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Montreal High Lights Festival

Celebration of Light

After my photo shoot at the ice hotel, I hit the other part of the Montreal High Lights Festival on Nuit Blanche. I had organized a meetup with the local photography group, and there was a good amount of people that came out to the shoot. It was also a good time for me to check out the Bell booth that my photo was being used for. It was pretty cold out, so the group dispersed pretty quickly, finding their way around the event. The key thing I wanted to take a picture of was the same Ferris Wheel I had shot the year prior. I got a pretty good shot last year, so I was hoping for a good one this year.

I really wanted to get the Ferris Wheel with the sun setting in the background, but the location wasn’t really set up for it. There was a lot of distraction in the background, with ugly fencing surrounding the whole thing. Even the clouds weren’t cooperating. I would have preferred clear sky so I could get a nice blue hour, but I was stuck with grey winter sludge for a sky. This isn’t to say I wasn’t able to get any good shots. The below image was taken early in the evening, and I was able to adjust it in post-processing to get this lomo-like effect.

As it got darker, I played a little more with shutter speed to try to get a good streaming effect on the lights. I still really haven’t perfected it, nor have I figures out how different elements effect the shot. Eventually I will find myself in front of a Ferris Wheel when it is warm and I can experiment with my settings without feeling rushed to go warm up.

I moved around a lot trying to get a good angle, but there was a lot of visual noise that was really hard to get rid of. The last shot I took of the wheel was only because I was a little bored. I put the camera down low to the ground, and shot the gross slush that was everywhere, getting the reflection of the Ferris Wheel in a puddle of water.

There were a few other places to shoot, so I walked around taking a bunch of shots of different art installations. There was a really colorful one against a far wall that consisted of a bunch of televisions broadcasting colors onto a black structure. I tried to play the structure in the foreground against the Christmas like lighting in the background, but only had minor success.

The last successful image I took was of these small lighting installations next to a restaurant. I got up as close as possible to try and get a good bokeh effect on the secondary colored lights. It would have been great to have my 100mm f2.8 macro lens, but I hadn’t bought it yet, so I used my 50mm at a low f-stop. The longer lens would have allowed me to pull the background out even more, and I would probably not have gotten the distracting lines on the left side of the image.

All in all it was a pretty fun night shoot. While I love taking pictures in the winter, the cold really makes me a little unmotivated to take my time. There is only one image from the shoot that I absolutely love (Feature Image), but I am sure there would have been more had I taken the time to set up more.


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