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MatthewKou

Shiraito Falls



Shiraito Falls, located at the base of Mt. Fuji in Japan. It is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park and has been protected since 1936 as a Japanese Natura...
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Shiraito Falls, located at the base of Mt. Fuji in Japan. It is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park and has been protected since 1936 as a Japanese Natural Monument.
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Legendary Award
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13 Comments | Report
GJUNIORPHOTOGRAPHY PRO+
 
GJUNIORPHOTOGRAPHY September 01, 2016
congrats
MatthewKou PRO+
MatthewKou September 03, 2016
Thank you so much!
Ch3Rpi
 
Ch3Rpi September 14, 2016
What a beautiful piece.
MatthewKou PRO+
MatthewKou September 14, 2016
Thank you!! :)
snardcjalexander
 
snardcjalexander December 03, 2016
Wow this shot is surreal and inspiring. Amazing capture
MatthewKou PRO+
MatthewKou March 30, 2017
Thank you so much!
dffry PRO+
 
dffry February 04, 2017
Amazing capture
MatthewKou PRO+
MatthewKou March 30, 2017
Thank you!
emmawhite
 
emmawhite February 12, 2017
Beautiful!
MatthewKou PRO+
MatthewKou March 30, 2017
Thanks so much!
cyndimccoun PRO
 
cyndimccoun March 29, 2017
voted
MatthewKou PRO+
MatthewKou March 30, 2017
Thank you! Very appreciated.
Alwolfe Premium
 
Alwolfe September 11, 2017
Truly stunning photo!
MatthewKou PRO+
MatthewKou September 12, 2017
Thank you so much!!
aaronosis
 
aaronosis March 02, 2018
Beautifully done
edandaniphone Premium
 
edandaniphone March 06, 2018
Awesome shot. Congrats on being a Runner Up!
AliAlzuhair
 
AliAlzuhair March 07, 2018
Amazing work!
jarroddrews
 
jarroddrews March 09, 2018
Where is this place?
mariaelenavalenciarpo
 
mariaelenavalenciarpo March 23, 2018
beautiful!!!
cameraman161
 
cameraman161 May 18, 2018
WOW... very definition of Paradise! The most beautiful location I've ever seen! And what a great capture! The blend of colors, contrast, model in the center, and the long exposure is just perfect!

Behind The Lens

Location
This photo was taken at the Shiraito Falls (White thread), which are located in the southwestern foothills of Mount Fuji. It is ranked among the most beautiful waterfalls in Japan, and has a 150 meter wide cascade that is fed by the Fuji's spring water, and flows off the edge of a 20 meter high cliff in thin white streams that resemble hanging threads of silk - hence its name.
Time
This was taken in the late afternoon, after the sun had already fallen just behind the trees. I had gotten to the falls relatively late, and the park was about to close, so I didn't have much time to get the shot. I could have stayed there for hours, honestly though. But this was still near Fuji, and I had to drive at night all the way back to Tokyo.
Lighting
What I loved about this time of day, is that the lighting was so even, and the shadows very soft. The time of day, the slight overcast weather, and physical geography of the place really made it ideal for what I had in mind in terms of the shot. And all the colors just seemed to pop.
Equipment
I used a Nikon D600, outfitted with a Rokinon 14mm wide angle lens, Manfrotto carbon fiber tripod, and intervalometer.
Inspiration
I love waterfalls. There are so many beautiful waterfalls in Japan, and I've heard that these were some of the top on the list. While setting up the shot, I had taken a few without a person in the frame, but I love to add people to the shot to make the photo more "real" and relatable to viewers. I had just come from a series of business meetings, and I was still in my business clothes, but it seemed that I was the only one that wanted to take of my shoes and wade through the freezing cold water to that little rock for the shot. It was tricky, because I didn't have my intervalometer with me. So I had to set the timer and make a run for it. It was a little sketchy because the rocks were wet and slippery. I have to say, my feet were pretty numb by the time I got back.
Editing
My philosophy of editing is that I want to convey a feeling through my images and my editing. It is so hard to capture and convey to your viewer, what you felt inside at the time of the photo, so I try to do that with my post-processing. Convey what my mind saw and what I felt. And hopefully, the viewer will be able to experience even a little of that. I edited in Adobe Lightroom for some color, contrast, and highlighting the beautiful features of the scene.
In my camera bag
When I'm out in the field, you can usually find these items in my camera bag (some of it may vary, depending on what the purpose of my photography outing is). First, is the camera body. I use a Nikon D600, rugged, fast, and great in low light situations for action and night shots. I have been very happy with it's performance with astrophotography. Next, is my set of lenses. I use a wide range, depending on the purpose. I love landscape photography, so my go-to lenses for that is the Rokinon 14mm and Nikon 20mm super wide angle lenses. I really like the field of view of the Rokinon 14mm, and the clarity and contrast of the lens is just great, you can just see it by looking at the glass and construction. The only thing is that it is fully manual, which is great for setup shots, but is a little slower. That's when I turn to the Nikon 20mm, which although does not have the same field of view, has a fast auto focus, and is equally clear edge to edge. When I want to get closer to my subject, like in the case of wildlife or photo-journalistic shots, I'll use lenses such as the Nikon 24-70mm, 35mm, 50mm, 70-200mm, and Tamron 150-600mm. The Tamron is an overkill most of the time, but it is a great lens, with a huge focal length, and amazing image stabilization. I also use the Tamron for deep sky photography, like nebulas, galaxies, and the sort. All of these lenses put together allow me to capture anything from sweeping, scenic vistas, to battling elk in the Rocky Mountains, and everything in between. In addition to lenses, my standard equipment include: Manfrotto tripod, intervalometer, headlight for when photographing at night, and a Peak Design Capture Camera Clip to attach my camera to my backpack shoulder strap for quick and easy access and freedom of movement when I don't need the camera in hand. Oh, and I can't forget about the bag itself! I use a Mountain Smith Borealis camera backpack, which allows me to carry my camera body, up to 6 lenses, all my accessories, and still have room for things like my laptop, water bottle, a light jacket, and snacks.
Feedback
When taking these kind of shots, you need to just go for it with what you have. Whether that is the equipment, the time of day, the subject, the people (or lack thereof). And don't be afraid to get your feet a little wet or cold! The one thing I wish I had was a neutral density filter. Or a gradient filter. Either of those would have come in handy and given me more flexibility with my settings. And be patient. It takes time to get the settings right. But don't go into a shot without a plan. Practice ahead of time in various lightings to get to know your camera. So when you do get to your photography site, you can quickly setup and not be battling the clock and time of day to get the shot. Timing is everything in shots like this. There are so many things that are out of your control, so try to control the things you can, the best you can.

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