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Portland Japanese Garden O-Bon 2015 — Album Description
Photos in Album: 34 Album Created: 12 Aug 2015 Last Updated: 6 Mar 2016
To begin viewing the photos, you can browse the album — or view the contact sheet.
On August 12, 2015, for my sixth of twelve planned monthly visits to the Japanese Garden in Portland, Oregon, I attended a special members-​only evening event to celebrate the annual O-Ban Festival.

Once the event began at 8:00, it didn’t take long for two lines of attendees to stretch way down the path next to the largest pond in the Garden. As they waited to participate in the Tōrō Nagashi ceremony, each attendee was given a candle in a small plastic cup. Upon reaching the head of the line, the participant would place their candle in a wire holder at the end of a long bamboo pole, and an attendant would light the candle. Then the other attendant holding the pole would swing around and float the candle-​cup on the pond.

As you can imagine, it was going to take quite a while to light and float every­one’s candle. Around the time this pro­cess started I was very happy to find a strategic spot between the heads of the two lines, which were about 15 or 20 feet apart. From there I had an excellent view of the action in both lines, and got some good photos. But as the evening progressed and the sky grew darker and darker, shooting became more and more challenging.

While I was attempting to take my last handful of shots, the Buddhist Reverend was droning his way through the ceremony. I ended up leaving half an hour before the event finished — it was pitch black, I had seen all I wanted to see, had done my best to get some decent photos, and I had a 90-minute drive back home.

It wasn’t until I started processing the photos in Lightroom that I discovered that the image quality was not as poor as I had imagined. Too bad that it took me more than six month to get a round tuit! But better late than never, as they say.

All in all I was quite impressed with my camera’s performance and very happy with the pictures I took. You can see for yourself by browsing through this album, where the best 34 photos (out of a total of 111) are on display.

For more pictures taken at the Garden, see the listing of all my Japanese Garden photo albums and/or the con­glom­er­ate super-album Portland Japanese Garden (All Years). For more information about each individual outing I made to the Garden, check out the list of related articles.
For further details about the story behind the photos in this al­bum, see the related article, Port­land Japan­ese Gar­den O-Bon Fes­ti­val.
The photos in this album were taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera.
To begin viewing the photos, you can browse the album — or view the contact sheet.