The Lantern Fest

Ever since Tangled, the Disney animated movie, came out many people including myself added a lantern festival to their bucket list. Lanterns are lit on fire and lifted off into the night sky just like in the movie, a beautiful cinematic scene. Well, just recently I finally got the live that dream.

The Lantern Fest is a traveling event that goes to many cities across the United States. In June the city they went to that I could attend was outside of Philadelphia. My friend and I bought our tickets on cyber Monday, November 2016. The event sold out within months so they created another event for the following day!

At the festival roughly 11,000 people waited around for night to fall for the magic to begin. The event had live music, food, campfires, and some familiar Disney characters dressed up. When the time came around everyone started to light their lanterns, which happened too quickly, and released at the count down. I had set up a tripod with my camera, had my iPhone, and a lantern on fire to worry about. At first launch everything was mesmerizing. All the lanterns surrounded you and glowed everything. I wish I had waited to light my lantern to focus more on what was happening and to take better photographs instead I had to focus the most on the one thing on fire in my hand! The lanterns take a while to fill up with hot air, but eventually I got mine to float off. I went in between taking photos with my iPhone and the camera, but not too much time because I had to enjoy the moment. The lanterns float off too quickly it’s quite a surreal moment that is over before you know it.

Shot on iPhone

Shot on Olympus Camera

The iPhone photographs turned out better then I could expect. I got the movement of the lanterns by moving the camera unintentionally. After the event I looked through my phone and realized many happy accidents. The Olympus camera photographs were longer exposures on a tripod right at the beginning of the launch. The only successful photograph I got of someone holding their lantern is the one above. This was after almost all of the lanterns were launched. I was able to get a decent enough exposure and luckily she didn’t move too much for a crisper image. This was my first time doing night photography with a light source like this, so I did not know what settings would work best. All in all I think I got some awesome images from the Lantern Fest.

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