illuminated

London Lit Up - Lumiere Festival 2018.

There was no competition to the most photographic event in London this weekend because a lot of it was London. With added light.

This is the second time we've caught the Lumiere Festival, and frankly, it's snapping heaven. You could easily spend a couple of evenings walking around capturing the many different light installations and happy Londoners (sometimes very 'happy' on a Saturday evening) enjoying everything from goldfish in a phone box to glowing see-saws. 

Lumiere is split up into 6 areas of town from Kings Cross down to Southbank. We started in the former. I was going to get a couple of shots of Alice on THAT Harry Potter platform, but the popularity of the be-wanded one still means lines a mile long. We passed.

So, meeting up with our old Leytonstone mates, Cristina, Laszlo and Joel we marched up via multicoloured bird cages and oversized desk lamps up Granary Square where a full-on smoke machine and laser light show was in full swing. This - possibly due to my Pink Floyd loving, guitar playing upbringing - was a real highlight of the evening. Proper impressive.

A sea of flowers which appeared to have been hewn from a thousand bike reflectors was another cool installation but right there we needed some food and a break.

So, post better-than-expected street food (where the pizza for once, really was slightly artisan) we got the tube to Bond Street for our second area hit of the day down the West End. 

Alice and Joel loved the illuminated see-saw - I think we'll be getting a birthday request soon - and once we wrenched them off it, we walked down to a closed off Oxford Circus where a giant psychedelic lit sphere hung down making a Leaning Tower of Pisa style 'holding the world' shot pretty much required.

Via Carnaby Street, we walked to Piccadilly Circus, then onto Chinatown - where frankly I could spend an entire evening doing street work - to see giant paper flamingos wafting past shocked onlookers and racks of crispy duck. 

Finally, due to kiddie and adult fatigue, we hit our last area of the evening in Westminster. We probably left the best until last as a multicoloured lit up Abbey was really something to behold. The attention to detail was amazing.

As I said, there were loads more - we barely scratched the surface of what Lumiere had to share this year, and it's a pleasure to see something free and so accessible on a city-wide scale in London giving urbanites knee deep in January blues something to enjoy. 

Don't want to think about the electrical bill though.


Tech Corner:
The Zeiss Batis 25/85 combo got the most time out the bag, and as ever I'm impressed by the Sony A7r II in low light.