Mt. Fuji – The Unpredictable and Beautiful Mother Nature

Yesterday I took a trip from Tokyo to Mt. Fuji – the highest peak in Japan at 3,776 m above sea level.  The mountain is actually an active volcano erupting about 300 years ago!  Mt. Fuji is the iconic dome shaped peak you see in a lot of Japanese art.  The trip included a stop at 5th station, the farthest point cars can drive.  There are a total of ten stations to the summit so this was about 2,000+ m high.  See where we were below!

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The weather was slightly promising by forecast with some sunlight and it seemed as if the clouds were clearing while driving to Mt. Fuji. We got to see the summit briefly on the drive up so it seemed as if the clouds were disappearing. When we got there at 5th station we only had about 20 minutes to stay and do some quick sightseeing or gift shopping.  I was quickly looking for a spot away from the big crowds with a good view of the summit.  However, the summit was invisible because of the clouds.  I found a open spot near the car park and set up my tripod towards the summit.  The clouds/fog were moving quick so I decided on a 2 second interval.  After getting my shot set-up the clouds magically opened for a quick peek at the summit! I was using f/16, ISO 100 with my 28mm f/2.8 prime lens.  I used aperture priority mode with this sequence since I expected the lighting to change if the sun appeared (which it did).  The smoothing was then completed with LRTimelapse for deflicker.

Retrospectively, a 1 second interval might have been better but this is why shooting nature can be so much more fun and rewarding/challenging.  You often have little time to react and get set-up (i.e – its nice to have a fairly quick and mobile set-up with a tripod and camera ready to go).  Plus you need to know how to quickly adjust and set your camera, focus, etc.

The video turned out amazing in my opinion!  The fall colors are a plus for sure! Here are the beginning and summit pictures!  This entire sequence occurred in just 8 short minutes!

One more day left in Japan!  Sightseeing of Tokyo ahead (hopefully the weather cooperates today)

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