Sailor Kissing Woman Stature in San Diego, California

Sailor Kissing Woman Stature in San Diego, California

25 foot kiss

While visiting San Diego between Christmas and New Year’s, to my surprise touring on the waterfront among aircraft carriers and other ships, stands a statue representation of the famous sailor kissing woman photo. It stands 25 feet tall and attracts quite a crowd, even on a weekday morning. Recently the man in the photo/statue passed away. The woman passed away in 2016. One’s feelings about the action captured in the photo, and the statue itself, can no doubt vary widely. One thing for sure though, it delights a lot of people visiting San Diego’s downtown waterfront.

Read More

Daibutsu the Great Buddha of Kamakura Japan

In Kamakura Japan there sits Daibutsu (Great Buddha) - Olympus 5060 digital cameraNine years ago I visited Kamakura, Japan for the first time the day after New Year's.  It was just a train ride for me from my apartment in Tokyo, but it felt like traveling back in time to a different era.  Kamakura is home to many ancient things, including Daibutsu, The Great Buddha, a statue some 44 feet tall.  You may be surprised, as I was, that the statue is hollow and you can go inside and climb some stairs to look out the eyes yourself!

Daibutsu of Kamakura Japan sits some 44 feet tall - Olympus 5060 digital cameraThese photographs were made long before I entered the DSLR world, and in fact to my knowledge there were no consumer DSLRs even available.  I had a 5 megapixel Olympus 5060 digital camera.  I do recall shooting from a tripod on this day.  The biggest holidays of the year for Japanese are on and around New Year's, so it was not surprising to see many visitors there on January 2, 2004.  

Buddha statues of all sizes are offered fruit on a daily basis - Olympus 5060 digital cameraStatues of Buddha all over Asia almost always have fruit as an offering in front of them.  I thought the scale of the large statue and small fruit was amusing in this composition as I imagined Daibutsu trying to pick up one of those small apples with his large hands.

The eyes of Daibutsu are 1m wide - Olympus 5060 digital cameraKamakura is a must see location for anyone visiting Japan.  Besides the statue of Daibutsu, there are many other ancient temples each with secret places to explore.  

Motion blur for creating background interest - Japanese temple statue

Using a slow shutter speed to create motion blur in the background - Nikon D80 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/2.8 ISO 400 1/40thI made the photgraph above three and a half years ago, still early in my DSLR photography career while I was living in Tokyo, Japan.  I noticed the wind catching and spinning this fan around like crazy.  I knew I wanted to juxtapose the stillness of the statue with the manic motion of the fan.  To accomplish this I needed to set a shutter speed slow enough to blur the fan blades, but not too slow that I could not handhold the camera steady enough to keep the statue looking sharp.  

I found that 1/40th of a second shutter speed produced enough motion blur in the fan without camera shake causing overall image bluriness.  If I had a tripod with me it would have been a simpler shot to execute.  It was actually lucky that there was a lot of shadow in this part of the temple garden which allowed me to use f/2.8 to try and produce a little bokeh, even though I was using a wide angle lens.   

So this weekend my photography tip and homework assignment is to go out and see if you can find some background object to catch in motion blur while maintaining a sharp, in focus subject.  Put a link to your photos in the comments below! 

  • Read more photography tips
  • Reserve your own 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson with Jason today!
  • Learn more about the lessons
  • Kosodate-zizou and pinwheel

    A kosodate-zizou statue staying cool with its own pinwheel fan

     The temples and shrines of Japan are full of a wide variety of photography opportunities.  On this particular occasion, the whirring pinwheel caught my eye.  I did not have a tripod with me, but I thought the pinwheel might be spinning fast enough that I could handhold a shot and capture it in motion blur beside the very still statue.  

    The statue is called a kosodate-zizou, and they are for the well wishes of a newborn child.  They are adorned with various hats and scarves.  I had never seen a statue "dressed up" before going to Japan.  Something about it is just very curious to me and causes my brain to have to think on the paradox of putting soft material on a hard statue.  Somehow it seems to be a very compassionate thing to do, like, just because the statue is made of stone does not mean its head does not get chilly from time to time.