Time for some cheerful stuff, amidst a rather damp and dark winter. The ‘Light Nelson’ festival was held this last weekend, in Queen’s Gardens. The first two public evenings were fairly wet. We visited briefly on Saturday night, before going to see “Kiss the Fish” at the Theatre Royal. There was a light drizzle and masses of people. I heard there was 7000 visitors that evening (hard to believe but might be true – it was jam packed).
But last night I went back again with my camera and tripod. No rain, but lots of people so patience was required. At times it felt like rush hour in Tokyo. I hope these shots give you a feel for the show. First one to grab attention:
A real exercise in low light photography (I tried to avoid using a flash):
But some of the onlookers were easy:
The exhibits looked great:
What about a closeup?
One artist had prepared beautiful miniatures within old light bulbs. They were a nightmare to photograph because they swung as people kept bumping their supports. But here’s one slightly more successful attempt:
The rotating light wand in the centre of the pond was a great subject:
A shorter exposure showed up more detail:
The fountain at the centre of the gardens was lit with a variety of colours (rather difficult to show in a still photograph!):
Crustacea made from old milk bottles:
Even the simplest things looked quite magical in the right light. Here’s a bottle filled with what looked like dandelion seeds:
More images: for examples of what good photographers can achieve (I suspect without the huge crowds), see the gallery on the Light Nelson website, here.
(The Nelson Mail on Monday claimed 30,000 for Sunday night – even harder to believe! Story here.
Postscript: While I was lining up on the blue light wand, I was introduced to another former Tokoroa resident. Turned out that person did not enjoy the town much at all. “Most violent place in NZ” I was told. “Nothing but fights in the pub, every night”. Interesting to hear, especially as we considered Tokoroa a great, extremely safe place to bring up kids (which we did for 17 years there). “Hate those black boongas” was the next comment. “Couldn’t wait to get away from those Maori.” I was surprised, but managed to show restraint.. “So you came down here where there are fewer?” I asked. “No, went to Australia” was the reply. Sounded like that decision was a win-win, for the person and NZ both.