Blossoms on the Meguro River ー 目黒川の桜

Sakura at 120%

This hanami we've generally avoided the super-huge crowds for a couple of reasons. The first, is that we don't really like crowds. We can be swayed, though. The second reason, is that by the weekend the blossoms had passed their peak, unlike last year.

White balance magic

It was still nice to see some more blossoms, though I still attest that in hitting the backstreets you'll have more fun, unless you like playing sardines.

In the photo above, you'll note the somewhat crazy blue around the edges of the frame, and in the background. This is because I set the camera to use tungsten white balance, to match the lanterns and tree in the foreground, which look normal. The natural colour of the fading sunlight has a completely different colour temperature, and though it's fixable, I rather like this effect - do you?

It is?! Cheers!

I really noticed that my photos from this year's hanami (and in general), are rather different to my photos from last year (same place, here). I think this probably reflects many things about me, and my photography. I'm not the same person today as yesterday, let alone last year. And with each passing day, I'm trying to find my own "way" of making images. 

Not the typical cherry blossom photo

Though hanami (花見) is made up from "flower" and "see" - i.e. flower viewing - the truth of the matter is that blue tarpaulins (or simply 'tarp to any Brits reading this) are spread across the floor, and people have "picnics", often comprising copious amounts of booze. Don't get me wrong, I love a drink as much as the next guy, but we're going to be having our picnics in a week or two, once the weather's warmed up a little more and the crowds are no more.

That said, I'd really recommend hanami to anyone fortunate enough to be in Japan during this time of year. It's really something else.