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Inspiration

Nature’s Light Show Revealed by the Stunning Long Exposures of Takehito Miyatake

By Hanssie on September 8th 2014

Natural light is of course, a topic that we talk about here on SLR Lounge pretty often. It’s hard to beat the buttery softness of diffused Golden Hour light that paints the skies a breathtaking shade of goodness, a gift from nature.

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Volcanic lightning over the Sakurajima eruption.

[RELATED: Check out the Natural Light Couple’s DVD workshop – Click here to view more details]

Japanese landscape photographer Takehito Miyatake‘s images, however, show a different side of natural light – not the subdued kind that photographers gravitate toward. Miyatake uses long exposure photography to capture the power of nature and its light show. From an erupting volcano, to firefly squid squirming on Japan’s beaches at night, Miyatake’s stunning work captures the “light of Japan,” not the typical blinding lights we tend to associate with their bustling city of industry.

Miyatake, who recently won the Grand Prize at the 2014 Nikkei National Geographic Photo Awards, is inspired by Waka, a classical form of Japanese poetry and the devastating 2011 earthquake and Tsunami, where nature unleashed her fury on the little country.

A flight of hime botaru fireflies (Hotaria parvula) or 'princess fireflies,' in the woods.

A flight of hime botaru fireflies (Hotaria parvula) or ‘princess fireflies’

[REWIND: SHOOT BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS IN THE HARSH NOON SUN | LINDSAY ADLER]

In an interview with TIME, Miyatake describes Waka as:

 a poem to express the scope of nature [by] using limited words since its birth in the eighth century in Japan. The method has been working beautifully and precisely to express nature with sympathy. I believe Waka is very similar to nature photography. Waka poems describe not only fireflies but a broader sense of the environment, space and even beyond current existence to the world where past friends stay.

…a perfect way to integrate the juxtaposition of the fury of nature and its breathtaking beauty.

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In the late afternoon after a rain, genji botaru fireflies (luciola curciate) above a creek.

Showa crater of Sakurajima and volcanic lightning in Kagoshima Prefecture in Kyushu, Japan.

Showa crater of Sakurajima and volcanic lightning in Kagoshima Prefecture in Kyushu, Japan.

A small, low bridge over the Shimanto River, known as the last crystal clear river in Japan, with genji botaru fireflies (Luciola cruciate) in the early summer twilight.

A small, low bridge over the Shimanto River, known as the last crystal clear river in Japan, with genji botaru fireflies (Luciola cruciate) in the early summer twilight.

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Showa crater of Sakurajima, taisho lava, and star trails in Kagoshima Prefecture in Kyushu, Japan.

In spring, firefly squid (hotaru ika) rise 2000 feet to the surface of the water and offer a fleeting glimpse of their magical lights

In spring, firefly squid (hotaru ika) rise 2000 feet to the surface of the water and offer a fleeting glimpse of their magical lights

Scores of fishing rafts floating in the Uchino-umi highlighted by the light from the full moon.

Scores of fishing rafts floating in the Uchino-umi highlighted by the light from the full moon.

Miyatake is preparing to display his images at solo exhibition in Japan this month. You can see more of Miyatake’s work and find out more about him on his website.

CREDITS: All photographs by Takehito Miyatake are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.

[Via Spoon & Tamago/Time]

 

About

Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at www.hanssie.com and www.fittedmagazine.com. Follow her on Instagram. Email her at:
Hanssie@slrlounge.com

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Clare Havill

    So beautiful

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  2. Joshua Pheneger

    Very cool!

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  3. Isaak Kwok

    Amazing! Definitely need to try long exposure shots … some day.

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  4. Andrew Van Arb

    Beautiful shots! I’ts like an explosion of color in the darkness!

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  6. Rafael Steffen

    We should all try more long exposure!

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  7. MARTIN MIANO

    Really cool images… worth each and every shot

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  8. Mark Iuzzolino

    I always wondered how to do these long start trails. Very cool images.

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