Thursday, May 19, 2011
Festival time in Sapporo
Well even though it's cooling down here in the southern Hemisphere (although Cairns is still a balmy 25), up north things are warming up. Sapporo up in Hokkaido never really gets hot. In fact their summer is kind of like a north Queensland winter. But it's warm for them after six foot snow drifts and freezing all winter. So that's when you want to get the festivals happening and it's a time of year I love in this fabulous city.
One of my favourite festivals is the Yosakoi - a giant street procession with competing teams of dancers from all over the country, and even a few international ones. They all have to dance to the same traditional fishing song - although they can arrange the song however they like. So you have the teenagers dancing to rap versions and the oldies dancing to traditional versions. It really is a great party and one not to be missed.
It's great to photograph events like this because people are happy, have usually had a couple of beers and are more than happy to ham it up for the camera like these two. Whenever I'm shooting at night I usually put my camera in to Manual Mode. I set my shutter speed for something that will let enough ambient light in while not being so slow I can't hand hold it. Somewhere around 1/20 second or so at ISO400 or above. I set my aperture at about f5.6 and use my flash. My little secret is on the flash I have a little bit of orange gel to blend with the ambient tungsten lights on the parade street. Then it's just a matter of getting out there and looking for opportunities.
Hop on over to my website to see some more hams at the Yosakoi Festival in Sapporo.