Tokyobling's Blog

Hatsudairen in Three Colors

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on October 31, 2011

So, how do you like my new ambition to start posting twice a day? Tokyobling will soon celebrate it’s third birthday and I felt it was time to do a little bit more, so at least for awhile, I will try out posting more often than before. As before, one post will be a serious one, possible longer, while the other post of the day will be a little bit more playful, and have the sort of content that I usually wouldn’t devote a full post on. Forgive me for being a little playful.

This post a one of the more playful one. This is a member of one of my more local Awaodori teams, based in Hatsudai (Hatsudairen – 初台連), in the northern part of Shibuya ward in central Tokyo. I took this photo at the annual Hatsudai Awaodori Festival in September. It’s held in the team’s home ground and is one of the most interesting Awaodori festivals in Japan. For this photo I played around with the post processing, one original colors, one sepia toned and one black and white. I have a hard time to select my favorite, so I’ll post all three of them and let you decide which one is best! Enjoy!

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    • tokyobling said, on November 1, 2011 at 12:40 am

      Haha… thanks for that cute link and your support of all three! (^-^)/


  1. Timi said, on October 31, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    The three types together is the best :D


    • tokyobling said, on November 1, 2011 at 12:44 am

      Haha… thanks! A triptych!


  2. Marie said, on October 31, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Original one, because it reminds me of waterlilies somehow.


    • tokyobling said, on November 1, 2011 at 12:44 am

      Thank you! You are an artist Marie! It reminds me most of the old melon-vanilla-strawberry ice cream we had as kids! (^-^;)


      • Marie said, on November 1, 2011 at 6:22 pm

        Ah, now I do see ice-cream instead, and I always hated that mix…
        Can I change my mind to black and white instead? :)


        • tokyobling said, on November 2, 2011 at 1:21 am

          Hahaha… Marie, the ice cream hater? I think you have some sort of childhood trauma regarding that mix… I have to ask your Italian to make a proper batch for you come summer!


          • Marie said, on November 2, 2011 at 7:15 am

            He doesn’t make gelato, he makes bread, pizza, pizzoccheri, homemade pasta… gelato, purtroppo non.
            But Landings actually make a decent homemade icecream in summertime, even with amarone taste!


          • tokyobling said, on November 2, 2011 at 9:01 am

            Landings… Mmmm…. I miss it! So he doesn’t make gelato? Well, I guss it is true, there is no such thing as the perfect husband… (and yet he was so close…!) haha…


  3. Coal said, on November 1, 2011 at 2:09 am

    I prefer the colour one. Monochrome and sepia have their place and some pictures really benefit from the treatment, but when we have large sensor cameras capable of capturing colour accurately, it seems somewhat wasteful to throw all that colour information away when getting pictures of such elaborate costumes… But that’s just me.


    • tokyobling said, on November 1, 2011 at 2:24 am

      Thanks for your input! I tend to agree with you. But I do get very nostalgic for my old film cameras gathering dust and fond memories of long afternoons in high school spent in dark rooms with papers and enlargers and chemicals! (^-^;)


      • vishy said, on November 1, 2011 at 2:48 am

        me too, and ‘dodge and burn’


        • tokyobling said, on November 1, 2011 at 4:05 am

          I used to enjoy cutting holes in plastic for burning and the “pjatt” we called it, a piece of cardboard on a wire for dodging. Ah, those were the days! (^-^)


      • Coal said, on November 1, 2011 at 2:53 am

        Never processed a film personally, but my dad used to when I was little so I’m fairly accustomed to the process and certainly get the nostalgia element, especially in modern times when people think that a *cheap* compact digital camera is a reasonable substitute for a compact film camera of yore. (Sidetracking a little here, but typical of a trend I’ve noticed, photos from Mrs Coal’s childhood which I occasionally stumble upon at the family home invariably look a LOT better than prints of photos people took at our wedding earlier this year). However that element is really moot when you get to DSLRs shooting RAW and decent PP software. I just don’t think it’s necessary to continue restricting ourselves to what were originally logistical limitations inherent in a celluloid format.

        What you seem to be talking about is what I call “shooting on bacon”. The distinctive flavour of bacon is an unavoidable byproduct of the curing process which used to be necessary to preserve pork before households had refrigerators. Now we have a refrigerator in every home, and we still eat bacon because we’ve all come to love that byproduct taste.


        • tokyobling said, on November 1, 2011 at 4:07 am

          I love bacon too. (^-^) And since I enjoy darkroom work but dislike photoshop work, I prefer to shoot in JPG if I can’t have access to my own darkroom. I’ve noticed that with recent photography too, a lot if just seems worse than what we had 50-60 years ago. But I think the low point must have been the 80-90s when it comes to photography. Boy oh boy…


          • Coal said, on November 1, 2011 at 4:27 am

            Had a go at shooting on bacon with an EOS SLR from the early 90s (so all lenses and accessories from my 5D2 work fine on it). To be honest, I found it hard to get excited, because the results were ultimately not up to the standards I was accustomed to with the 5D2, the colours went all weird when I scanned the negatives, and it was generally unsatisfactory. Grain was nice at ISO 1600 but that was about it.

            80s and 90s household photography (ignoring professional and hobbyist for the time being) was certainly more accessible than it had been before, and that’s probably why it ended up so bad. A lot of weird small media formats came out which were probably of equivalent size to the sensor in a compact camera, and not surprisingly the results were awful. That said, even pictures taken on a cheki have a certain depth to the colour reproduction and inherent contrast which you don’t get without post processing (again, I’m looking at you Instagram). I feel sorry for kids that are born in the current digital age, because all their childhood pictures are going to look like they were shot with an 80s NTSC video camera.

            One thing I do like about film though, and it’s a really silly point, is that the colour temperature is set by the manufacturer and can’t be changed, except through the use of filters etc. Most modern digital cameras allow you to set the colour temperature manually, but without exception it’s set to auto white balance by default, and that’s where most consumers leave it. Auto white balance is the single worst thing to happen to colour photography since ever. I mean honestly, how difficult can it be. Shooting outside during the daytime, set colour temperature to “sunlight”. All the pictures then have a consistent colour, and all the greens and blues come out vibrant and at the hues you see them. Shooting with auto white balance is like wrestling a greasy pig, or using Microsoft Word.


          • tokyobling said, on November 2, 2011 at 12:56 am

            Color management on digital cameras is a nightmare. Personally I never shoot raw as I have far more interesting things to do in life than spend hours and hours meddling with individual files. I have never really like color photography but maybe that is a legacy from my childhood days in the lab. When I got older I started doing color in my home lab as well, a bit trickier but the colors negative prints were beautiful when done by hand. The machine shopped prints generally sucked.

            I too feel sorry for kids being born after 1990, the production and management of images have outpaced any realistic human use, much like the airplane outpaced our normal “speed of life” (muscle powered transportation). Now it seems that we are also about to be outpaced in friendship, love and communication.


  4. Coal said, on November 1, 2011 at 2:56 am

    That said, I am guilty of using Instamatic regularly… The iPhone camera isn’t all that, and it helps give pictures a bit of character. :-)


    • tokyobling said, on November 1, 2011 at 4:08 am

      Haha…. Coal! Guilty as Charged! (^-^;)


  5. D... said, on November 1, 2011 at 5:34 am

    Wow, you and Coal had a very in depth discussion. Teehee, I was trying to follow it as it was quite interesting and informative. And then I wanted bacon….

    You know I like all three. I think the different versions have character. The sepia one reminds me of pictures of my Grandmother when she was young. There is something to be said for nostalgia. People bring back old fashions all the time, just because we like the style.

    Also it’s fantastic to play. Play is good for the soul.


    • tokyobling said, on November 2, 2011 at 1:01 am

      Nostalgia is such an underrated emotion. I think it is one of the most noble emotions a human being can have, even though it is very un-hip and cool people call me “reactionary” when I’m being too nostalgic.


      • D... said, on November 2, 2011 at 1:55 am

        I wouldn’t say reactionary nor un-hip, I truly believe that nostalgia is an appreciation of the past. As I’ve matured I have realized that understanding and appreciating the past will increase my appreciation for the present and provide me with ideas for the future. Reflection is important for progress, but this sort of thinking may not be important to folks who are only focused on keeping up with trends. But then that’s just an opinion…


        • tokyobling said, on November 2, 2011 at 4:31 am

          I agree with you. Action without reflection is just a waste of energy. In Japan we are always taught to mimic first, reflect second and then act. In the west it seems to be quite different.


          • D... said, on November 2, 2011 at 5:39 am

            You know I am not sure if there is an exact way that “Americans” follow. Hmm…you’ve given something to consider…


  6. pk1154 said, on November 1, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    color > sepia > b&w (in this particular case)

    I would have loved the sepia it I hadn’t seen the color; the combination of the pinks and green was just too appealing.


    • tokyobling said, on November 2, 2011 at 1:12 am

      I agree! (^-^) Her uniform is lovely!


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