Another festival of lights is over. We braved the cold and went out each evening to see a few exhibits in bite sized chunks. Unlike last year, our first festival, we did not try to see everything.
I took photos but point and shoot camera can not capture the spectacle well. I used two cameras this year. A sadly malfunctioning Sony HX20V and my robust but ageing Canon SX200IS. Neither excelled in the dim light.
I have found when the photos fail to delight, switch to capturing video. The video tends to provide a better feel for the event. The sound, however poor quality, adds an extra dimension and helps fill in the detail missing in the image.
Below are a few photos and the short film I put together.
Lyon’s largest annual festival is back this weekend. The fête des lumières has returned for four nights, Friday through Monday.
There have been a few changes. Last year the festival started on Thursday night and ended on Sunday night. A shift of one day might make Sunday less hectic. Another change is the reduction of free public transport. Last year the TCL network buckled under the pressure. This year special tickets are available that cover an evening out with transport on Sunday evening remaining free.
Small changes in the organisation of people moving around seem to have helped. Men with giant elevated signs help direct people and show which streets are blocked. There are less barriers around. All small changes that help.
The projections I have seen so far, are more story focused and shorter. Both improvements. Last year the projections looped every twenty minutes; those I have seen this year tended to be ten minutes or less.
As always the exhibitions are stunning. Photos and footage can not do the event justice. The combination of cold, crowds, and spectacle is hard to beat.
The Place Bellecour exhibit is impressive but hard to follow. Knowing where to look is essential when special effects such as bursts of flame may only last a fraction of a second. The Place Bellecour exhibit screams French in style and content; a silent protagonist who is a discarded marionette struggling for self determination through mime. Fantastically French.
Fête des lumières (festival of lights) is Lyon’s largest annual festival. During the four days of festivities the centre of the city swells with visitors enjoying the light shows and art installations.
This was our first Fête des lumières and we made the most of our easy access into the city centre. We were able to visit different sections of the city each night and I did my best to film a little of what we saw. A series of short films are embedded below and available on YouTube.
My point-and-shoot Canon camera does not excel with night photographs. During the evenings I saw many large semi-professional cameras being lugged around; hopefully those doing the lugging were able to better capture the magic of the lights.
A selection of my photographs from the festival appear below. They give some flavour of the event.