transport and at locations like this you could really sense that.

So I’ve started to get ahead of myself with editing my photos where I’m going to do some shorter posts of images alone in between my adventure posts. This will hopefully let me align corresponding photos to stories I’m telling about my trip rather than a random image with a stage of my story. It will just require me to do some advanced planning on which photos I post. Along with this site, you can always check my tumblr ( for the most up-to-date photos and general inspiration I find online. There is also a link to just my Japan trip photos on the top of that website (click on “Solo Japan Photos”).

The above photo was taken in Osaka while walking to lunch with Samurai Tours group and shows the fencing they put up at the side of the road for construction. As you can see there are tons of frogs! Frogs are a sign of the rainy season in Japan, which takes place around June and July. We were just out of the rainy season so it was still up, but will be gone in wintertime. It’s pretty fun that they have seasonal themed equipment. In America we could have Frosty the snowman signs in winter.

Summer Season Frogs

Hey! Look at me go, i have more posts. Today’s image is brought to you by the market street in Kyoto. Of course there is probably more than one so if you are looking for this area I apologize and cannot be much more help then this. This market is actually the same location as an earlier photo I posted of a shrine in a market place. There were 3 or 4 smaller shrines around one large shrine and also some robotic machines to buy fortunes. The machines had a wooden robot located inside of the glass container and the robot would animate to bring you a fortune. I was pretty impressed.

OK, after the jump I’ll continue the story and try to keep it pretty short today.

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These are two color variations of the Tree outside of Kinkaku-Ji. I kind of got to a point while editing them where i wasn’t really entirely happy with either and couldn’t figure out what to do to make them better. I’ll probably go back later in time to take a look but right now i’m just trying to get as much experience from different photos to find my style.

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