© 2009 Alfie Goodrich. All rights reserved.

Toro-nagashi: Shinobazu Pond, Ueno Park, Tokyo

I was at the Toro-nagashi at the Shinobazu Pond in Ueno Park the other night. The ceremony is part of the 'obon' festival, where the souls of departed love-ones are celebrated. Each lantern represents someone who has died. This event was part of the Ueno Natsu Matsuir, or Ueno Summer Festival.

Very challenging conditions: almost no light on the pond, the faces especially. Point-light sources [the lanterns] which are much brighter than the rest of the scene. Couldnt really punch the flash as far out onto the pond as I needed to and still make it subtle and direct enough just to hit the guy.

Result? Crap sharpness on the guy, very difficult to focus on him at all actually. But, the light is nice and the feel of the image works and is faithful to what the atmosphere was like at the time.

Nikon D300

Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 AF D

800ISO - 1/60sec - f/1.8


  1. Enrico

    I agree, the light and reflections on the water are just beautiful, and the composition conveys the feeling of the event in my opinion.

  2. Bonjour,

    Wonderful capture..Very nice framing, lightness..bravo!

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