Halloween 2018

Halloween 2018

After the first two Halloween photoshoots a tradition was born. Although I’ll admit that this particular project started about two years earlier. I’ve always been fascinated with Eastern culture, the clothing, the architecture and history. Japan has some interesting myths and monsters. One such ‘monster’ is the Yūrei or ghost. Japan also has a ceremony called Tōrō nagashi, a tradition to guide the spirits of the deceased by floating lanterns on the water. I thought combining the two would make for a nice picture.

This was probably one of the hardest projects I’ve ever done! Everything I needed was ready but the biggest problem was the weather. These pictures required a clear, moonless night that was warm and without wind. After about a year of planning and waiting we finally had such a day the first weekend of September.
When we got to the location the sky was heavy with mosquitoes and I made sure to use plenty of Deet. In the photo’s you can see the mosquitoes on the lanterns and kimono. Even though it was quite late on a Sunday, I was worried we might attract unwanted attention, but luckily we only saw one dog walker who showed no interest at all. We made a ton of pictures and even though it’s quite challenging making pictures at night were had a lot of great ones that required little to no editing! Big thanks to Remco Jakma supporting me with all my crazy projects!

Inspiration 01 Inspiration 02
This is one of the first pictures to popup when you search for Yūrei in google. It’s a nice illustration accompanied by an explanation of the entity.
I’m not sure if this is a picture is of Japanese water-lanterns. When I couldn’t find any similar lanterns to buy online, I decided to create my own unique version.
Location 01 Location 02
A good location is everything and so we scouted for one beforehand. There is a road that leads between two lakes. On both sides there are little clearings that were perfect.
Initially we choose the one with the reeds but ended up having to find another location on the other side because of the wind direction and choppy water.
Kimono 01 Kimono 02
This is my mother modelling the kimono she made for me. She doesn’t like her picture taken so I’ve blurred her face.
With a few minor alterations it was good to go. Normally a burial kimono is plain white with multiple layers but I thought one layer of fabric would be fine. She also added a white sash and the forehead cover.
Lantern 01 Lantern 02
I started by making a basic frame using bamboo. The thinner bamboo can be found in any garden shop, the thicker ones were not so easy and I was rather lucky to find them at a local novelty shop. The platform is so I could place a candle and added a large block of wood at the bottom to help keep the lantern afloat.
Normally you would use paper to wrap around the lantern but I figured that would be much to fragile. I used curtain fabric instead, it was a little heavy but I liked the floral pattern.

Lantern 03 Lantern 04
Added extra sticks on the inside to hold the fabric firmly in place. In all there were seven lanterns each about 25cm wide by 35cm high.
This version of a water lantern is a little more crude compared to the ones you see online and I think that makes them better, as there would be no point in making them yourself if they end up looking like store bought ones.

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