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Tag: Kyushu

Landscapes from Aso, Kumamoto Prefecture Japan (熊本県の阿蘇山の風景)

Landscapes from Aso, Kumamoto Prefecture Japan (熊本県の阿蘇山の風景)

Mt. Aso in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan, is one of the most beautiful places William Milberry has ever been to.  I’ve been there four times, two of which on scooter, and the landscape awed me each time.  It is one of the largest volcanic caldera in the world.  In ancient times a massive volcano erupted there causing the entire surrounding area to sink.  The land is twisted and rippled with lots of natural countryside.  Only soft-looking, short shrubs and grasses grown on some of the volcanic hills due to the nutrient poor soil which is mostly volcanic ash.  If you ever visit Japan’s Kyushu region, Aso should definitely be put on your list of places to go.

Photographing landscapes is a challenge for me because it’s tough to capture the awe that amazing places inspire and their grand scales in a single image, especially with a DSLR.  Landscapes demand a much larger imaging surface such as medium or large format.  Landscapes also demand a very careful, technical, methodical approach.  I’m very capable of this and engaged in such work a lot in the past, but in recent years I’ve been finding my inspiration in a more Japanese style wabisabi aesthetic which is a very different mindset.

Kome Zuka (lit. ‘Rice Mound’), is a volcanic cone found in the Aso caldera – William MilberryAso, Japan by William Milberry

Mt. Aso, Japan by William Milberry

Centuries of erosion cause deep grooves in the volcanic hillsMt. Aso, Japan by William Milberry

Mt. Aso, Japan by William Milberry

Sparse vegetation on the rocky, volcanic, landscapeMt. Aso, Japan by William Milberry

The sulfurous, boiling, active crater “Nakadake”Mt. Aso Nakadake crater, Kumamoto, Japan by William Milberry

Sunset on Kome ZukaMt. Aso, Japan by William Milberry

Karatsu (唐津) part 2

Karatsu (唐津) part 2

I spent a day shooting in Karatsu which is sleepy seaside town in the north-west corner of Kyushu.

The town in home to an amazing festival held at the beginning of November called Karatsu Kunchi.  The festival is hundreds of years old and designated as an intangible cultural treasure.  The town also produces beautiful Japanese-style ceramics.