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At the Gates of Senso-ji Temple

Japanese rickshaw serves not only a transportation but also a guide

Japanese rickshaw serves not only a transportation but also a guide
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Contest Finalist in The Magic Of Japan Photo Contest
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Behind The Lens

This photo was taken in Asakusa district in Tokyo, Japan. At the gates to Sens?-ji, an ancient Buddhist temple. At the gates there's a pulled rickshaws with their two-wheeled passenger carts stop and the rickshaws provide not only transportation but also serve as know-all guides. They tell myths and legends a well as historical facts. Here one of them is depicted telling the story of the Tokyo's oldest and one of the most significant temple dedicated to Kannon Bosatsu, the Bodhisattva of compassion. They say, that the firm Canon which produces fine cameras was named after the goddess Kannon.
That was my first day in Tokyo. At about 5 p.m. right from the train and Underground which took me to the downtown hotel I grabbed my camera which I purchased before my trip to Japan and rushed down the street. When I had walked to the hotel I noticed in one of the side alleys the red tori -- the gates to the temple yard. Just in front of the gates I found a crowd of male and female rickshaws who were telling their stories.
Happily, it was October day and the sun was going downward: Since the sky was clear but not too bright I found out that the lighting was quite good for taking several shots at the gates and in the temple yard. By the time, when I entered Nakamise-Dori, the street going from the opposite Thunder Gate with small shops with national souvenirs such as woodblock prints, kimono, sweets and fans golden hour started. I managed to take about a hundred shots that evening.
I used Sony Alpha SLT-58 which I'd bought before the trip with the kit lens 3.5-5.6/18-135 SAM and shot everything handheld. No flash
Japan had been my dream for many years: I'd wanted to understand its unusual culture, to see unknown life of the great nation, so I took every chance to take pix of ordinary people in the streets of Tokyo, Kyoto, Kamakura and other cities. This rickshaw was so lively and had such eloquent speech that I couldn't stand but make a capture of him.
Now I use Adobe Lightroom for post-processing but when I went to Japan those were my first steps in digital photography, so I didn't do any and took my shots in .jpg.
In my camera bag
I'm still a beginner and amateur photographer though I'm trying to practice as much as I can during my trips on my vacations and during my business trip or my interviews with the newsmakers I'm writing my feature stories about as a senior correspondent at Forbes, Russia. When I'm going to work or for leisure I always take my photo bag which I equip with my Sony Alpha LSR-58 with my working horse -- the kit lens 3.5-5.6/18-135 SAM, a portrait lens DT 1.8/50 SAM and DT 4-5.6/55-200 SAM one. I hope that after I gain more experience I'll get a mirrorless Sony camera with lenses for it to enjoy more clarity of my works.
Japan is a miraculous country for a photographer, so try to have your gear at hand at every moment. Before visiting this island try to dig into the background to understand which time will be the best according to your plans: You may want to capture sakura, the Japanese cherry, blossoming in early April or the October sakura in blossom, a special kind of trees bred by ancient monks to admire the poetic gardens not only in spring; you may come for other great landscapes and animal life at the best season and the time of the day; There are lots of customs and traditions you'd like to see and capture. And remember: In Japan one must stick to the local rules of behavior which one shouldn't break.

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