Japan Set 2, Fujisan

Sometimes I just to have to accept things and move on…

There are quite a few majestic lone mountains/volcanoes all around the world, Kilimanjaro, Matterhorn, St. Helens, but there is something about Mt. Fuji that makes it stand out against many of them.  Maybe because its so highly regarded by the Japanese people, and that other peaks don’t have this kind of support.  Whatever the reason, I knew I was going to have a few weekends free in Tokyo and determined in advance that I needed to get a few good shots of arguably the biggest icon of Japan.  So I researched online where I was going to take these photos and settled on traveling to Hakone, about a 2.5 hour trip west of Tokyo using public transport.

Sensor: Canon 6D
Location: Hakone, Japan

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We had tried to get up to Hakone the day before, but failed as we didn’t allot ourselves enough time to catch the train.  A pity since it seemed like it was a pretty clear day.  However, on this particular day it was quite cloudy, and I was very nervous about the trek up there.  I think we took about three connecting trains and a Gondola right up to the top of an adjacent peak.  Although we had started quite early that morning, we didn’t arrive until slightly after 12PM.

The mountain was surrounded by clouds that day.   Every time I looked out to see an opening which I thought would give me a clear shot, the air condensed around the mountain and obscuring the view.  Additionally being so far away, the haziness of the air really cut into the clarity and contrast of the shot.  It was disappointing, especially given the fact that it was a days investment to get there and back and it was biting cold.  Nevertheless I did the best I could with what the conditions gave me, and waited patiently for over an hour leaning on my tripod.

Sensor: Canon 6D
Location: Hakone, Japan

Japan-2013-1437

The photos potential came out better and worse than expected.  The clouds actually gave the shot a sense of scale and a lot more character than if it was clear.  Compositionally, I thought the content and framing was there.  There are a lot of photos of Mt. Fuji, so having something different is almost always good.  Additionally I was able to save a lot of the detail in post processing more than expected.   However, I also realized that I used f18 for the aperture.  I have no idea why I did that.  There is no reason why I couldn’t have shot this really wide.  I probably accidentally put the camera in another mode.  Thus the focus is a little soft on the head of the mountain.   But barring this, the photo is still sharp enough for wall papers on the largest of today’s monitors.  But I’ll never be able to blow these photos up into prints.

Sensor: Canon 6D
Location: Hakone, Japan

Japan-2013-1480

Once we left the observations stations and took a boat ride back to the bus station, wouldn’t you know it, the clouds started to clear away.

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