Monday, December 15, 2014

Warp Speed with the Top Down


As we slowly crept along the road that wound its way toward the Festival of Lights gate, I set up my camera to take pictures at night in a situation where lights are present. Yes, my camera offers such a scene setting. 
Tanglewood Festival of Lights | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
The Entrance to the Festival of Lights


With the top down on our friends' convertible, four of us snuggled under blankets, pulled on our hats and gloves, and settled in for the show. Then I took off my gloves so I could work the camera I set up to take nighttime light pictures.
North Pole Gates | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
It only took a little over an hour to
reach the main gates. But the displays
along the way--before we ever paid to
get in--made the wait entertaining.

The setting works best with a tripod. It is a long-exposure setting. And while it has the capacity to take great pictures, when the photographer moves or the convertible carrying the photographer slowly creeps forward, the pictures come out oddly and frustratingly blurred. Some looked as if we were driving at warp speed. The convertible does have a turbo feature, but I assure you, despite some of these images, we barely stirred up a breeze at a steady three to five miles per hour.
Warp Speed | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
We hit warp speed at 3 m.p.h.

The displays that used multiple sets of lights lit one after another to depict a deer jumping over your car, a penguin sliding down a roof, or a bird flying overhead, posed another exposure problem. We could only see one lit up at a time, giving the appearance of movement. But the images on my camera showed nearly all the pieces as if they were lit at the same time. It would have been great to get videos of those displays, but using the video feature of my camera drains my battery. 
Magical Dimensions | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
According to my camera,
it was like traveling into a magical,
brilliantly lit and joyous dimension.


With or without picture-taking, driving through the Festival of Lights with the top down was the best way to enjoy the adventure. Between elaborate light structures, we looked up to gaze at a million stars in the sky. And as we drove through and around the dancing lights, we enjoyed the full effect of the LED offerings. 
Jumping Deer | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
his display appeared as one deer jumping
over the cars as they passed by.

Add Christmas music and, after a stop at the red barn, some hot apple cider, and you have a spectacular evening that is sure to conjure lots of holiday spirit. 

Just be sure you dress in lots of layers with warm pants, sweaters, socks, coats, hats, gloves, and scarves. And be sure to wave and yell, "Merry Christmas!" to other Festival of Lights goers hanging out of car windows, standing through sunroofs, and sitting in truck beds.
Whimsical Castle | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
A candy castle of whimsical fun.
 

But if you take pictures, do not expect them to come out nearly as beautiful as what you see while slowly meandering through the park. Better yet, forego the photography, sit back, and enjoy the show. At only $15 per non-commercial carload, the Festival of Lights is an inexpensive outing that is loads of fun for children of every age, from 1 to 101!
Happy Holidays | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
The Festival of Lights certainly added to the
happy in our holidays.


Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, daughter & writer is the author of Thurston T. Turtle children's books. 
Email: mickibare (at) gmail.com
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Copyright 2014 Michele Bare 

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