Lanterns

June 1st, 2010
By

Yesterday, the annual Shinnyo En Lantern Floating took place at Ala Moana Beach Park.  This year, however, my goal was to see differently.  Of course there are thousands of lanterns to be photographed, along with the thousands of stories behind each and every prayer on those lanterns, but when I left my car to head towards the beach, I made a promise to myself to “see” differently from last year.

If you recall, this was my cover image from last year:

Last year’s Kona winds blew the majority of the lanterns back onshore in large clumps, which made a dense wall of picturesque lantern mosaics.

This year, I tried to focus on a a more singular vision.  Of course, I photographed the massive groups of lanterns, but, as I mentioned earlier, I wanted something different.

Repetition of form in legs and lanterns.

Here I used the saturated color projecting off the big screen to cast this trio of lanterns into a more colorful composition.

Here I used the saturated color projecting off the big screen to cast this trio of lanterns into a more colorful composition.

I also wanted to make my photographs of people more singular as well, focusing more on emotion.

Rita Luke has a solemn moment of remembrance prior to floating her lantern during the annual Shinnyo-En Temple Lantern Floating on Monday, May 31, 2010 at Ala Moana Beach Park. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Bulletin).

Fifteen-year-old Anthony Cavalieri looks out at the hundreds of lanterns cast afloat during the annual Shinnyo-En Temple Lantern Floating on Monday, May 31, 2010 at Ala Moana Beach Park. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Bulletin).

As the lanterns floated out, I actually paused for a moment and put my cameras down to just take in the marvelous moment as the sun went down and the energy surrounding me from the thousands of lanterns and the people there just surged through my senses.

To top it off, prior to the whole ceremony, I was privileged enough to have met and photographed Ms. Shinso Ito, the master of ceremonies in a Star-Bulletin exclusive.  A wonderful and gracious woman off the altar, she lights up with a delicate smile when talking about her father and lantern floating ceremonies from years past.

hinsho Ito smiles while remembering her father prior to the annual Shinnyo-En Temple Lantern Floating on Monday, May 31, 2010 at Ala Moana Beach Park. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Bulletin).

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5 Responses to “Lanterns”

  1. Michael/Sansei:

    “Remember those who died at Pearl Harbor”

    To those Japanese American Civilians who died attacked by Japanese Pilots. Who later served in interment camps and prosecuted for being Japanese but of American birth. Later Men and women who served in the 442th to prove Japanese loyalty to America.

    What would the same people say on December 7th this year say about those Remembered?
    Would they curse Japanese each year on this “Day of Infamy”? People change on this date.


  2. Jermel:

    I LOVE these! :)


  3. Brian:

    Great shots Jamm


  4. Crazy2lolo:

    I remember when I was a young boy living in the north shore..


  5. Jenny Laney:

    Wow, Jamm! These are amazing. Congratulations on your award!


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