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Imagine with me, walking alone into a black-and-white world—what a beautiful moment just between you and “Mother Nature.” Does my eye now see only black and white? Or am I just looking at a painting? It seems almost unreal to me. This is what I enjoy in photography most, it's to see so much wondrous beauty in God's creation.  Can you imagine walking into a rainforest where everything is supposed to be lush and green, only to find that it has all turned white? The waterfall is supposed to be pouring water down but now has become little streams with the rest of it frozen icicles.  At about 1500m above sea level, it was -15 degrees Celsius. The snow kept coming down, and, at some point, my camera was covered with snow. No one was out there except a photographer at work. It gets very tiring and thirsty at times walking through the fresh thick snow. I even ate icicles to ease my thirst as I climbed up the side of the frozen waterfall.  On this trip I had Furuka, Hida City, Jyusanbo Touge Mountain in Takayama City, and Norikura Seinen No Le Mountains in Takayama, capturing some of the undiscovered beauty of Japan. I find some of these places I visited almost unreal, from the making of the strongest Japanese handmade paper that takes a long process to produce to visiting an old friendly couple that made little windmills and other wooden toys, using all their heart to make each toy by hand. Almost everything in their house was antique, from the fireplace that kept them warm to the wooden weaving machine that made cloth. Also, I marveled at the unique Japanese mountains with the beautiful pine trees that were like line art across the mountains as well as the wondrous beauty of the snow-white paddy landscapes.   Many have said that I have a wonderful job, but I must tell you that it is a passion that keeps me going. If it was a job… it would be a very tough job. Giving up your comfortable warm bed early in the morning to pursue pictures in -15 degrees Celsius cold winter weather for a whole day—this needs a determination that comes with great passion.

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