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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Chinese Lantern Festival

If you live in the Dallas area and were planning to go to the State Fair of Texas, don't miss the Chinese Lantern Festival which will be there until the fair closes on October 21.

"Never before in the Southwest, the Chinese Lantern Festival is an outstanding visual delight. By day, it’s a collection of architecture, fabric flora, and fauna figures—pandas, flamingos, dinosaurs. A dragon made from 15,000 porcelain dishes!
By night, the festival lights up, setting the lagoon and imaginations aglow. The Temple of Heaven, Statue of Liberty, animated creatures, and a Blossoming Lotus—these are among the 22 dazzling lantern sets in and around the Nature and Science Buildings and lagoon."


Last week I visited the Festival while at the fair with my wife. I took some pictures but it was not the serious photo shoot that I had yesterday. Several other photographers that had been at the Cottonwood Art Festival last weekend were with me.  The crowd at the fair was huge since it was fair day for the Dallas schools. I think every student in town was there. Trying to take photos on the Midway was difficult. It was more like a cattle drive.


Fortunately, my main interest was shooting the Chinese Lantern Festival and it did not disappoint. As the lights started coming on at 7 pm it was hard to decide what to shoot first. I think I could make ten visits and still shoot new compositions each time. 


Photographing the Lantern Festival is an HDR photographer's dream. Shooting subject matter like this after dark is perfect for bracketing a range of exposures and combining them for your final image. You can capture a lot more detail than you could with just one exposure.




 The "Tunnel of Light" is the last part of the Festival that you walk through before you get to the exit. I decided to have some fun while zooming my lens during the exposure. Maybe I should do this trick more often!