Photos from Fête des Lumières

Crowds fill the streets of Lyon during the Fête des Lumières.

Lyon’s Fête des Lumières, festival of lights, returned this week. For the last few years I have filmed the exhibits and shared the films here. This year I tried something a little different.

Heightened security had cancelled the festival last year; so 2016 saw a reduced three day schedule with more check points. I was relieved that the increased security did not diminish our experience.

This year I wanted show more of the crowds that flow through the city streets. The number of people moving around the centre is impressive.

Crowds move through the streets of Lyon.
Crowds move through the streets of Lyon.
Crowds fill the streets of Lyon during the Fête des Lumières.
Crowds fill the streets of Lyon during the Fête des Lumières.
Cafes attempt to attract passing festival traffic.
Cafes attempt to attract passing festival traffic.

Place des Terreaux

Crowds are funnelled towards Place des Terreaux.
Crowds are funnelled towards Place des Terreaux.
Large projector shines out in Place des Terreaux
Large projector shines out in Place des Terreaux
A projector shines out in Place des Terreaux
A projector shines out in Place des Terreaux
A projector shines out in Place des Terreaux
A projector shines out in Place des Terreaux
The Owl is projected onto the buildings of Place des Terreaux.
The Owl is projected onto the buildings of Place des Terreaux.

Place de la Republique

An illumination in Place de la Republique.
An illumination in Place de la Republique.
Lanterns spans rue de la Republique. in Lyon.
Lanterns spans rue de la Republique. in Lyon.

Place des Jacobins

A man photographs the illumination at Place des Jacobins in Lyon.
A man photographs the illumination at Place des Jacobins in Lyon.

Odds and Ends

Detail of a Christmas decoration in Lyon.
Detail of a Christmas decoration in Lyon.
Lights shine out over the River Rhône.
Lights shine out over the River Rhône.
Red light illuminates a street wall in Lyon.
Red light illuminates a street wall in Lyon.

Fête des Lumières 2013

Paper lantern in the park

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.

This film is also available on my YouTube channel.

Display at the top of the park
Display at the top of the park
Paper lantern in the park
Paper lantern in the park
Lights undulate over the lawn
Lights undulate over the lawn
Detail of the lights
Detail of the lights
Illuminated artwork
Illuminated artwork
Illuminated Court of Appeal
Illuminated Court of Appeal
Audience controlled cycling patterns
Audience controlled cycling patterns

Festival of Lights

Projection and exhibit within the town hall

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.

A shopping street crowned by lights
A shopping street crowned by lights
Display in the main shopping street
Display in the main shopping street
Projection and exhibit within the town hall
Projection and exhibit within the town hall
Projection on the art gallery
Projection on the art gallery
Projection on the town hall
Projection on the town hall
Christmas lights near Foch
Christmas lights near Foch
Lanterns in the trees of our local park
Lanterns in the trees of our local park

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.

A projection on the side of ferris wheel
A projection on the side of ferris wheel

Fête des lumières

Cathedral of lights along rue de Président Édouard Heriot

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.

Christmas lights along Cours Franklin Roosevelt, Lyon
Christmas lights along Cours Franklin Roosevelt, Lyon
Illuminated statue at Place du Maréchal Lyautey
Illuminated statue at Place du Maréchal Lyautey
Crowds gather to watch a projection on Théâtre des Célestins
Crowds gather to watch a projection on Théâtre des Célestins
Installation in Parc Hôtel de Ville
Installation in Parc Hôtel de Ville
Orbs of shadows in jardin de la Grande Côte
Orbs of shadows in jardin de la Grande Côte
Lamps arranged near montée de la Grande Côte
Lamps arranged near montée de la Grande Côte
Light installation on rue de Brest
Light installation on rue de Brest
Crowds gather in Place Bellecour
Crowds gather in Place Bellecour
Lyon's ferris wheel in Place Bellecour
Lyon’s ferris wheel in Place Bellecour
Lights line rue Victor-Hugo
Lights line rue Victor-Hugo
Cathedral of lights along rue de Président Édouard Heriot
Cathedral of lights along rue de Président Édouard Heriot