The former capital of the Land of the Rising Sun has always been a special destination for any wandering photographer. Rich in historical architecture and scenery, Kyoto is able to tell its glorious story and legacy just by its environment. Photographer Maryana Kovalchuk shares her own experience in the city through purple-colored glasses, with the help of the LomoChrome Purple film.
My name is Maryana Kovalchuk. I am currently living and working as an architectural designer in Sapporo, Japan. These photos are from my last trip to Kyoto.
Kyoto is known as the heart of traditional Japan, so it is very popular and usually crowded. Despite this, I tend to go off the beaten track, looking for less crowded streets, quiet temples, and little-known gardens.
Many times, I take my camera and wander the streets early in the morning or later at night. I stumble upon unexpected details: a stray cat in a hidden alley, a vanishing light in a tiny temple, a lonely flower by the riverside, an undiscovered pattern in the pavement. Every moment is magical.
In addition, this time I managed to rent a bike and visit some distant temples. One of them is a quiet Entsuji. There is a word in Japanese: 借景 shakei or “borrowed scenery”: it is the epitome of incorporating background landscape into the composition of a garden found in many Zen temple gardens around Kyoto, but not so spectacularly as here. Entsuji’s Zen garden incorporates Mountain Hiei in the background through layers of trees and their lush leaves. Scenery changes depending on where you sit or stand and look from inside the temple.
This last trip helped me to understand how nature is incorporated into the city of Kyoto. The approach here is not only to accept nature and its inconsistencies and inconveniences but even to celebrate them. I find this is something already lost in many Japanese cities and towns, yet I think it is still possible to find this approach to nature in the city of Kyoto even nowadays.
It was spring and the city was immersed in green foliage at its most vibrant tone. Besides color film, here I decided to try LomoChrome Purple. It translated those greens into a beautiful range of purples. This way in my memories Kyoto attains a sense of mystery and timelessness.
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