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    The Akamatsu fire festival in Shikoku, Japan, began over a hundred years ago. Teams hoist homemade fireworks to the top of a pole then run and chant beneath a shower of sparks. With the rice harvest over it's time to celebrate. The crowd gasps as a miss-fire sends exploding sparks sizzling over their heads. Grey-haired women up the front laugh and clap. Shadows of red pines dance over the smokey ground; these trees are the 'akamatsu'.
    Composition 4
    Lighting 8
    Creativity 9
    Story 2

    The shower of sparks looks like fiery rain falling no the person moving through them. The photographs relatively long exposure renders the sparks as streaks and give the figure a subtle movement.

    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer
    Photo Details
    Date Taken: Oct 11, 2015
    Date Uploaded: Nov 14, 2015
    Camera: LEICA DIGILUX 2
    Focal Length: 10.6 mm
    Shutter Speed: 1/4 sec
    Aperture: f/4.5
    ISO: 100
    Copyright: © nicholas dombrovskis
    Categories: Culture, People, Travel
    Assignments: Celebrations, Primary Colors, Low Light
    Contests: 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest