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On the afternoon I saw my ideal weather conditions, I travelled to Kintai-Kyo around 4:00 pm to make sure I caught the cable car going up the mountain to the castle before it shut down at 5:00 pm. I set up my 4x5 camera on my tripod, framed the picture, checked and double checked focus. And waited a few hours until dark. Patience is required for architectural photography.
The castle is lit with spot lights until 11:00 pm, and then they're shut off. This allowed me to take one exposure of the lit castle, then when the spot lights were turned off, take a second exposure the stair trails on a single sheet of film. The star trails exposure was for 45 minutes.
When I finished with the photography, and since the cable car had long stopped running, I had to walk down the dark mile long access road from the castle to the bottom with my camera equipment in a photo backpack.
Unique images take planning and going that extra bit to make happen.
Please visit Todd A. Smith Photography, LLC website to see more of Todd's work.