Monterey Peninsula Obon Festival

2013.07.14
Day One Hundred and Forty Four. I'd seen the announcements of the Monterey Peninsula Obon Festival in the local news paper for a while and was curious to visit the Buddhist Temple since I'd never been in one before, so I decided to go and see what it was all about. I missed the opening ceremony since I was feeling slow and lazy that morning and didn't really decide to go until after it started. I arrived in the middle of Taiko drumming, which, as someone who appreciates percussion groups, left me quite pleased. After they finished, I made a beeline for the food vendors and absolutely stuffed myself. Have I mentioned how much I love Asian food? I lost count of how many times I went back to get more dumplings ... then went and got some more. To get out of the sun, I made my way inside and found a room full of Bonsai Trees, which I believe were being judged for a competition, but couldn't make out the differences between the various groups and had no idea what the judging criteria were, so I merely appreciated the amount of work it took to create one and wholly failed to get a good picture of any of them. I wandered over to the, for lack of a better word, temple part of the temple, where I again failed to get any good pictures, though at least this time it was because I had decided beforehand to shoot exclusively with the 105mm (so I didn't have to lug around my camera bag), and couldn't get back far enough to frame a decent picture ... and there wasn't nearly enough light to do any good macro work. I then hurried back outside because I'd lost track of time and was about to miss the martial arts demonstration. I made it just in time to not get a seat, but decided I'd get better pictures being mobile anyways. As a long time student of Tae Kwon Do, I have a deep appreciation for martial arts and love seeing demonstrations of other styles. Tae Kwon Do doesn't do any grappling or sword play and those were the two things on display, so I was happy to play sports photographer. The D800 doesn't have the fastest burst rate and I didn't really want to "spray & pray", so I timed each shot myself. I studied the speed and timing of the throws and sword swings, and in the end, think I did pretty well for never having shot anything like that before. Despite this set being way outside my comfort zone of epic landscapes and long exposures, I'm pretty happy with how it came out and hope you enjoy it :)
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