Description: This series of panoramic photographs spans the four seasons at the Chion-in temple in Kyoto. Through the flux of natural activity there are also the traces of our activity in the ceremonies shown in some of the photographs. You can see the inside of many of the buildings as well its habitat in different seasons and times-of-day.
When I started shooting at the temple I brought a map. The temple grounds were made up of locations that I could mark and each photograph was a panoramic view made from these points. I rushed around the temple grounds trying to capture as many locations during the cherry blossom season because everybody told me that the seasons were important in Japan.
Once I covered what I thought were the most interesting locations I asked myself, "now where can I shoot?" But the next locations weren't the ones I could find on my map. The temple grounds were pinpoints in space but I didn't really think of the dimension of time as a location until I realized how different the the temple became with the change of seasons.
Each panorama is made up of many images joined together in the same way that satellites photograph the earth creating a detailed image from many small photographs. The more detailed the photograph, the more images I have to shoot so I end up capturing not a moment or snapshot but time in a human scale like the time it would take to make a sketch for a painting. I was originally thinking of this kind of time. But when I ran out of locations I saw that there was a bigger time spanning seasons; the micro and macro.
As I went back to the temple to shoot, my newfound appreciation for the seasons must have influenced me. When the pink cherry blossoms shimmered against the pale steel sky I thought, "these visitors came at a good time, this is the most beautiful season to come." When the landscape turned bright green in the late spring rains I thought the same thing.
During the hot summer when the deep blue sky framed the temple buildings in cool, black shadows I thought the same thing but I knew that once the orange autumn came with its clear light it would be the most beautiful season. Then in the winter when I was waiting for my footsteps to disappear under fresh snow I saw a visitor taking photos we looked at each other and I said, "you came at a good time, this is the most beautiful season to see the temple."