Mid-Autumn Festival @ Clarke Quay, the final post…

So although I described our time at City Square Mall, and posted some strange lantern pictures (and answers), I didn’t really talk about the amazing lantern display at Clarke Quay itself.

Sadly, my class on nighttime photography was yesterday (the 26th) and these pictures were taken on the 18th, so if I could now magically go back in time, they might be slightly better photos.  On the other hand, better photos require the use of a stable tripod and a longer exposure, which would have been extremely difficult given the crushing crowds of people (either they would have accidentally jostled the tripod, walked through the frame, or I would have been a bit of a dick for asking for a 15 second exposure per picture, none of which would have really worked).

Having said that, we really enjoyed the walk through, and are sad that it was up for such a short time.  We managed to find the start of the lantern walk, and began there.

The lanterns (or so we were told) followed two themes–signs from the Chinese Zodiac or legends and myths from China.  I’m not terribly up on my Chinese myths and legends, so I just appreciated them for their aesthetic value, and how amazingly complex they were. We live very close to Clarke Quay and they were put in in a very short amount of time (and torn down in a day or two).

Although I took pictures of the zodiac animals, I found them to look like just popped out of an anime flick.  The three featured in the guess the animal contest were some of the most extreme examples of that.  But here are a few other zodiac animals.

The Bull

The Snake

The Horse (is missing a tooth?)

The Pig (looks like it’s possessed, and sticking it’s tongue out….why?)

Far more impressive (in my opinion) were the floating barges that depicted scenes from stories.  I kind of wish I knew the stories, so I could understand what was happening on a deeper level, but was also content just to be impressed by these lanterns.  The walk was along the bank of the Singapore River across from Clarke Quay (which is just restaurant after restaurant…there’s no room to do this sort of elaborate set=up).  The zodiac animals were on the sidewalk itself, but the barge scenes were floating on the river, tethered to the barriers (which is also where the sources of electricity were stationed).

I have mostly detail shots, and then some video that will show entire barges….

And video, because it’s hard to appreciate that the barges had moving parts and various patterns of light to make it look like fish were jumping or things were moving in a still shot…

Overall, a great date, and now I know next year to be looking forward to this!

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