A Photographer’s Ramblings: Blackpool’s Bright Lights

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With Hallowe’en and the ‘Light Up Lancaster‘ festival almost upon us, I took a spooky look at Blackpool’s famous Illuminations. My first shot and a touch of fun, is a selfie with a difference. If you’re not sure how to achieve this, it’s simple. First find a night scene with a dark foreground and bright background. Set your camera’s flash to slow sync or ‘night setting’ with fill in flash (if it’s a compact camera). Put the camera on a tripod or handy wall etc. Set the self timer and pose! After the flash has gone off, just jump out of the shot leaving the shutter to remain open exposing the background lights. It will probably take a few attempts, to get your pose correct if nothing else, and voila!

Blackpool illuminations

In a spin on Central Pier.

Moving on to some slightly more serious photography, I had a go at snapping Central Pier’s giant wheel. It was my second attempt in recent years and I wanted to try something a bit more creative.  Using my tripod again, I found some wet sand in the foreground to give some lovely but subtle reflections. The long exposure gives the sense of exaggerated movement.

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Blackpool’s big wheel.

In my next shot I switched to a wider angle lens and moved in close. The ‘speed’ is more dramatic at this closeness and the sharpness of the wheel’s legs creates contrast.

No visit to Blackpool is complete without one or two shots of the famous Tower. During Illuminations season you need patience (and a long camera exposure) as the tower’s lights are constantly changing and often frustratingly absent altogether.

Light show under the Tower.

Light show under the Tower.

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The world famous Blackpool Tower.

Zooming in on the top of the Tower.

Zooming in on the top of the Tower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before I left, I focused on the Illuminations themselves. I can’t help feel that they aren’t all of what they used to be and in this shot they look distinctly sparse.

Blackpool Prom and Tower.

Blackpool Prom and Tower.

Ironically, with a natural star effect created by the camera lens, the streetlights actually look more dramatic!

A final look at the Illuminations and my favourite to photograph, one of the lovely striking tableaux on Central Promenade.

Beautifully made tableau.

Beautifully made tableau.

I hope you have enjoyed my brief look at Blackpool’s bright lights. Look out for more Photographer’s Ramblings coming soon and in the meantime happy snapping!