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When a photographer is presented with an event full of lights and color, it’s a visual playground that can easily sap away an entire evening.  There are countless opportunities.  You can shoot fast and freeze moving lights, or you can shoot long and paint a rainbow in the shadows.  You can shoot reflections; you can shoot shadows; details, scenes.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015

All this weekend, Portland is showcasing its first annual Winter Light Festival along the East Esplanade, featuring displays by various artists united in one goal: fill the winter darkness with beautiful light.

We strolled through the exhibits for a couple hours, watching the amazed reactions of kids and the wonder in the eyes of their parents.  An event like this is somewhat challenging, as the lights are constantly changing.  As brightness ebbed and flowed, I had to keep adjusting my shutter speed (or I could have put the camera into aperture-priority).  I had the variety of exhibits, each presenting its own shooting opportunities.  I also had so many angles to choose from – low, close, underneath, through.  I even got to scratch my candid itch through the many people wandering about.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015

Lights were the subject, so I was able to shoot many free-hand pictures, but I also played with some motion long exposures with a tripod.  And even though I took so many pictures, I wouldn’t be surprised to find entirely new ways to shoot the event should I return.


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