Fire and Bright Lights in Christchurch

Recently there have been two opportunities to get out and take advantage of the early winter night.  A local fire spinning group did a photography shoot performance at Sumner Beach which was excellent fun.

It was a cold frosty night with no wind, so perfect for the fire spinners, who had a range of interesting props to light up and twirl around.

Two guys came along with these light bars – a really cool feature was they can play different colours and patterns of light.

Shoots like this are pretty difficult to get good shots unless you understand how to shoot long exposures in the dark.  Many people were there with phones and using flash, and I imagine were quite disappointed with the images they got as a result.

These exposures varied from 2-5 seconds, ISO 100 and I shot in Manual to have full control over the settings and lock them down.  Of course, shot using a tripod as well.

The second event was the Night of D’Lights put on by the Council at the Botanic Gardens.  I went last year and really enjoyed it – this year was quite different in style, a lot longer and a more specific path to follow.

This long tunnel of arches was very popular, and difficult to get a good shot of as it seemed most of the city was attending.  This was a 25 second exposure and it did a reasonable job of removing most of the people.  There are a few ghosts which adds a little something extra to the image.  There were probably over 100 people in this image!

One really popular display was a large tree hung with long streamers of gold lights across two big branches.  A security guard had to be permanently there to chase off people who wanted to get their selfies and group shots and play with the lights.

I setup my tripod off to the side in the garden, and they left me alone, but because the tree display was so big, I was too close to get a good shot.

Instead I decided to try a technique not used before – ICM or Intentional Camera Movement.  This is where the shutter is left open for a short period and you move the camera while it is open.

Being the middle of winter, it was well below freezing, and important to dress warmly.  My UnderArmour Cold Gear top base layer has proven its worth every time it comes out in sub zero temperatures, as does my long Hunters Element jacket that covers me down to my knees and has arms long enough to not give you cold wrists.  Katmandu wind proof gloves provide thin flexible gloves to allow use of the camera easily but still keep hands warm.

It might be winter, dark and cold, but there is still fun to be had with your camera!

What other winter clothing gear do you use?

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About lensaddiction

Mad keen photographer figuring it out as she goes!
This entry was posted in Camera Adventures, For Beginners and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Fire and Bright Lights in Christchurch

  1. desleyjane says:

    Fab. I’ve done the ICM before and it can give quite cool results.

    • Yeah Ive seen it done with nice effect for some artistic variations, but never felt the need to use it myself. It was a way to capture how pretty the lights were and how many of them there were too

  2. These are all very beautiful images!

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