Saturday, January 21, 2012

Okiten 2012

For the last month I've been hard at work on a few photos for my 2012 Okiten (Okinawa art show) entry, but I didn't want to show them off until they were finished.  The first photo is one that I developed during the spring of 2011.  I let it simmer in my brain during the summer before finally settling on a plan, which began in September.  The location I selected for the shoot was on one of the furthest beaches from my apartment, which was not convenient.  During the course of this shot I made over 20 trips to the beach to scout, do practice shots, do the real thing, then go back to get the star trails shots.  Between that and the post-processing, there's easily 40 hours into this photograph.  I will do another post later further detailing how it came about.  This shot is actually meant for the Zamami People Project that I am working on, but I liked it enough to use as one of my two Okiten entries.

The actual photo is a composite of ~120 different frames taken over the course of two hours.  What you are seeing in the foreground is a dance performed by Zamami's fire dancer, Kiwamu Miyakubo.

I'm not very optimistic that it will be chosen for display (or a prize) at Okiten, but considering how subjective the judges seem to be, it might get lucky.

The second entry was inspired by an online friend of mine who critiqued last year's entry of a young girl as being 'too easy of a shot' to win at an art show.  She suggested shooting old people instead because they aren't naturally as cute or willing to be photographed as kids.  I spent much of the last year trying to think who would fit the bill and it finally it came to me during Geruma's Sports Day in September when I photographed this man's hands.  He also wove the bamboo baskets that were given as prizes during that rope-making contest, so I approached him in December to ask if he could make a basket and let me photograph him during the process.  He obliged and so I spent a Saturday on Geruma shooting him for two hours, then I went back on Sunday to photograph him using the basket for its traditional historical use, collecting shellfish.

I was pleased with the photographs, which actually turned out to be a little troublesome.  I had 1400 shots to sort through and it was very difficult to narrow down the choices.  I settled on 15 of the best shots and sent them out to some trusted [photographer] friends to get their votes.  Unfortunately the votes were spread all over, accompanied by many valid reasons for the various choices.  Eventually I settled on using the panorama shown, which meant I needed two 'portrait-oriented' photos above.  I wanted one with his face in focus and one with his hands.  The hand shot chosen doesn't compete very well with the landscape hands-only shots I took, but I just couldn't make the formatting work to include a landscape (though now, in retrospect, I think I might have been able to include two landscapes on the right side).

My entry, which was submitted late due to printer troubles I had last week, was numbers 336 and 337 in the photo category.  Of that total, I think around 100 will be chosen for display during the art show and of those, only 4-5 will be awarded prizes.  I am not expecting to win a prize, but I would be quite pleased if my work was chosen for display.  

Here are the completed, framed photos as I submitted them today:

Judging is Wednesday and results are announced Friday.


ReBekha said...

Love them!

Setsuko said...

It's very hard to choose...but I vote for your hard work :) Migigawa ga suki desu!

Dave said...

Setsuko! Thank you so much for your help. I will post to facebook soon and tag you in the photo. Also, I will give you a print of it when I see you next. :)

Julie Furber said...

Beautiful shots! I love the cultural component included!

Setsuko said...

Yeah, thanks David!
Thinking about visiting and cheering Tokyo marathoners on the 4th weekend of Feb and the whale watching to Zamami in March!!!