Les Taylor Photo »

Autumn Vibrations

While exploring around Kumoba Pond in Karuizawa earlier this month, I found a great spot where the leaves could float atop the water and catch the light perfectly. Unfortunately, there weren’t enough leaves going by on their own to get the shot that I wanted, so I had to improvise a bit by finding a good leaf nearby and placing it in the water myself. Due to the inconsistencies in the current it took several tries, but I finally got what I was hoping for. Sometimes the scene you see in your mind needs a little help (and patience) to become reality!

Camera: Nikon D610
Lens: Nikon 50mm f/1.8G
Shot Info: f/2.5 | 1/800 sec | ISO125 | 50mm

leaf floating in waterClick Here To Purchase A Print

Facebook Twitter Plusone Pinterest Reddit
Contact Les About Licensing

Colorful Autumn Road in Japan

There’s really nothing quite like driving down a country road in the autumn. This particular country road is in Gunma Prefecture, Japan. When I saw this scene I knew I wanted to capture it, but there were cars continuing to come, so it took me a few times of running out, snapping, and running back to the side of the road before I got it like I wanted.

Also, along with today’s image I also have a new tutorial to share! I’m starting a new tutorial series of sorts called Post Processing Rundowns, where I give a basic rundown of my processing workflow, rather than taking from start to finish showing every single step. I hope you’ll enjoy the video and the photo, and feel free to ask any questions you may have. You can check it out below the image.

Camera: Nikon D610
Lens: Nikon 16-35mm f/4 VR
Shot Info: f/11 | 1/50 sec | ISO100 | 16mm

Photo of road in autumnClick Here To Purchase A Print

Facebook Twitter Plusone Pinterest Reddit
Contact Les About Licensing

Sunset on Usui Lake

The last stop on my most recent photography trip ended up being a lovely little lake in Gunma Prefecture called Usui Lake. It was really the perfect ending to the whole trip; the lake was calm and quiet, the autumn leaves and sunset were both vibrant, and there was plenty of time to take in the scene and shoot it at a variety of different angles. I wasn’t really expecting to get to do any photography like this along the trip, but those unexpected stops are sometimes the best!

Camera: Nikon D610
Lens: Nikon 16-35mm f/4 VR
Shot Info: f/11 | Multiple Exposures (HDR) | ISO100 | 22mm

Photo of Usui Lake Gunma PrefectureClick Here To Purchase A Print

Facebook Twitter Plusone Pinterest Reddit
Contact Les About Licensing

Chapel at Karuizawa Kogen Church

One of the places high on my list to visit and shoot during my recent trip to Karuizawa was the Karuizawa Kogen Church. As a Christian myself, I have a keen interest in the few Christian locations that exist around Japan, and as a photographer, I love to shoot them whenever possible. This particular visit ended up being pretty fantastic and unique. Fellow photographer Anthony Wood and I arrived at the church during their evening autumn illumination, but at the same time people inside the church were practicing for a Christmas concert using only bells. So, while we were shooting the beautiful architecture, lights and colors outside, the sounds of Christmas bells from the inside filled the air around us. That’s a pretty spectacular way to photograph a place, if you ask me!

Also, in this post I wanted to share a quick tip for how to figure out your framing in a shot when the scene is too dark to see much. In this case, I could see the church in front of me, but seeing the lines and details of the sidewalk on which I was shooting was nearly impossible, both through live view and the actual viewfinder. What I don’t want to do is get home and realize that the shot is horribly crooked or that my framing isn’t what I thought it was. So what to do in this situation? The solution is pretty simple – pump up your ISO as high as necessary to see, and take the photo. You won’t use this photo of course, but it will be enough to confirm your framing on the rear display so you can take the real shot. A simple trick, but really helpful in these situations.

Camera: Nikon D610
Lens: Nikon 16-35mm f/4 VR
Shot Info: f/8 | 112 sec | ISO200 | 16mm

Photo of Karuizawa Kogen ChurchClick Here To Purchase A Print

Facebook Twitter Plusone Pinterest Reddit
Contact Les About Licensing

Fisherman’s Shack of Kawaguchiko

It feels like a long time since I’ve really put up a new photo. The last few months have been relatively quiet in terms of photography, but this last week I was able to make up for that. I took a trip with fellow photographer Anthony Wood to Kawaguchiko and Karuizawa to photograph the autumn colors which are popping around Japan right now. I took over 1000 photos (around 32GB worth) and although many of these are destined for the trash bin, that’s still a lot of photos to go through! And that’s just the beginning of the photos I’ll be taking during the next couple of months.

It will take me a while to process my favorites and get them finished up, but this is a pretty simple shot that I enjoyed, so I thought I’d share with everyone as a small taste of what’s to come. When we arrived at Kawaguchiko, we decided to go ahead and just jump into things by taking a walk around the lake. As we were exploring, we came across a small, quiet area on the Northeastern side of the lake close to the bridge with some great character to it. There were several old, run down buildings and lots of great fall colors covering everything. This particular building caught my attention. It’s an old fishing shack of some sort (the Japanese on the sign says “fishing boats”), and given its proximity to the lake, I can only assume it was once used for fishermen who frequented the lakes waters. A decaying shack like this is a perfect element to combine with fall colors, and I think expresses the mood of this location well.

By the way, I’ve extended the sale of my 2015 calendar! Through Saturday, it will be just $16.99 (+shipping).  Get yours here: Journey Through Japan 2015 Wall Calendar.

Camera: Nikon D610
Lens: Nikon 16-35mm f/4 VR
Shot Info: f/10 | 1/125 sec | ISO100 | 16mm

Photo of old shack in JapanClick Here To Purchase A Print

Facebook Twitter Plusone Pinterest Reddit
Contact Les About Licensing

Journey Through Japan – 2015 Wall Calendar Now Available!

I’m excited to announced that my 2015 wall calendar is now officially available, and for the next week only, you can get it at 15% off!

“Journey Through Japan” is more than just a wall calendar. It is a journey through the beautiful country of Japan. This calendar takes you across 9 different Japanese prefectures to some of the country’s most beautiful locations, like Mt. Fuji, Tokyo, and more! Coil bound and printed on high quality paper, it looks great in both the home and office.

If you love Japan, or are looking for a great gift for someone who does, this calendar is for you. You can purchase it by clicking on the image below, or just click right here.

2015 Japan Wall Calendar

Facebook Twitter Plusone Pinterest Reddit
Contact Les About Licensing

Kochia at Hitachi Seaside Park

Earlier this week I took a trip with my oldest daughter to the Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki Prefecture. If you’ve followed my work, you may remember some photos from there during a past spring, when the fields there are covered in blue nemophilia flowers. It’s a truly magical sight! In the autumn, they cover these same fields with kochia – the small red bushes you see in the photo below. They start off green, and then slowly turn red over the course of the season. Unfortunately, we arrived a little bit late, so the colors were on their way out, but it was still beautiful to see in person. Guess I’ll just have to visit a little earlier next year!

Camera: Nikon D610
Lens: Nikon 16-35mm f/4 VR
Shot Info: f/10 | 1/125 sec | ISO100 | 16mm

red kochia japanClick Here To Purchase A Print

Facebook Twitter Plusone Pinterest Reddit
Contact Les About Licensing