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Thread: Shinto Mission

  1. #1

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    Shinto Mission

    A black & white image of the Izumo Taisha Mission for your C&C.

    Shinto Mission

    Taken on a photo walk today in Honolulu's Chinatown. For those of you interested in history this shrine was erected in 1923 and was seized by the City of Honolulu during WWII. The Shrine was not returned to the sect until 1963, approximately 10 years after more than 10,000 people signed a petition to that end, and almost 20 years after the war ended. Major repairs and a relocation of the shrine were completed in 1968.

    I love that photography also encourages me to learn new things about the city that I call home...

    But back to the image. I am always curious to hear your comments on the overall image composition and in this case I am also interested to hear your thoughts on the conversion to black & white. (Sharpness, contrast, etc...) Suggestions for improvement are always welcome and appreciated.

    F8 1/640 ISO400 (don't get me started on the ISO...I was shooting in a shady alley earlier in the day and forgot to change the ISO when I went out into the sun )

  2. #2
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Shinto Mission

    Nicely composed, i like the inclusion of the wall but cannot figure out what is at the bottom of the image. How much cropping did you do? Was it possible to shoot from a lower perspective?

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    Re: Shinto Mission

    I'm confused - Shinto is Japanese yet this building is in Chinatown? I like the image but think you could possibly crop out more of the wall, losing the whiter part and perhaps some more. Perhaps a little bit on the left should go too, eliminating the pole completely. To mix my Japanese metaphors - very Zen!

  4. #4

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    Re: Shinto Mission

    i like the inclusion of the wall but cannot figure out what is at the bottom of the image. How much cropping did you do? Was it possible to shoot from a lower perspective?
    John, I am shooting across a small canal/stream that comes feeds water through the city back to the ocean. So what you see at the bottom of the wall is water and cropping it out is a good idea. I was standing when I took the shot so without getting wet the only thing that I could have done was crouch to get a lower vantage point.

    Shinto is Japanese yet this building is in Chinatown?
    Allen, Actually it as across the above mentioned canal from Chinatown. The area is very small, encompassing a radius of approximately four by eight blocks but it is in the original core of the city. Unfortunately it is also a very dodgy part of town with a lot of homeless folks that dot the streets and live in and around a park that is just a block or so from the mission.

    I struggled a bit with the crop on this as it seemed like more sky was too much and then too much in on the sides left only stray branches that didn't make sense...so I went up and down a few times and settled with this. Will take a look at it again with both your comments in mind.

    Thank you for both for your insights.

  5. #5

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    Re: Shinto Mission

    Thanks for explaining the history. Very interesting!

    Very nice conversion. If there is detail to be brought out in the dark areas under the roof (there may not be), making that happen could add to your photo.

    I agree with the others about the crop. I would probably leave about one-third of the wall in the photo.

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    Re: Shinto Mission

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneS View Post
    I was shooting in a shady alley earlier in the day and forgot to change the ISO when I went out into the sun )
    If your camera has Auto ISO, using it will solve that problem because you will always be shooting at the minimum ISO that the light and other camera settings allow.

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    Re: Shinto Mission

    Quote Originally Posted by gaijin View Post
    I'm confused - Shinto is Japanese yet this building is in Chinatown?
    Kind of off topic but since it was asked: I couldn't say if this also applies to Honolulu, but in Seattle there is an area 'officially' called the International District. This area includes shops, restaurants, apartments and theaters, many artifacts and at least one nursing home, that represent many Asian cultures; but most people - especially visitors - call it Chinatown. I suspect it's that way in other cities as well, and no disrespect is intended or implied on the part of anyone using the term.

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    Re: Shinto Mission

    Lon, we are not that politically correct in Honolulu. It is Chinatown...

    However, I did do a bit of looking at the map and this mission is technically not in Chinatown - the canal is the boundary. However I was in Chinatown when I took the shot

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    Re: Shinto Mission

    Shane, can I just add a little bit more from my v a s t knowledge of Japanese culture (I could fill a whole line of text here with it) an important part of the traditional Japanese aesthetic is ma - emptiness, or, inbetween-ness, going by what this site explains http://3rdlifekaidie.com/2009/12/in-between-1/
    All that to say that a little bit of space in a photo that doesn't contain or do anything (like a wall, for instance) is not a bad thing Japanese-wise. Mind you, I'm sure it's more complicated than that... In other words, crop, but don't crop toooo much!

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    Re: Shinto Mission

    Shane,

    Dont know what software you use for pp, but looks like you might be able to gain some cloud detail. A simple decrease on the highlights slider might be enough.

  11. #11

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    Re: Shinto Mission

    All;

    An edited version to recover some of the shadows and eliminate a chunk of the wall. The image is lighter but I think it is an overall improvement...your thoughts and opinions are always welcome.

    Shinto Mission

    Allen, I lived in Japan for some time but am not familiar with the concept of ma. I am however very familiar with the term wabi sabi, loosely translated as 'perfectly imperfect' and meaning that sometimes a slight imperfection adds interest. I like to think of my images that way However I suspect that they currently tend to the latter.

  12. #12
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    Re: Shinto Mission

    Very nice, more detail draws me further into the photo.

  13. #13

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    Re: Shinto Mission

    One more image, this time a close up of the roof ornamentation. The chigi (forked roof finials) and katsuogi (short horizontal logs) form the cross that sits prominently on the roof.

    Shinto Mission

  14. #14
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Shinto Mission

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneS View Post
    One more image, this time a close up of the roof ornamentation. The chigi (forked roof finials) and katsuogi (short horizontal logs) form the cross that sits prominently on the roof.

    Shinto Mission
    Very sharp and dramatic.

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    Re: Shinto Mission

    I like these very much - they're great! Good examples of exception to rule of thirds (centered), and great examples of subjects more interesting/suitable (or at least AS much so) in monochrome.

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    Re: Shinto Mission

    The detail and angle of the last one is interesting. I wish the sky in the background had been as even as in the first photo, as the dark area of the sky in the detail shot is so dramatic that it's distracting.

  17. #17

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    Re: Shinto Mission

    Thanks to all. Mike, I think that I like the dramatic clouds in the second image but you are tempting me to try a sky replacement to learn the skill and see what it looks like...

  18. #18

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    Re: Shinto Mission

    Hi Shane, I like the various iterations of your original photograph. Looking at your last photograph of the entire shrine, I think there needs to be a bit more drama in your sky. My only real criticism are the branches on the picture's left side. For me it breaks up the shrine's symmetric appearance. However, this can all be a matter of taste.

    Karm

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