EDIT! I redeveloped some using SPP 3.3 and added some others. Please see the full set for higher resolution.
Now, it was getting dark, really dark and that’s when people started to gather in the city center of Xia Guan, the Capital of Dali County. Now, this festival sounds nice and I’ve noticed preparations for days. People walking around with large torches, or truck loads with them preparing for the final day of sells.
Fire festival. I heard about it for years but I never had the chance to go and now, finally I’m here! My SD15 (had to return the “pre-version” and being sent a real one) is stuck in customs and I only have my DP1s and Dp2. Not that they’re not good but the SD15 would give me more situational shots – but I’m very very happy with these images! Not as many as they could have been but SPP did a great job on those colors!
The strange thing is that EVRYONE was here, streets where filled with people of all ages and torches was being lit everywhere. Some placed like on the picture above as a big fire others where carried around.. Everything would have been just fine if it stopped here but no, these Chinese are crazy! in every street corner sits people selling some kind of powder containing wood and from the smell I guess it’s something else that ignites superfast and this powder you buy and then you take a hands full and throw it into the fire! It all fires up with a woff and a huge flame and people are cheering.
Three images below, made using SPP3.3. First is Linn, second me and third her mom.
We bought some too and we had lots of fun but we soon realized that people carrying those torches was looking at ME with fire in their eyes and suddenly I find my self in a huge flame and my back is superhot – they’re throwing this powder at each other too! And me and girls are perhaps the perfect pray – it’s from now on I feel like a hunted animal and I don’t want to go home! It’s dangerous and it’s not dangerous and they’re putting me on fire with a smile! SOO STRANGE!!! :D
Below, the second more blue version is SPP 3.3 while the first is SPP 4.1. ISO is above 1600, but exposure compensated for higher so more noise visible. Still, fire is beautiful!
This guy was trying to get closer to me without me seeing and his friend had his hand full of powder getting ready to throw at me, luckily I turned around before it all happened and could get this shot instead. hehe.. We where really running around like crazy trying to hide with groups of people and at the same time I was eager to get some shots. aaaaa
I would be surprised if there was less than half a million people on the streets – it was that many and I didn’t see ONE foreigner. So I was the haunted one. haha. And beautiful girls too, like Linn. So we tried to stay together as much as possible – she went up in flames a couple of times and her but hurt.. at least she said. My eyebrows was curly the day after, says something about the heat.
All images available at full size at my flickr China 2010 set.