July 11, 2014

Crane Games

Photograph by Mitsuhiko Kamada

Endangered red-crowned cranes wade through frosty waters on a cold morning in Tsurui, Hokkaido, Japan. Here, they're considered one of Japan's hundred soundscapes—a nationwide effort meant to combat noise pollution, promote the environment, and create symbols for local people of everyday life in Japan.

This photo and caption were submitted to the 2014 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest. Winners will be announced July 31.


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47 comments
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schultzy beckett

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Kip Keino
Kip Keino

The further back the eye goes, the more lit up the river segments - with brush strokes at the end. Great.

Alok Das
Alok Das

Great capture!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!perfect light and excellent composition .


Amazing capture!!!!!!!!!



Alan Webb
Alan Webb

I have the feeling of watching a watercolor  painting.

Leyla R.
Leyla R.

Amazing... perfect lights here

Janice H.
Janice H.

Lovely, surreal,......perfect as a sepia-toned painting!       So mysterious and calming in my opinion.     Love this!

Shannon T
Shannon T

I would love to be there to hear what it sounds like. It seems like the water is on fire the way the sun makes it glow and with the mist.

C. Ossorio
C. Ossorio

Hokkaido definitely in my bucket list for its unparalleled beauty and diversity. Its people are lovely.

K. Orr
K. Orr

Wow, magical image, thanks for sharing


Yolanda Patterson
Yolanda Patterson

My last visit went way too visit to Japan hopefully this year I will have more time to enjoy these majestic birds! 


Wayne  Norman
Wayne Norman

I find the light through the early morning mist to be so beautiful.  What a wonderful capture.  The overall composition and the presentation are wonderful. Thanks for sharing and congrats.

Joy Saldanha
Joy Saldanha

You have taken a wonderful picture,Mitsuhiko, one that is a standout of not only these graceful birds, but the area which surrounds them. The misty water, and sepia like tones around are a pleasure to looki at. Thank you.  j.e.s........

Mitsuhiko Kamada
Mitsuhiko Kamada

Thank you very much. I am Mitsuhiko Kamada. It is the photographer of this photograph.

Red-crowned Crane. Itis called"Tancyo"inJapanese.
The early morning of February.Itis-20 degreeson that day.In the severe cold, the onethatthere isin a riveris warm.
The extinctionis Red-crowned Crane.  worried aboutat one time,but,byprotectionactivity, the currentnumberis stable.

Lawrence Sibley
Lawrence Sibley

This evocation of the beauty of landscape draws our eye along the meandering course of the river, along which we find the silhouettes of the cranes receding into the distance.  The tree branches are frosted with ice. A mist rises off the water.  The whole landscape is luminous with a yellow golden glow.


The commentary speaks of the endangered cranes being a treasured element of the Japanese soundscape.  The photo is a silent medium, but we can see by their raised heads that some of the cranes are calling, and we can take care that they never fall silent.

Timothy Brown
Timothy Brown

An almost mystical photograph, in many ways.

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