Coming of Age Day : Portraits

Continuing from yesterday's post, Japan's Coming of Age Day Holiday Spectacle, here are some portrait-type shots I was able to get. Let me reiterate, though, that I was scrambling to get anything, having gotten there and hour and a half after the ceremonies had ended, and didn't have time to scout locations that would give me both a good background and steady stream of photographic fodder. So, I got what I could, where I could, when I could.

Sharp Dresser -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 900 — map & image datanearby photos
Sharp Dresser
Master of the Universe -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/400 sec, f/3.2, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Master of the Universe
... with his homies -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/400 sec, f/3.2, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
... with his homies
Peace, Dude this guy had an extremely pleasant vibe -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 110 mm — 1/400 sec, f/3.2, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Peace, Dude
this guy had an extremely pleasant vibe
Racing for the Real World -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/400 sec, f/3.2, ISO 1100 — map & image datanearby photos
Racing for the Real World
Backlit -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Backlit

I had noticed a sliver of light from the setting sun make its way between buildings, and saw this girl approaching, so waited a second for her to enter the light and got this shot in passing.

These white stoles are, apparently, somewhat a symbol for the day, like a white dress is for a wedding. They go along with the formal furisode kimono that (according to the current Wikipedia article) "signifies that she is both single and a legal adult, and thus available for marriage." I doubt it truly means that for many these days, but nevertheless, it's a monumental moment in one's life. (We don't have anything like it in The States, although a distant second might be wearing a cap-and-gown at college graduation.)

I have occasionally seen these white stoles worn by guests at a wedding, but for the most part, I associate them with this Coming of Age Day holiday, and as such, I associate them with Tammy Faye makeup, garish accessories, and big big hair. Yuck.

I wish I would have gotten a better shot of the lady pictured above, because she's one of the few who doesn't fall into that category.

Another Example of a poor photo of a lady with classy tastes -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos
Another Example
of a poor photo of a lady with classy tastes
Yet Another an out-of-focus shot of a tasteful appearance, featuring an Alice in Wonderland themed kimono -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/250 sec, f/3.5, ISO 560 — map & image datanearby photos
Yet Another
an out-of-focus shot of a tasteful appearance, featuring an Alice in Wonderland themed kimono
Caught Chimping “Chimping” is photographer-speak for checking photos on the camera LCD, and has negative connotations when applied to a pro photographer. It doesn't apply here, but I couldn't think of anything better for a caption, since I'd used “Big Hair” already, yesterday -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 135 mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 720 — map & image datanearby photos
Caught Chimping
“Chimping” is photographer-speak for checking photos on the camera LCD, and has negative connotations when applied to a pro photographer. It doesn't apply here, but I couldn't think of anything better for a caption, since I'd used “Big Hair” already, yesterday
Practical Chic Temperatures hovered just above freezing. After 10 minutes outside, I couldn't feel my fingers. -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 2200 — map & image datanearby photos
Practical Chic
Temperatures hovered just above freezing.
After 10 minutes outside, I couldn't feel my fingers.
Impractical Chic but sharp nevertheless -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1100 — map & image datanearby photos
Impractical Chic
but sharp nevertheless
Amazing Smile -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Amazing Smile
Very Practical But this guy pulls it off with great style. I wish I could do that. -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/250 sec, f/3.5, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Very Practical
But this guy pulls it off with great style. I wish I could do that.
Looking for Her Ride -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/250 sec, f/3.5, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Looking for Her Ride

With the mountains in the east basking in the glow from sunset, I camped for a while at a spot that gave me that nice background with relatively few distractions. Like a spider waiting for lunch, I snapped photos of those who entered the area.

The lady above was a common sight, because just about everyone had a cell phone out, for its camera or for making a call or checking messages. The event had ended a while back, so many of those remaining were likely still coordinating their way home.

Happy Smiles -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 125 mm — 1/250 sec, f/3.5, ISO 280 — map & image datanearby photos
Happy Smiles
Pouty I think the pouty one was a sister of a new adult, but I'll not speculate as to older or younger -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/250 sec, f/4, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Pouty
I think the pouty one was a sister of a new adult, but I'll not speculate as to older or younger
Dandy -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/250 sec, f/4, ISO 900 — map & image datanearby photos
Dandy
Trying Her Best to fuse tradition with her desire to shock -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 150 mm — 1/250 sec, f/4, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Trying Her Best
to fuse tradition with her desire to shock
Straight-Up Style -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 125 mm — 1/250 sec, f/4, ISO 900 — map & image datanearby photos
Straight-Up Style
Rod Stewart and Friend -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 105 mm — 1/250 sec, f/4, ISO 1800 — map & image datanearby photos
Rod Stewart and Friend
Three Amigos -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/250 sec, f/4, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos
Three Amigos

These three friends each gave immediate vibes as to their personalities, and each was different from the other. The girl was laid back, a friend to everyone, and happy just to be happy. If I didn't have my hands full with the camera (and if I didn't recoil from their cigarettes), I'm sure she would have offered me a drink. The man in the suit (a most-excellent suit, I'll note) just wanted to ham things up. So long as I was around, he was doing silly things. Maybe he just wanted to please?

The man in the formal Japanese ware was the tough one, and when he saw me he walked over directly to me with a look that was intended to intimidate me. I suspect he was just honing his skills to see what kind of reaction he could get, but I wasn't playing along because I'd already established eye contact with the girl, who communicated a “join in, the more the merrier” attitude. I told the tough man to go back with his friends so that I could take their picture, alright?, and he readily complied.

Peace × Three -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 120 mm — 1/250 sec, f/4, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Peace × Three

They were accommodating (even the tough guy) and I got more interesting shots, but their cigarettes drove me on to more breathable pastures.

Just A Tad Too Much -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 125 mm — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Just A Tad Too Much

These guys were partying in the parking lot of the convenience store next to my place. The guy pictured was drunk, but was also pretending to be more drunk than he really was. Maybe. Hamming it up after I took a group photo (the opening photo of yesterday's post), he found himself on the ground. I have a photo of him sitting pensively on the ground, as if he's considering where to aim when he throws up, but I prefer to believe that he was joking around, so am sharing this smiling shot of him getting up.

After he got up, he handed me a disposable film camera and asked with slurred speech for me to take their photo. Another guy produced a second camera, so I set mine down and took a couple of shots with theirs.


All 4 comments so far, oldest first...

Great series! Thanks for this view into modern Japanese traditions.

— comment by Gustaf Erikson on January 13th, 2009 at 9:45pm JST (8 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

Great shots despite the time factor. Especially that golden backdrop. I’m going to miss this place at times.

— comment by Chris McCooey on January 14th, 2009 at 12:37am JST (8 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

In the “Practical Chic” photo, I think that that was a man, but it appeared he was wearing a womans jacket because of the way it was buttoned. I wonder if it doesn’t make any difference in Japan, yet I noticed on the suits of the other men, they had the traditional way of buttoning. (I doubt you reversed the photo)

— comment by Grandma Friedl on January 14th, 2009 at 1:06am JST (8 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

Very beautiful imagery. Thanks for sharing.

🙂

— comment by Les on January 15th, 2009 at 5:19am JST (8 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink
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