Old Mission Santa Barbara (Black & White)

This is the second set of photos from an unplanned day out in Santa Barbara. I used the last few frames left on the expired roll of Fujifilm  Neopan SS 100 that’s been in the camera since April.

All photos taken with Leica M6/Summicron 50/F2

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2018 | Matsumoto Castle, Nagano Prefecture

Matsumoto Castle is also known as the Crow Castle due to its black exterior. The climb up the steep wooden stairs was a bit of challenge, and the stairs became narrower as we climbed higher into the keep. Once we reached the sixth floor and had the time to catch our breath, we were rewarded with a beautiful view of the castle grounds.

All photos taken with Leica M6/Summicron 50 on Ilford HP5+ and Fuji Neopan SS 100

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Matsumoto Castle, Nagano Prefecture
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Matsumoto Castle, Nagano Prefecture
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Castle gate
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Matsumoto Castle, Nagano Prefecture

A Look Back | Hotels, Rest Stops, and Gas Stations (Black & White)

These are a collection of images from last year’s Labor Day road trip. I took these photos on a week long trip that started in Los Angeles heading to Yellowstone National Park. On the journey back to LA, we made stops in Salt Lake City and Las Vegas. The photos are arranged in no particular order, I did not take any notes during the trip and I have a hard time recalling the names of most of these places.

All photos taken with Leica M6/Summicron 50 on Kodak BW400CN

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Free Ride
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News of the day
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Holiday Weekend
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Dude Motel
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Round -Up Motel
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On the way to dinner
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Big rig at Flying J
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On the way to Las Vegas

2018 | Ogimachi Village, Shirakawa-go

Out of all the places we visited in Japan, I was most excited to see the thatched roof houses of Shirakawa-go. The steep slanted roofs were made without nails, and can withstand the heavy snowfall during winter. We stopped by Shiroyama viewpoint, before visiting Ogimachi village. We arrived at the car park just after 4 P.M., and the attendant informed us that the heritage museum had just closed for the day. He politely showed us the suspension bridge that led to the village. It was drizzling and we had to wade through the crowd of people taking selfies while crossing. As I walked around the village, the fog slowly descended on the densely wooded mountains that surround the area. It was an amazing view, and my best memory from the whole trip.

All photos taken with Leica M6/Summicron 50 on Ilford HP5

Ogimachi Village suspension bridge
Ogimachi village suspension bridge
Ogimachi Village, Shirakawa-go
Farmhouses in Gassho-zukuri style which means constructed like hands in prayer
Myozenji Temple bell tower
Myozenji Temple Bell Tower
Myozenji Temple bell tower
Myozenji Temple Bell Tower
Myozenji Temple, Ogimachi Village
Myozenji Temple
Ogimachi Village, Shirakawa-go
Gassho-zukuri Farmhouse
Gassho-zukuri farmhouse
Farmhouse roof
Shop Window, Ogimachi Village
Shop Window | Ogimachi Village

2018 | Maiko Ichisumi

After our visit to Fushimi Inari, we met maiko Ichisumi for an afternoon tea ceremony and traditional dance presentation. I know very little about maikos and geishas, and so I was looking forward to this experience. Maiko-san moved so gracefully, that she made tea preparation look like a dance.

At the end of the presentation, we were given a few minutes to ask maiko-san some questions. Most of the questions were about her routine and preparation (hair, make-up, kimono). We were surprised to find out that she was only 16 years old, and that it took her over a year of training before she debuted as a maiko. The last question we asked her was, “what made her decide to become a geisha?”. She said being a maiko and a geisha will allow her to experience many things that most people will never get to experience.

We’ve had a long day of sightseeing and this was our last stop before heading back to the hotel. The tea ceremony was an amazing and memorable way to end our first day in Kyoto.

All photos were taken with Leica M6 and Summicron 50/F2 on Streetcandy ATM 400

Waiting for the tea ceremony to begin

Waiting for the tea ceremony to begin

Setting-up for the tea ceremony

Maiko Ichisumi

Maiko Ichisumi
Maiko Ichisumi

2018 | Fushimi-Inari Taisha, Kyoto

It was midday when we arrived at the parking lot near Fushimi Inari Taisha. We passed by several food stalls and souvenir shops on our way to the shrine. It was crowded and the hike took longer than we expected. We only had an hour to spare, and so we made sure to see and walk through the tunnel of torii gates before visiting some of the shrines.

Photos shot with Leica M6 and Summicron 50/F2 and Color Skopar 21/F4 on Street Candy ATM 400

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Torii gates at Fushimi Inari Taisha
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Torii gates at Fushimi Inari Taisha
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Torii gates at Fushimi Inari Taisha
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Torii gates at Fushimi Inari Taisha

2018 | Todaiji Temple, Nara

It was raining heavily when we left our hotel in Osaka to kick off our Japan trip. The first destination of the day was Todaiji, a Buddhist temple complex that houses the world’s largest statue of Buddha Vairocana. We arrived at the temple just after 9AM, and even with the downpour there were still hundreds of people who came to visit. I only managed to shoot a few frames, as I found it difficult to hold the umbrella while trying to focus the lens.

Photos taken with Leica M6 and Summicron 50/2 on Street Candy ATM 400

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A rainy morning in Osaka
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Osaka hotel lobby
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Todaiji, Nara
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Todaiji, Nara
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Todaiji, Nara
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Todaiji Temple