For many years, Vancouver’s Public Dreams Society has presented Illuminares, a summer-evening festival built around a lantern procession. Typically held outside, around Trout Lake, it’s a nicely-hippie-flavored explosion of fire and noise and energy. This year, because Trout Lake park is under construction, they held it inside and it was still fun, if not quite as much. I got some pictures which are sort of pretty and represent a new frontier I think in my current low-light-photography obsession.

I should note that I was a performer at the event, appearing as usual with Russell Shumsky’s West-African percussion ensemble “Linoleum Blownapart”.

The pictures are by the Canon S90 at ISO 800 and up; they benefit both from that camera’s outstanding little sensor and from Lightroom 3’s remarkable noise-removal function. Here’s the Green Room before the performance, ISO 800, and looking about as it did to my native eye.

The Green Room at Illuminares 2010

This one is remarkable. The harpists were back-lit and dimly at that, the effect was ghostly and played well with the music. ISO 1600 and only a moderate amount of Lightroom recovery heroics.

Harp ensemble at Illuminares 2010

Finally, at “only” ISO 800, this one was relatively easy.

Photographing seahorse lanterns at Illuminares 2010


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From: Sivan (Jul 26 2010, at 13:34)

I usually don't use modes, but was pleasantly surprised by the night mode. Great for photos of friends in bars.

I appreciate the focal range Canon chose for the s90. f2.0 at wide angle is where I'd shoot candid indoors. The slower f4.5 at tele is fine for portraits, usually stationary and in controlled lighting.

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