By Jack Williams
This incredible kaleidoscopic images show the sheer beauty of the mammoth firework displays which take place across Japan every summer.
Photographer Makoto Igari has spent the last three years diligently pursuing firework festivals across his homeland, with the Japanese themselves calling fireworks “hanabi,” meaning “fire flower.”
Included in 32-year-old Makoto’s works are the likes of rainbow-coloured bursts, exploding over vast crowds; displays bright enough to illuminate the cities below; and explosions of incredible symmetry.
Each year, local governments in Japan throw around 7,000 festivals, called ‘Hanabi Taikai’, which predominantly take place from July until late August.
Recently, Makoto released his best images from this calendar year after first becoming interested in photographing this subject matter because a well-known firework technician lives in the same area as him, the Ibaraki region.
Explaining his technique, Makoto said: “I pay attention to the position where I will shoot to capture the fireworks, right in front, because angled position makes extra space.
“I do not use filters to prevent clipped whites, either.
“When I bulb shoot, I imagine how the fireworks will overlap.
“When I develop photos, I take care not to lower highlights and not to raise the color intensity.”
Each year, Makoto shoots around six festivals across Japan on average.
Going forward, he plans to continue this pursuit of exploding beauty.
He said: “It is Japanese traditional techniques that I believe are a “symbol of peace” made with gunpowder.
“Japanese fireworks are just spectacular, and with beautiful colouring.
“Fireworks disappear in the moment and it makes me excited to get nice photographs.”