aftermath: the post-festival remains of yodogawa hanabi

01Dec12

I’ve been to see the Yodogawa Hanabi fireworks festival several times.  It’s glorious and amazing and definitely the singular largest annual display of fireworks that I’ve ever seen.  They launch something like 20,000 fireworks at Yodogawa Hanabi and hundreds of thousands of people come to watch.  It may not be as large as Osaka’s famous PL Fireworks event, but it’s still a dauntingly impressive display.

I bring a camera every year and every year I’m completely dissatisfied with my results.  The fact is, I have no idea how to take good photographs of fireworks.  Every year I try something a little bit different, and every year it just doesn’t quite work out for me.  This year I brought my trusty Voigtlander Bessa-L with 15mm Heliar wide-angle lens, loaded up with Fuji’s Superia 400 (the latest version of this film is really fantastic).  While only one or two of my dozen or so fireworks photos are even worth glancing at, I was really pleased with how the photographs that I took after the festival turned out.  These photos, taken about an hour after the festival ended, document the slow trickling away of the enormous crowd of festival spectators, the afterlife and nocturnal drift of one of Osaka’s most popular annual events.

And yes, these photos were taken in August.  And yes, it is winter now.  What better time to revisit the dreamlike notion that it can, in fact, sometimes be warm outside?

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