Blooming Japan

You know, despite living in Japan for 10 years now, I have never managed to get round to photographing cherry blossom (although I did write about it.)

This year I met the challenge head on with a trip to hanami wonderland, Ueno Park. But I have to say that I wasn’t quite ready for the incredible raucousness of the occasion. Maybe it had something to do with the very wintery spring we’ve had this year.

In fact, the afternoon was about the only hanami-friendly spell of good weather this year. It worked out well for me though, because I was there to shoot the people rather than the petals. I was also trying out a new lens. Great piece of glass and much sharper than I was expecting. Looking forward more wide-angle shoots.

Check out my Photoshelter cherry blossom gallery for all the shots. I’m also on Flickr now. (Please become my Flickr friend, or however that goes – still working that one out)

By the way, the last pic is from my local park, a much more pleasant hanami experience than Ueno I thought.

Cherry blossom viewing, Mar 2010 – Images by Tony McNicol

5 Responses to “Blooming Japan”

  1. Keith Crowley says:

    Hi Tony,

    That is certainly a very wide angle lens – I can nearly see your ears :-)
    What body were you using with that? – I see you`re able to produce 48Meg uncompressed files … do you mean the RAW files? …. also did you have a play in the digital darkroom to that nice blue on a couple of your shots?


  2. tony says:

    Hi Keith,

    I use a D700 and the 48mb files are the size of TIFFs produced from the original RAW files.

    That blue was done by using a tungsten filter on the flash and adjusting the white balance to tungsten.

  3. Catarina says:

    I really like your pictures, and if you dont mind i wanted to ask you a question. I am a portuguese young photographer and I am doing an applicacion to a schoolarship to Japan, can you indicate me any good photojournalism program for PhD or profesional course. It doesnt matter where in japan , I just can not find this informacion and I thougth that maybe you knew something.

    Thanks so much!

    • tony says:

      Hi Catarina. I don’t know much about photojournalism courses here I’m afraid. Perhaps the best thing would be to contact one of the photographer associations for advice, such as the JPA

      There’s also the “monbukagakusho” government scholarship. I did that way back when – although not in photography.

      Good luck!

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