A Few Shots of Me at Gion Matsuri
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In the Middle of Gion Matsuri photo by Shozo Fukushima -- Copyright 2011 Shozo Fukushima, http://wise01.com/
Nikon D3S + 16mm f/2.8 — 1/90 sec, f/4.8, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
In the Middle of Gion Matsuri
photo by Shozo Fukushima

In the few days that I've been clawing back from a nasty cold, a couple of folks that I chatted with during Kyoto's big Gion Matsuri festival last week have sent me copies of photos they took of me. As I described in “A Thin Slice of Big Crowds at Kyoto's Gion Matsuri Festival”, I brought a small stool to raise me a bit above the considerable crowds, and with my Nikkor 300mm f/2 on a monopod, shot the festivities. I've much left to post, but ones already up include a bit from day 2, some from day 3, a sequence that I think really highlights what the lens is good at, and a different kind of set from a special day-4 event.

Folks are not accustomed to seeing such a big lens, so they approach with smiles and curiosity, perhaps more so because the person with the lens is a big foreigner. Many ask whether they can take my photo, to which I reply “of course”, or if they're close enough to chat, “of course, no need to ask”.

I particularly appreciated when camera-savvy folks asked about the lens (hint: if they say “wow, big lens!” instead of “big camera!”, they're camera savvy 🙂 ). One such camera-savvy photographer got up close with a fish-eye lens, so I had to hand him my card and ask for a copy. Kindly, he replied, and I find out that he's Fukushima-san, a professional photographer from just outside of Osaka. Thanks Fukushima-san!

If his camera clock is correct, here's the shot I was taking...

Looking East Down Shijo Street. at a scrum of photographers next to one of the huge wooden festival floats -- Gion Matsuri (祇園祭) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/800 sec, f/2, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Looking East Down Shijo Street.
at a scrum of photographers next to one of the huge wooden festival floats

Here's another he took a bit later, showing the backpack for the lens...

photo by Shozo Fukushima -- Copyright 2011 Shozo Fukushima, http://wise01.com/
Nikon D3S + 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 90mm — 1/20 sec, f/5.3, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
photo by Shozo Fukushima

The next day, among those I chatted with was the group of international researchers I mentioned before, and they collectively sent me a few shots.

Justin, The Lens, Me
DMC-FZ35 @ 4mm — 1/15 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Justin, The Lens, Me

They thought the lens (or me) was sufficiently silly (impressive?) enough to try to sneak a shot while walking by, but I “caught” one...

Trying To Sneak a Shot -- Gion Matsuri (祇園祭) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/640 sec, f/2, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Trying To Sneak a Shot

... and that opened a fun dialog.

As they left, they snapped a shot of a pair of girls that approached asking about the camera. (Like I said, the lens has its benefits 😉 ).


Canon PowerShot ELPH 300HS + 4.3-21.5mm @ 9mm — 1/13 sec, f/4.5, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos

I told the girls to stand in the same spot that the group of researchers had, but the crowd had become too thick...

They're In There Somewhere -- Gion Matsuri (祇園祭) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/320 sec, f/2, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
They're In There Somewhere

I gestured for them to come closer, and a shot opened up...

Gion Matsuri (祇園祭) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/250 sec, f/2, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos

They've yet to email for copies, though.

It was just getting too dark by this time, so I put the lens away in preference to finding a beer. All the shots above are unnaturally bright to compensate for the closing darkness, but one last shot before I moved on shows more closely what it was like at the time...

Row of Festival Stands many with smoky grills of one sort or another -- Gion Matsuri (祇園祭) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/320 sec, f/2, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Row of Festival Stands
many with smoky grills of one sort or another

Continued here...


All 2 comments so far, oldest first...

Hey Jeffrey,

You sure make for quite the contrast with your lens, height and your stool! Head and shoulders above the crowd 🙂 Great series of pictures, and nice to see you at work, doesn’t happen that often 🙂

Greetings from Winnipeg, MB

— comment by Henk on July 26th, 2011 at 1:23am JST (6 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Love your shots, well done! – The Gion festival is a nice venue for shooting – the 3 nights before the parade is the best time to go see it (the yoiyama’s) … the parade of the floats itself isn’t as much fun as the nights (just my opinion – by no means let that stop you from going to see all of it for yourself and make your own opinion!).

I took some pictures of it back in 2010 (see http://www.stefansblog.com/gion-matsuri-yoiyama/ ) … picture #16 and #17 show nicely how crazy crowded the streets will become.

— comment by Stefan on December 11th, 2011 at 9:29pm JST (6 years ago) comment permalink
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