No Selfies

Years ago someone explained it to me eloquently, but I only half remember it; ‘if someone gives you a camera and you are over X years old, you will point it at what you find interesting in the world… But if you are under X years old you will point it at yourself….’

And so the selfie became part of (some) peoples lives… but not mine!

I can’t remember what age X equals, but it is not an age I have ever lived through. And this isn’t some whimsical old age retroactive theory, I have evidence dating back decades! And I would post it if I had access to my photo archive (no, its not ‘in the cloud’ – its in a box, under the stairs, exactly where it should be!!)

As a child I was notorious for being fairly placid (not really) but when Christmas came around & the multi-generational family photo was cued up, my tantrum preceded it by about 4 frames!
I detest having my photo taken, I have never known quite why but its a strong instinct & one I hold dearly….

As an adult I have tried to philosophise it: ‘the only evidence of my existence should be audible…‘ etc, etc… But as I am sure you will know, sometimes people require a photo…. so this is as close to a ‘selfie’ as I get!

Shodoshima

For me, it just remidns me of the day I left the car at the top of KanKaKei & repeated my earleir descent of the mountain, but this time primarily for sound, with only a little P&S camera to document locations & grab GPS.

Frankly I preferred the shot from the day before, where one of the monkeys sneaked into one of my time lapses! I was paying more attention to my 5D timelapse, which was shooting into rapidily changing light & having its metadata cranked in real time… but at some point I turned around and… there he was!

Shodoshima

My first thought at the time was oh sh+t! He is going to steal my tripod/GoPro camera! But then i rationalised it – does he have a USB reader & something to turn the 1000+ frames into timelapse? It was only hours later when I got home & actually DID turn the frames into timelapse I realised what he was up to! He was leaving me to do all the work & just wanted to appear in shot, bottom right, edge-of-frame…

Shodoshima

While it doesnt take much post-fu to remove him from frame, do you think I would/could?

He knew exactly what he was doing…

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One of 88 Shoot

Ninety percent of the time the weather here on Shodoshima has been stunningly clear, literally not a cloud to be seen. So I tend to have my batteries charged & ready to go when there is any chance of clouds & yesterday the weather forecast was correct! Last night I managed to do a three camera shoot at the temple in the last post!

This photo gives a better idea of where the temple is, on highest point of that mountain in the centre background!

Shodoshima

First I put my GoPro camera in its Cam.Do case, attached some string (to make retrieving it easier) and then used my tripod legs to push it right out to the edge…

Shodoshima

Next I set up my 5D, framing the shrine with plenty of space around it to capture cloud movement and the changing light.

Shodoshima

And after shooting stills of everything I set my little Canon s100 shooting video of this beautiful old tree silhouette

Shodoshima

With all three cameras rolling, all I could do was watch as the sunset revealed itself

Shodoshima

Shodoshima

The s100 was the first camera to grind to a hault – it seems to have the worst battery use of any camera I have ever owned! Then once it was dark I retrieved the GoPro, praying it had kept shooting throughout. A quick check and YES!!! 1,114 new photos!!!

I kept shooting with the 5D until well after dark, using the Holy Grail timelapse technique, then eventually packed up & very slowly & carefully made my way back down the track… totally exhausted but very happy to have been in such a special place at sunset, and been prepared & able to capture aspects of it!

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One of Eighty Eight

There are temples and shrines all over Shodoshima, and a well known pilgrimage involves visiting all 88 temples on the island. There is some great documentation of such a pilgrimage here which has been very useful in locating temples to visit – while I will not have time to visit all 88 temples there are some I definitely did not want to miss, and on Monday we visited one of the most beautiful I have been to!

We drove around two bays, and through the back streets of a small seaside village, following small road signs. Eventually the road became even more narrow and we headed up a steep zig zag road into the mountains. The road kept zigging and zagging, and thankfully the one place we met a car coming down there was a passing bay, just wide enough for us both.

Eventually we arrived at a parking area, big enough for four or five cars, and grabbing a water bottle started climbing up a set of stairs… and climbing… and climbing….

Shodoshima

The stairs were steep, and it was close to 30 degrees C but the ever expanding view kept us going…

Shodoshima

Eventually we reached a small temple, and after catching our breath & admiring the view we noticed that beside the temple was a very rough track, with a sign pointing upwards…

More climbing, but this time slower, steeper & with even greater anticipation.

Finally the track levelled out and across the narrow mountain top we were treated to a view of a tiny shrine, perched underneath a massive rock!

Shodoshima

Shodoshima

The view and the sound up here was unspeakably beautiful. Off each side of the track it was a sheer drop down on one side through bush to the coast, and on the other side into a deep valley…

Shodoshima

I read somewhere about how these remote temples and shrines, on mountain tops, are almost created so that for people to visit them they must arrive out of breath, gasping for air like someone who has been underwater for almost too long….

It was so peaceful up here, I could have stayed for hours… And I will, next time! I am on cloud watch, waiting for the right conditions to load up my backpack & slowly claw my way back up, to attempt to capture just a tiny fragment of the profound nature of this beautiful location on Shodoshima.

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Underwater

I’ve visited this location on Shodoshima a few times, its only ten minutes down the road & is right beside an old school… That rock outcrop totally becomes an island at high tide, but is accessible without getting wet at low tide…

Shodoshima

A few days ago low tide coincided with both the sunset and some nice clouds, so I went & put my GoPro H3 camera in its Cam.Do waterproof box with a grunty USB battery and set it out on the outcrop, shooting a frame every five seconds from about 4pm, and then retrieving it after dark….

Shodoshima

There is a tiny shrine on the rock, which IS above the high tide mark…

Shodoshima

This shot was one from the 1,545 taken in that session – it is such fun to go retrieve a camera from a remote location & copy the data across, set a render going & then see what was captured!

Shodoshima

I have also been doing a bit of underwater shooting with the GoPro – the results are quite magical, this frame grab doesn’t do it justice… My first underwater session was all shot at 24fps and I love it, especially set to music & sound, but I did a session today shooting at 48fps and I can’t wait to see the results. The 24fps shot were quite dreamy, these should be doubly so!

Shodoshima

btw this is the little camera floater handle I am using – bought at Yodobashi Camera in Umeda, Osaka – BHPhoto call them The Bobber

Shodoshima

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Horizons

Shodoshima

Horizons shot from Shodoshima

Shodoshima

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