My wife had the great idea to go to the Minoh Festival on Sunday. It's a little suburb north of Osaka famous for its waterfall (fake, construction of a nearby tunnel cut the source a few years back!) and the excellent AJI brewery. When we entered the park, as the picture on the right shows, I was a little dumbfounded as to what kind of festival it would be. But those are actually Japanese maple leaves, as the town is famous for that too (as well marauding and snack-grabbing monkeys).
During the festival the waterfall is lit up at night and of course it attracts quite a few peeps. We came early, just to take our time walking up to the sight, and once there dip our feet in the fresh water to cool down from the (it seems) never-ending summer. As the sky started to get darker, I went to the spot I thought would produce the best shot and waited for the correct time. I'm sometimes asked what makes a good picture, and there are a number of elements. An important one is timing. The composition of all three shots is basically the same, but notice how the light goes from cold, to warm (the clouds turned orange around sunset) to a deep blue sky after sunset.
As you can see, the quality of light changes a lot. You may already know this, but midday sun is about the worst light you can get for most subject. Most landscape photography you see is usually taken within one hour of sunrise or sunset, or on very cloudy days as the light more diffused in the later case, and light temperature is much nicer on the previous.
On the way back, we saw many parties on the side of the river going on. This is one below is perhaps my favorite, because of the 'redlight district' lanterns!