They have several festivals that the different towns in Amami hold. This one is the Ayamaru Festival. Ayamaru is in the northern part of Amami just past the airport.
Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 22mm, 1/250 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200 -- EXIF
This is the family of a good friend of mine, Shelley Gehret Nishi, who lives in Kasari in the northern part of Amami. I'm terrible with names and I can't remember her husband's name, so I apologize. Their oldest, on the left, is Tyler and the girl on the right is Isabel. Their family is apart of a famous taiko group here in Amami. I've only seen a few of their performances so I was happy to see them here today. Tyler is still only in elementary school and he performed with the group today. I was impressed and I can only imagine how proud they are of him.
Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/200 sec, f/4.0, ISO 400 -- EXIF
Rhythmic Sounds of Thunder
Shelley's husband is on the large taiko in the back. You can't see Tyler in the photo but he's in the back on the left. It was loud where I was taking photos from so I can only imagine what it would be like right in the middle of it all.
Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm @ 55mm, 1/200 sec, f/4.0, ISO 400 -- EXIF
It must take quite a bit of stamina to beat drums like this. How many hours of practice and how many blisters? I imagine their hands are callous from all the practice. I play around on the guitar and my finger tips have calluses, but to continually beat a drum with something the size of a shovel handle or bigger must tax the hands.
This performance was pretty impressive and I enjoyed it a bunch.
Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 86mm, 1/200 sec, f/4.5, ISO 400 -- EXIF
(saving the balls)
During festivals they have big tubs of gold fish that children can try to catch with rice paper paddles. It takes quite a bit of talent to catch gold fish with a paddle made of rice paper. The gold fish swim around and rice paper rips incredible easy when wet. They have a simpler version of this where the children don't go for gold fish but super balls. Jade decided to go for the super balls instead of gold fish. She was only able to get two balls before her rice paper paddle ripped completely. Some of the more talented people can catch several gold fish with one paddle. I've seen someone catch twelve gold fish with one paddle. I've heard they actually have competitions for this.
Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 150mm, f/5.3, ISO 400 -- EXIF
I've been trying to take more photos like this where the subject is in focus and the background is out of focus. A good friend of mine who lives in Kyoto, Jeffrey Friedl, is a master at this. I absolutely love his photos. Also, I used the vignettes effects in Lightroom on this photo. I think it's the first time I've posted a photo using these effects. I thought it turned out OK.
One other thing I'd like to mention is Jeffrey Friedl produces many useful plugins for Lightroom. If you use Lightroom, and are so inclined, I suggest you check out his plugins here. They've made my photography blogging experience much easier and more pleasurable.
Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/40-5.6 @ 200mm, 1/60 sec, f/5.6, ISO 800 -- EXIF
Minami Kizuki is an upcoming artist here in Amami. She will soon release a CD of her work. I enjoyed her performance, but I have to say, they had a bit too much artificial smoke during some of her songs.
Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 200mm, 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 1600 -- EXIF
Minami Kizuki brought out a shamisen and Shelley's husband came out to accompany her on the taiko. I thought that was really cool.
Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/30 sec, f/4.0, ISO 1600 -- EXIF
In a previous post called 2006 Hachigatsu Odori, I posted a bunch of photos of the different villages around Amami getting together in downtown Amami. This particular group is from Sani. Sani is the most northern village in Amami.
Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 55mm, 6 sec, f/22, ISO 100 -- EXIF
6 Second Shutter
I thought it would be cool to take a slow shutter shot of everyone dancing. I don't know if you will like it but I thought it turned out kind of nice.
Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/20 sec, f/4.0, ISO 1600 -- EXIF
After the hachigatsu odori, they had a group come out that did a fire dance. It was the first time seeing anything like this in Amami so I chose a few photos of this. I didn't know how I should photograph this, but I chose to use a slow shutter speed.
Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 55mm, 5 sec, f/22, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 55mm, 2 sec, f/22, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Nikon D60, Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6 @ 55mm, 2 sec, f/22, ISO 200 -- EXIF
Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 24mm, 8.5 sec, f/10, ISO 100 -- EXIF
I posted the photos I took of the Amami Festival fireworks but I thought I would post a few more of these. The reason I chose to post these was I didn't have very much human element in the Amami Festival fireworks procession. Just prior to this, there were loads of people watching the stage, but as soon as the fireworks started, they all moved to the port just on the other side of the tents you seen in the background.
Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 24mm, 16 sec, f/10, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Not So Many People
By the time I changed my lens, most of the people had moved out and it was kind of a lonely site. I'll have to plan better next year.
Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 24mm, 13 sec, f/10, ISO 100 -- EXIF