The scenery of Kyoto, the old Imperial Capital of Japan, is an awe inspiring visual treat that never fails to exact the ohs-&-ahs of travelers. The Japanese people are so adept at welding Mother Nature’s herbarium with their meticulously maintained garden that it becomes hard to distinguish the fine thread separating the nature from the nurtured.

If nothing else, the charm of this country highlighted My ineptitude in translating such beautiful scenes into satisfying photographs: my photos are simply sub-par and have little impact on any experienced visual connoisseur.

In the first of the self-critique series, I shall verbally materialize the first cause of such inadequacy: awkward compositions in the most fundamental sense.

Kamo River: Leading to nowhere

Lead-in lines are one of the most crucial chisel in sculpting a proper landscape photo. Yet, I have failed rather miserably in applying them to the greatest effect. The photo of Kamo River at Gion-Shijo Station has very weak diagonals that leads to nowhere. The pursue of sunset and My attempt to capture the sunlit cloud had clouded my mind and did not offer any value in terms of quality of the photo; the bright cloud spot did not resonate with the weak diagonals and served only as a distraction to the view.


Seiryo-ji: The boring center

For the pursuit of photography as a form of creative expression, temple-hopping certainly did not help as the architecture too frequently pigeonhole the photographer into placing the main subject in the center. I have too many similar shots that in the end, I just couldn’t be bothered to edit them. While technically sound, this photo of Seiryo-ji probably exist in a million other hard-disk and films.


Kiyomizu-dera Temple: the little spice cloud.

I like this shot a little more: the negative space balances better with the busy autumnal leaves and the Pagoda of Kiyomizu-dera, the colour of blue and red stand in stark contrast with one another, and the little cloud anchores the dynamic balance between the negative space and the busy foliage. I did not have the “standard” photo of Kiyomizu-dera from the top most viewing deck that every other tourist and their parents took and I do not mind that the least bit, save for the fact that I have one less photo for Shutterstock.

Must-see spots? Must-take photos? Not for me anymore, I guess.

I enjoy creating photographs and if I had to fly thousands of mile to an interesting location, I had better create something unique and I like. After all, who decides what is the “correct way” to travel?