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Arashiyama bamboo forest, Kyoto, Japan, 2015.

Arashiyama bamboo forest, Kyoto, Japan, 2015.

During our trip to Japan one of the “must see” location was the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest in Kyoto. It’s definitely one of Japan’s iconic places we see in each and every travel documentation about the country, and as we were going to spend a few days in Kyoto, a few hours were dedicated to the bamboos.

However what you usually don’t see on the pictures is that… you’re not the only one there. Saying that this place is pretty crowded is very optimistic. It’s almost impossible to take a clean shot, even with longer exposures. While the place is beautiful, I was a bit disappointed not to be able to come back home with my photo of the bamboo forest. At least, Japanese people are calm and silent, they respect the calm of the place.

But, there is a trick.

Go north up to the Sagatoriimoto Sennocho district, and look for the Adashino Nenbutsu-ji buddhist temple. This temple has more than 8000 buddhist statues that represent the souls of the dead, it’s very impressive. But, there is this stair, between the bamboos, that leads to the temple’s cemetery… the one up there in photo! In order to do not be the typical gaijin that will disturb the zen of the temple I’ve just taken a few shots in those stairs and continued my way, but the result is in my humble opinion quite stunning.

And, by the way, 200 m down the road to the temple, there is a nice coffee shop with a permanent exposition of photos of the neighborhood of the first part of the 20th century, as well as a few old cameras. The perfect stop for travellers!

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EXIFs:

  • Camera: Canon 6D
  • Lens: Canon EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
  • Aperture: ƒ/8.0
  • Focale: 41mm
  • Shutter speed: 1/30s
  • ISO: 800
  • Copyright: Pierre Pichot 2015, all rights reserved

Young fisherman. Cancale, Bretagne/Brittany, France, 2016.

Young fisherman. Cancale, Bretagne/Brittany, France, 2016.

Cancale is a small town next to the sea in Brittany, France. Like every single town or city next to the sea, fishing is activity that is taken very seriously, at any ages. Cancale’s main activity, besides fishing, is oysters farming. And, as a good Frenchman, I didn’t forget to fill myself with a dozen, absolutely fresh oysters while I was there!

However, just before that, we’ve gone by the city’s pier to just observe the sea. This is a view I can enjoy only a few days a year, unfortunately. It was one of those cold summer mornings, with a sky ready to blow and submerge you with torrents of rain. We were lucky, as big, dark, and threatening those clouds were, they left us in peace. So, by the pier, this little boy was training to throw his line as far as possible in the sea. It took a few tries, but he did it. His father left him in charge of the fishing rods, joining a friend of his a bit further. We had a proud, young fisherman there!

In front of him, the little black dot far away, is the famous Mont Saint-Michel, sitting just at the limit of the Brittany and Normandy border… on the Normandy side. There is a friendly war between those two about where the Mont Saint-Michel really is… but for this boy, it’s just a small black spot on the other side of the bay!

Unfortunately for this young fisherman, it doesn’t seem that he was able to eat fish that day… surely next time!

Do you like this photo? Click here and get an original, signed print in limited edition!

EXIFs:

  • Camera: Canon 6D
  • Lens: Canon EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
  • Aperture: ƒ/11
  • Focale: 24mm
  • Shutter speed: 1/125s
  • ISO: 100
  • Copyright: Pierre Pichot 2016, all rights reserved

Back to back. Galeries du Palais Royal, Paris, France, 2016.

Back to back. Galeries du Palais Royal, Paris, France, 2016.

The last weeks were vacation time, but it was also the occasion to go back to my motherland, France. As we went with my wife’s family for whom it was the first trip in France, a mandatory stop was Paris. How could we not go to the City of Light! I was the one which was I think the most excited: I’m lucky to know Paris pretty well, and it’s a great sport for urban photography 🙂

After a short stop by the Louvre museum and its pyramid of glass, we went just by the other side of the Rivoli street to the Palais Royal and its galleries and gardens. It’s a place I haven’t been before and with a great potential for photographers! There, while browsing the antique and weird shops under the arches of the galleries, I’ve spotted those people on their bench, back to back. And this man, on the other bench on the other side of the path, turning back to them also. Kind of a back to back… to back, actually! It was just after noon, the sun was high in the sky, shadows were thick, perfect conditions for another contrasty shot. And here we go for a nice triangle between the people, and a nice symmetry with the trees. I think frequent readers know I like it!

I wish I’ve had more time for taking photos during this trip. Being a “tour guide” doesn’t help to focus on what’s going on around you. I’m more of a lone wolf when shooting streets anyhow. I can’t wait for another trip to Paris!

Do you like this photo? Contact me for obtaining an original, signed print!

EXIFs:

  • Camera: Canon 6D
  • Lens: Canon EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Focale: 70mm
  • Shutter speed: 1/125s
  • ISO: 100
  • Copyright: Pierre Pichot 2016, all rights reserved

The kiss. Prague, Czech Republic, 2016.

The kiss. Prague, Czech Republic, 2016. Get a print!

The street photographer’s motto could be the same as the Scouts’: “Be prepared”! This is something that’s I’ve learned once again during my trip in Prague, while visiting the Josefov district (former Jewish ghetto of the city).  Coming out from another street, just at the corner, I’ve observed this couple saying goodbye in the kindest way possible: in a long and passionate kiss. It’s one of those moments when I’m very glad I always have my camera in my hand, ready to shoot.

Despite a long and passionate kiss, something intimate I think, even if happening in a quite crowded street, the instant I always prefer to shoot if this second just before the lips touch each other, when you can see the actual emotions of the kisser – or the kissed – just before the magic happens. It’s a far more touching moment to me, a moment of romance and peace for two persons in their own world for a few second, even if tens or hundreds of people pass by them.

It’s one of the photos I prefer of this trip. While others are much more graphical or display pure childish joy, this photo is just so peaceful, but also so full of emotions, it really stands above the rest. And it was also one of my very first shots, it was like a sign it will be a good trip on the photography point of view, I was so pumped up for the rest of the day!

Fine art prints

Do you like this photo? Click here and get an original, signed print in limited edition!

More about this photo

Here are The Kiss’s EXIFs:

  • Camera: Canon 6D
  • Lens: Canon EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Focale: 70mm
  • Shutter speed: 1/320s
  • ISO: 100
  • Copyright: Pierre Pichot 2016, all rights reserved

Bubbles. Prague, Czech Republic, 2016.

Bubbles, Prague, Czech Republic, 2016. Get a print!

Back to Prague (Czech Republic) with a photo that I really like… and totally forgot! This is why I like to go through my old photos from time to time, that’s how you find some hidden gems. First it was Long Legs, now it’s Bubbles. I almost lost what may be my 2 best shots of the trip, by just forgetting them. That would have been a shame. So fellow photographers, go through your archives from time to time 🙂

It was our last day, we were wandering in one of Malá Strana‘s parks without particular goal, when we were attracted by the noise of children playing, screaming of joy. And here we were, with that man we’ve already seen a few time making giant soap bubbles for the kids to run after, for their pure enjoyment. It was a very nice scene to watch, children playing children games, running like crazy in the park during a hot spring Sunday…

As the kids were busy with the bubbles, I’ve had all the time in the world to frame as I wanted and capture them going after a fresh, huge bubble. The reaction of the smaller child, as well as the happiness of the man, are just priceless to me. It’s such a pleasure to capture those simple moments. Simple, but also full of meanings and life lessons. It just never hurts to take a step aside, leave our busy lives for a moments and enjoy the simple things of life.

You can enjoy other photos from Prague in a dedicated portfolio item.

Fine art prints

Do you like this photo? Contact me for obtaining an original, signed fine art print in limited edition!

About this photo

  • Camera: Canon 6D
  • Lens: Canon EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Focale: 70mm
  • Shutter speed: 1/500s
  • ISO: 100
  • Copyright: Pierre Pichot 2016, all rights reserved