July 15th, 2008

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Delayed writing...

A busy not-busy weekend it was.

Saturday was, of course, PenWAG meeting. It was the summer pot-luck brunch meeting, so we had a good crowd, if a somewhat warm room (we have divined that there is no A/C in the fellowship hall).

The afternoon program was a trunk show by Rachel D.K. Clark. The woman is a blast. Seriously one of the best speakers the club has had in ages.

Sunday we went to Obon with yotefoxwolf and gurdymonkey.

It was... interesting.

We did not dress. I didn't feel like pressing our hakama. Then again, there were very few people in traditional clothing, aside from the taiko performers. We may dress next year.

In many ways it was just a standard church festival/carnival. There were food vendors, lots of food vendors, with interesting and very fresh Japanese goodies. There was a performance area. We got to see some of the UC Irvine Jodaiko performance. They were pretty good.

Most of the local shops were open, so we did a bit of shopping. Nichi Bei Bussan was a pleasant surprise; we had never gone in because it's at the edge of the shopping district. They had a very nice selection of vintage clothing, an excellent selection of footwear, and a very large martial arts store.

Nikkei Traditions (the Hawaiian Japanese store) had some cute stuff.

We almost always make a stop at Kogura Company, and made some good finds there. They had some nice books on tsukemonon (Japanese "pickles") and some other goodies. There will be a return shopping trip soon.

Nikaku Japanese Arts (the website is focused on the Nikaku Animart portion of the business) was also a good stop. We didn't buy anything, but if you ever want a big tanuki statue (and are willing to pay real money) they've got them.

Finally we returned to the performance area to see San Jose Taiko perform. They were, as always, fabulous.

Rather than staying for Bon Odori (traditional dance) we bailed on the festival and went downtown to the Camera 12 to see Wall-E. It was a good film. Highly recommended. Strange, but highly recommended.
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More photo stuff...

I need a dSLR.

Attempting to shoot at Obon pointed out some of the limitations in my camera. I like my S3, but it just couldn't do what I wanted.

The big problem?

Well, the tightest it could crank the aperture down was F/8. Normally that wouldn't be a big problem, F/8 can provide plenty of depth-of-field. I didn't care about depth-of-field, though. I wanted to set a relatively long exposure time so I could get some blur on the hands and the bachi moving, but in the bright sunlight I was overexposing at anything less than 1/250.

Not gonna work.

Mind you, I would have probably still needed a good strong neutral density filter to do that, even with a dSLR. I can't even put a filter on the S3 without going out and buying an adapter.

So yeah, it's probably dSLR time.