Kids Flower Arranging Exhibition, Revisited
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Exceedingly Pink Flower Arrangement made creamy by the Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 's legendary bokeh -- Ikebana Show -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/800 sec, f/2.5, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Exceedingly Pink Flower Arrangement
made creamy by the Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5's legendary bokeh
Kids' Flower-Arranging Exhibition -- Ikebana Show -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/320 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Kids' Flower-Arranging Exhibition

I paid a visit again this year to an ikebana (flower arranging) exhibition that some friends' kids took part in, the same annual exhibition that I posted about three years ago in “Preschooler Ikebana” and “Ikebana, Part II”. Arthur Brigham, whose kids Monet and May went to preschool with Anthony, told me about it, so I made sure to snap some pictures of their arrangements. (Arthur and Monet and May featured prominently in some camping-trip posts a few years ago.)

Monet's ( second grader ) -- Ikebana Show -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 @ 50 mm — 1/500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Monet's
( second grader )
A Bit of Detail on Monet's -- Ikebana Show -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/4, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
A Bit of Detail on Monet's

The moment I got there I felt a rush of photographic inadequacy wash over me. Even though I couldn't control the lighting or backgrounds, I could control the camera position, the lens focal length, the aperture, exposure, and focus distance, all of which combined to make for an infinite number of ways to investigate any one arrangement. When a professional like former-Yahoo-colleague Dan Sroka spends weeks investigating a single dried-up leaf, I didn't hold much hope I'd be able to really capture the essence of any of these arrangements in the hour or so that I had before the event closed.

And make no mistake, even though these were simple arrangements made by young children, they had a lot of character that could be brought out with the right photograph, or trampled under foot by a gauche one. (The “bit of detail” shot above is neither... it's just a shot of a disembodied flower, though hopefully a pretty shot of a disembodied flower.)

The first obvious shot to get is one that records the overall view of a piece, straight-up emotionless documentation, to provide the same kind of context one gets when they first glance at a piece while walking up.

Here's the straight-up documentation shot for five-year-old May's arrangement:

May's ( five years old ) -- Ikebana Show -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 720 — map & image datanearby photos
May's
( five years old )

... and here are a few alternate views...

Highlight on the Green and White -- Ikebana Show -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Highlight on the Green and White
Highlight The Ring of White Flowers -- Ikebana Show -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Highlight The Ring of White Flowers
Emphasis on Color Combinations or something like that -- Ikebana Show -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Emphasis on Color Combinations
or something like that
Sort of Distracting but becomes sort of interesting when viewed full size -- Ikebana Show -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 @ 24 mm — 1/1250 sec, f/1.4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Sort of Distracting
but becomes sort of interesting when viewed full size

I don't think I really captured anything with these, other than some pretty pictures. I felt I had a bit better luck with Rio-chan's...

Rio's ( second grader ) -- Ikebana Show -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/800 sec, f/4, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Rio's
( second grader )
( far focus ) -- Ikebana Show -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/800 sec, f/2.5, ISO 720 — map & image datanearby photos
( far focus )
( near focus ) -- Ikebana Show -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/800 sec, f/2.5, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
( near focus )
Rio Flower Closeup ( this kind of shot would be a lot easier with a tripod! ) -- Ikebana Show -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Rio Flower Closeup
( this kind of shot would be a lot easier with a tripod! )

I quickly realized that I was beyond my element, so for the most part I kept to the low-hanging-fruit of “detail” shots. Flowers are pretty, so it's hard to go wrong.

Like Monet and May and Rio, most of the kids in this “junior” group are or were classmates with Anthony, including Hinano and her sister Marina, whose mom is the leader of the group (with Marina having appeared in the post three years ago as the two-year-old in a kimono with her mom).

Hinano's ( second grader ) -- Ikebana Show -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 @ 24 mm — 1/1250 sec, f/1.4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Hinano's
( second grader )
Marina's ( five years old ) -- Ikebana Show -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 @ 24 mm — 1/1250 sec, f/1.4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Marina's
( five years old )

This post's ultra-pink lead shot is from Marina's arrangement.

Akiko's strongly reflected the Jakarta-influence theme of the event, sporting Japanese and Indonesian flags...

Akiko's ( second grader ) -- Ikebana Show -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 @ 24 mm — 1/400 sec, f/3.5, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Akiko's
( second grader )

Akiko used a pair of the blackest flowers I've ever seen, two very-deeply purple “Chocolate Cosmos”...

“Chocolate Cosmos” floral black holes highly overexposed to bring out at least some detail -- Ikebana Show -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/200 sec, f/2.5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
“Chocolate Cosmos”
floral black holes highly overexposed to bring out at least some detail

They remind me a bit of the surprise in Queen Anne's Lace that I wrote about this summer, except that they're much bigger, and much darker.

Riko-chan's had some very interesting flowers...

Riko's ( second grader ) -- Ikebana Show -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/800 sec, f/4, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Riko's
( second grader )
Top-Down View -- Ikebana Show -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 4000 — map & image datanearby photos
Top-Down View
Fuzzy Orange Pod Thing -- Ikebana Show -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Fuzzy Orange Pod Thing
Spirally Orangish Flower Thing -- Ikebana Show -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/800 sec, f/4, ISO 4000 — map & image datanearby photos
Spirally Orangish Flower Thing

Here are a couple of others... (I'm uncertain how to read the names... maybe Risako and Nanako, but I'm not sure...)

Ikebana Show -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 720 — map & image datanearby photos
One More Flower Detail -- Ikebana Show -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
One More Flower Detail
One More Wide-ish View -- Ikebana Show -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2010 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
One More Wide-ish View

This was just one table of “junior” arrangements, but there were many tables of adult arrangements, a few of which we'll see in a later post.

Continued here...


All 4 comments so far, oldest first...

Beautiful! We’re looking forward to the adult Ikebana.

— comment by Zara on October 13th, 2010 at 5:36pm JST (7 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

That Chocolate Cosmos flower seems interesting to photograph. I wonder if anybody on Big Island has a copy …

— comment by parv on October 15th, 2010 at 12:02pm JST (7 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey, I always enjoy your much illustrated views on the fascinations of Japanese life, apart from your awesome LR plug-ins that is. The fuzzy orange pod things your refer to in the arrangement of Riko are two Leucadendron flower pods (Proteaceae family) from the Cape area in South Africa, where I live. The common name is pincushion protea, for obvious reasons. The Proteaceae family have compound flower heads, each with from 3 to hundreds of flowers depending on genus and species. In this photo each thread is a single flower. It consist of a style/stigma in a sheath. The sheath split length wise to release the style and the pollen, in the cup where the stigma was. If you look closely you will see the pollen, backed by a blackish sheet.

The two tall red leafy twigs in Akiko’s arrangement are from another species of the family, of Genus Leucodendron or cone bush. This dioecious genus have very small flowers and the female plant form smallish cones.

Although much used as flower plants world wide with huge productions in Australia and Florida, apart from exports from both wild harvest and farming in South Africa, I never realized they are available in Japan and were used by the local floral trade.

— comment by Cobus Brink on November 17th, 2010 at 5:11pm JST (7 years, 1 month ago) comment permalink

It’s really very nice to see the flower arrangements made by so small flowers (kids).!!! Great!
I am from Dharwad, Karnataka, India.
Thank you,
Madhavi.

— comment by Madhavi on August 6th, 2011 at 1:22pm JST (6 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink
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