Mysterious Island of the Gods – Miyajima Japan in Black and White
Miyajima Island is considered to be one of the most scenic spots in Japan, a spiritual place to Japanese and a must visit for tourists. It is also a brilliant spot for black and white photography. Sometimes referred to as the Island of Gods it appears to float on beautiful Seto Inland Sea as one approaches it by boat. It is also home to the Itsukushima Shrine which is recognized as a World Heritage site. Bordered by the Virgin Forest of Mt. Misen it is home to numerous preserved shrines, temples and historical monuments as well as free roaming wildlife. On my visit there in the winter the weather was cool and cloudy with a bright haze hanging overhead. Most of the photographs were taken during the day due to the limited arrival and departure times of the sea ferry.
The brightness of the sky was huge challenge with many of the photographic subjects having either a bright sky background or shiny water nearby. I employed a B+W Polarizer filter along with a Nikon ND filter to better deal with the brightness and render some microstructure in the background where possible. The camera used was a Nikon D7000 with a 35 mm 1.8G DX lenses. The small size of the camera allowed me to stand in the middle of the crowded and flowing streets and compose shots before raising the camera unnoticed. This advantage allowed for the capture of natural expressions as they arose on the food vending streets. Many Japanese go to Miyajima Island for a spiritual visit during the first week of the New Year so it was really crowded even on a somewhat overcast day.
Following are the photos which were post-processed in Lightroom and with black and white software Tonality which is part of Macphun Creative Kit software. The software is easy to use with the biggest advantages being its adaptive levers, micro contrast and frames.