This selection of November photos is in reverse chronological order without any attempt to group them by subject.
Ritto City in southern Shiga Prefecture, Japan, was covered with snow for a few days in January, 2017.
On January 15th heavy snow covered Takano Park near my home.
As usual on Sunday, local children were playing at Takano Park. They seemed delighted by the rare chance to play in a snowstorm.
On January 16th more snow was followed by patches of blue sky.
We had a bit more snow on January 24th. By noon it was melting.
Appreciating wider angles
This January a few days of snow reminded me to appreciate a wider view of the environment. Most of my photographs have been portraits of birds or closeups of bugs or flowers. I enjoy watching living creatures up close through a telephoto lens, but I don’t want to become too absorbed in such a narrow view of life. I think it’s wise to also see and photograph the world from a broader and more natural perspective.
On Sundays we can see many activities along the banks of Yasugawa in Ritto and Moriyama. There are several ground golf courses, a golf putting course, tennis and basketball courts, a beautiful track for track & field events, and, in Moriyama downstream from the JR train tracks, a large grassy field for picnics.
On Sunday, April 13, 2014, I took a bike ride along the river. On the way back home I saw some little boys doing batting practice. They were all wearing uniforms, so I assumed that it was a Pee Wee baseball team. One of their coaches was pitching gently, and I noticed that the boys hit nearly every pitched ball.
Visually the scene was pretty dull, with the boys mostly and some adults standing around under an overcast sky. But acoustically it was more dramatic. I was struck by the contrast between the low rumble of background noise and the sharp ping of metallic baseball bats that dominated the soundscape.
This field recording has been added to radio aporee ::: maps – Deba, Ritto, Shiga, Japan.
Egrets and a couple of grey herons hang out in Yasugawa about 600 meters downstream from Yasugawa Ohashi (野洲川大橋) where Japan Route 8 crosses the Yasu River in Shiga Prefecture. The Shinkansen is about 1300 meters from the camera, and the JR Tokaido line, which we can see under the Shinkansen tracks, is about 2100 meters away.
The telephoto scenes were shot from under Yasugawa Ohashi with an old 300mm Olympus Zuiko OM System lens on an Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera (12x magnification). The opening pan shot and the photo at the end were taken with a 17mm lens. I processed the audio with a high-pass filter to reduce low frequency traffic and wind noises and to emphasize the higher frequency sounds of the river as it ran under the bridge.