Saturday, 31 March 2012

Spring 2012 : Amstelveen Hanami

Last Sunday I met up with the Kimono de Jack NL members for a Sakura festival in the 'Amsterdamse Bos' near Amstelveen, close to Amsterdam.
It was cold and grey while I was on the road , but closer to Amstelveen the sky cleared up
and the sun was shining. The gods must have been smiling on us :) .

I arrived fashionably late , about one hour, convinced that everyone else was already there.
They weren't :)  

Together with Anne , Amy , Jeffrey and Caroline we made our way to the garden.

Mei-ing coming to meet us. She had already arrived with her family. 

Because the main event wasn't going to happen before half past one , we settled ourselves on the sitting stones in the sun.
From left to right : Mei-Li (Aha! Great ! Another photographer ), her mother , Mei-ing, Carolien and Anne. 

My first musubi shot of the day :)

I went to look for any flowering trees. There were just two and this was the nicest one.

More people arriving ( even more fashionably late than me : not everyone had switched over to summertime yet , haha ) .
From right to left : Stephanie, Charissa, two new members : Patricia and Coco
 Nadine ( Charissa's 'twin' sister) and friend.

 Mei-ing posing in front of the sakura.

Nadine and Charissa.
With their faces in the shade you get no harsh shadows which is nice , but with the sun behind them , the brilliant colours of the kimonos are a bit muted.

 so I had them turn around for another shot.

 Musubi shot. So cute :  even their musubi are mirrored :)

This started out as a pose to get a better picture of her kanzashi. After I equalized and lightened the shadows on her face because I didn't like them , I toned down the colour of the trees behind ,and so on and so on...
Several hours and lots of industrial strength coffee later... Voila : le "soft-focus" !

I love those little butterflies !

Group shot. By this time Amy had gone completely MIA.
( click on the pictures to see a larger version , especially the wide ones are so much better )

 Musubi : 4 taiko and four ,mm, other types :)

I invited this young Japanese woman to pose with our group. Lucky ! She agreed.

Walking away with her husband. AH! I need a musubi-shot !

This will have to do :)

The showing off of the sleeves ( aka : "het schouwen van de mouwen" (Nl.) ) .
Mei-Li goes first :)

My turn.
The KDJ NL signature photo : tabi group shot.

Right after that , more and more photographers and people with film cameras started showing up.
Looks a bit like a war-zone.

And of course more and more people wanting to pose with the KDJ.

From left to right , Anne, Carolien, Linda and Dalischa , who'd just arrived.
Great colour arrangement.

Not quite happy with this shot, I wanted more of the sakura in the picture without zooming out , which would make the people too small.

Frog perspective! Lying down with the camera at ground level and my chin against the grass, everyone does look taller , but now I get the sakura I wanted and more blue sky than bushes. Great !

Hanami means lots of different things to different people : for some it's a great opportunity to get together  , eat and drink and listen to the traditional drums being pounded.

For the KDJ it's an occasion to get together and wear their beloved kimonos.

For Mei-Li and me , a chance to take great pictures.

But for the youngest among us, it's an occasion to run around in the grass with a branch of pretty flowers and  show them to our mom.

Till next time ^^

Some of these pictures are available in Highresolution Spring 2012 Hanami Amstelveen


Kyuukaryuko said...

What a lovely post and beautiful pictures Walter! Love the second one of Mei-ing ^_^ And of course the last one.
Good to see you again and thanks for taking the photo's!

Walter said...

Thanks for the compliments ^^. It was good to see you again, too , Kyuu-san! I really enjoyed being at the event and meeting everybody.

Kumiko said...

So beautiful pictures,Walter!
All of them look fabulous in their kimonos!
Thank you for sharing these photos!^_^

Walter said...

I'm glad you like them , Kumiko ! Thank you so much for the nice compliment. I'll pass it on to them.