Lantern Festival - (Original Work)
You've likely seen beautiful night shots of lanterns floating away into the night sky. Have you actually ever been to see lanterns released? There is an outfit in the US called The Lantern Fest. Most everyone has an amazing experience from what I can tell.
Normally, people try to shoot a handheld or even tripod mounted shot to expose & freeze the lanterns in place. Here are a few examples of what you could achieve with a much longer exposure than the normal maximum of 30 seconds on most DSLR's. I used the bulb mode to run for approx 140 to 160 seconds. Using a 35mm or 50mm lens would have caused the star trails to become more noticeable with such a long duration. The wider your lens the longer you can leave the shutter open without capturing too much star movement. This is a 21mm lens on a Full Frame sensor.
There seems to be a bit of a dark side to pseudo-capitalistic events such as Lantern Fest. As I understand it, they donate a portion of the proceeds to charity, however, there is the question of fire danger and that of outright littering which may impact wildlife and the environment. Thousands of these lanterns float away, harmlessly fall onto farm land most of the time. What about the animals that visit these items before they decompose? Maybe they make great nest building material?
If all goes well, the fire danger is thought to be slim as the combustible substance burns up completely before the lanterns drift back down (assuming all goes well). They always have fire mitigation personnel on hand for their events.
Beautiful experiences & photos aside, I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on these types of events.
(long night exposure > 140 seconds)
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