Each year, thousands of people stream through Japan’s Nagano prefecture to catch a glimpse of towering Matsumoto castle. Naturally, just about every visitor on the grounds is eventually compelled to take out their camera and snap a few shots. As beautiful as the structure is, this presents a challenge for photographers. After all, how do you manage to make a unique image of a sight that’s been captured millions of times?
For photographer Kota Kagoshima, all it took was some patience and a powerful strobe.
As powdery snow began to blanket the castle and tourists retired for the night, Kota hung around the quiet grounds. At around 11 pm, a swan floated atop the surrounding moat. As it made its way closer to Kagoshima, he readied his camera and finally made an exposure.
In the blink of an eye, snowflakes suspended mid-air and the swan went still. Contrasting beautifully with the blackness of the castle and the sky, the scene reflected into the still waters below to create something truly surreal.
There’s always a new angle to approach even the oldest subjects. Often, it takes a little bit of effort to get results that break the mold. However, as this photograph shows, something as simple as braving bad weather can completely transform a familiar scene!
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