Lumiere London 2018
Lumiere returned to London for the second time this January. I only managed to visit on the last day - there’s so much more to see that I’ll be sure to allow at least two nights next time.
The displays are a real challenge to photograph - there’s lots of people around and you’re shooting in really poor lighting (despite it being a lighting event). I took a monopod and remote release with me which helped me stabilise the shots and get some more unique angles.
The Wave was my favourite piece, and I think produced the strongest images. Row after row of lit triangles of light; sometimes pulsing, sometimes changing colour. It was filled with people, making shooting it really tricky.
Sometimes a simple concept works amazingly well when done at scale. Child Hood filled Trafalgar Square with helium filled balloons that lit up at different times to music.
‘The Light of the Spirit’ looked amazing in real life - I hardly did it justice on camera. The projection was impressively spot on, and gave the ornate fascia of Westminster Abbey a new twist.
Like the Westminster Abbey piece, Spectral was hard to shoot. Neon colours don’t come out well digitally - the vibrance just isn’t there.
In retrospect I realise one of the other issues is being pressed for time - I only had the evening and ended up getting around about 1/4 of the displays. You don’t really know whether they’ll be interesting to you or good to shoot until you get there - and even then you need to find good angles / wait for the shot.
Lumiere will be on in Durham next month (where the event started 10 years ago). It may be on in London in January next year - or it may be 2020 before the next London event.