The crowd showed up long before sunset but the event coordinators were smart enough to provide entertainment for the people. There were acrobats on stage performing things that only acrobats can do. It was very well timed, because when they were finished the crowd was closer to enjoying the beauty of the lanterns by night…
…plus, there were merchants selling culturally interesting merchandise and food that helped to keep the people interested while they waited.
As darkness slowly came, the brilliance of the lanterns started to show their unique beauty. The tunnel with its glorious colors provide a stunning background for couples to make lifelong memories.
Still waiting for the night’s sky to turn black, I just knew this one was going to be…awesome!
Finally! under the darkened sky, one of the very first displays that caught my eye was the panda lantern display. One photo does not do this one justice. I found myself taking a number of photos walking around this unit. Every angle seemed to show something different. It was well put together.
The lights around the pond was absolutely gorgeous especially its reflections off of the water. Other lantern lights nearby also reflected quite beautifully and was a feast for any photographer.
Giant umbrella lanterns adorn the night. Both young and old enjoyed their beauty.
Sometimes, timing is everything. See how the monkeys seem to be focused on the man in the center of the photo. Part of what makes this display so intriguing is that the way the monkeys are positioned they appear to be active and interactive.
The giant fish lanterns appear to be watching the people.
The golden lights from this monster lantern made a great backdrop for these patrons that were walking past. Like I said…timing is everything. Now I’m just waiting for National Geographic to give me a call.
This is one of my favorite shots. I was going for a slightly higher angle that used the colorful undersea lanterns as a major backdrop with the crowd milling and enjoying themselves. The silhouettes makes the shot.
A simple shot with lanterns of simple shapes and many colors as the backdrop for some of the patrons who can appreciate their simple beauty.
This is (unofficially) a combination of kangaroos, and a house with gated lanterns. This was extremely moving to the eye and I needed to position myself in such a way that I could get it all, but I couldn’t do it with one shot. So I settled for the kangaroos in my next shot below.
Profile of a single kangaroo lantern with a joey in her pouch.
There are a few “must see” displays when you go to the Chinese Lantern festivals and the Terracotta Warriors are one of them. There were as expected a number of individually lit soldiers posed in various positions, however, I wanted to emphasize the warriors with the emperor. This was definitely a fan favorite.
The colors of this display absolutely pops out at you at night verses the day time. One could say, “duh…yeah” but I noticed the biggest difference in this one verses any other. My challenge as a photographer was how do I do this display justice with my camera? The answer…you can’t. It’s a must see. I’ve taken photos of this display from various angles and settings and it still couldn’t do it justice. Just go out and see it.
Like the swans the challenge was to catch the best image of these flowers that had a combination of both bright and dark colored lights with a dark backdrop. Trying not to blow out the details with the bright lights while showing the colors of the dark light. Most women love flowers and they would have indeed loved these had they seen them.
There were so many other lanterns of interest such as a giant Goldfish eating…
…lanterns of Frogs…
…and Leopards and so many other things of interest. However, the Chinese festival wouldn’t be complete without the traditional Chinese…
Dragon! It was obviously the largest, tallest and longest display at the park. It wouldn’t have been possible to take a full frontal photo with the face without elevation of some sort such as a drone. However, it was magnificent to see in person.
Nevertheless, the Chinese Lantern Festival is always worth the price of admission where ever it shows up, and in some cases can or will make an annual appearance in some cities. I would obviously endorse this as a family fun activity. ENJOY!
This is one of those festivals that move around throughout the world. The best way to make sure to catch them is to conduct an on-line search and see when they will come to your area. The displays changes each time they arrive. Those who are interested in visiting and supporting this festival within the Philadelphia area please see:
Franklin Square, 200 6th St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19102