By Anders Wotzke.
Each year in Japan between late March and early April, there’s a small window where the sakura (cherry blossoms) bloom. During a day trip to Kyoto, it was forecast to rain heavily not long after the first of the blossoms began to flower, and unfortunately, a modest rain is enough to strip these delicate trees of their blossoms. With this looming threat, many locals hoping have a glamourous engagement and wedding portrait in front of the blossoms rushed to the surrounding temples on the weekend before the storm. As a result, there were beautifully dressed locals at all the traditionally ‘touristy’ locations — it was quite the sight!
This photo proved to be my favourite shot from that day, and in fact my whole Japan trip. I find a calming beauty in this exposure beyond the pastel palette, which I think is due to my fondness for shots that depict serenity in isolation, instead of seclusion.


Blossoming.  By Anders Wotzke

Sony A7M2; Sony Zeiss 55mm f1.8; 1/200s; ISO 50

Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Kyoto, Japan

Don’s response

Were it not for the plastic umbrella, you could easily imagine that this image was captured on film decades ago with one of the early colour processes.

The muted colour and the shallow depth of field add to the vintage atmosphere of Andres Wotzke’s delicate study.

It’s easy to see why he’s particularly fond of this picture and I’d think it would be well served by being printed at a comparatively small size in order to encourage viewers to draw closer.


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