Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Japanese Obon Festival - Fairfax Station, VA

Obon Dance, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3, Lumix 20mm f1.7 Lens
iso 160, f6.3, 1/13 sec.
My family and I recently attended a local Japanese Obon Festival at Ekoji Temple in Fairfax Station, Virginia.
(Click Here) to read about the event online.
We had the pleasure of meeting up with some friends there, letting the kids run wild, and relaxing a little.
The Obon festival focuses on honoring the spirits of your ancestors. It is a common time for family reunions in Japan. The bon dance is always a highlight.
A Little Stage Fright, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3, Lumix 20mm f1.7 Lens
iso 400, f2, 1/400 sec.
The dance and music went into the evening, and at dusk there was a nice memorial ceremony for those departed ancestors.
Candlelit Stone Lantern, by Reed A. George
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3, Pana-Leica Macro-Elmarit 45mm f2.8
iso 1600, f2.8, 1/20 sec.
I have always respected how the Japanese can combine solemn events with fun. I love the idea that we were able to honor a recently-deceased family member while the kids ran, played, and enjoyed the evening.
In photographic terms, this was really just a chance for me to take my camera along on a family event. I realized that I have been neglecting the 20mm f1.7 lens, since receiving my Summilux 25mm f1.4. They are very different lenses, and the 20mm is so compact, it is a pleasure to use. One of the main applications of the 20mm for me is street photography, which I have not been doing much lately. This gives me the bug to get back out there - maybe a bus ride up to New York City is in order. The G3 and 20mm pancake lens are a very non-threatening combination to carry around for street photography. Maybe I'll give myself a challenge and take no other equipment with me.
Anyway, I digress. It was fun to use the 20mm at this event, and I need to do it more.