Nights of Lights

The Nights of Lights in the city of St. Augustine, Florida.

by Linda

The City of St. Augustine, Florida has an annual Nights of Lights celebration around the holidays.  The city and local businesses decorate with numerous lights and the whole city gets festive.

Regis and I walked through town last night to check it out.  Dart and I did a drive by the other day, but Regis and I set out on foot with two cameras, a monopod, and a tripod.  The city is beautiful dressed in lights.  The weather was warm and it was lovely.

We experimented with our equipment and learned some lessons.  The monopod was useless for night time picture taking.  So, we won’t take it again.  The tripod was essential but a bit cumbersome to lug around.  I recently purchased a headlamp which came in handy for changing camera settings.   I also have a wireless remote shutter release which was very helpful also.

I’m fascinated with the fact that you can take long exposures of something and the moving objects will disappear from the picture if the exposure is long enough.  I had taken several pictures of the building below when we saw a horse and carriage coming up the street.  Although I knew the horse and carriage would be blurry, I wanted to get a picture of it in front of the Lightner Museum.  I adjusted the exposure in hopes of capturing the horse, but as you can see from the picture, the lights from the carriage show up but you can’t see the horse and carriage.

Lights from a horse and carriage in front of the Lightner Museum in St. Augustine, Florida.

I do not have an external flash and didn’t want to use the one with the camera.  A straight on flash can result in an unpleasant bounce back of the light.  Regis came up with the idea of setting off his flash while my shutter was still open.  He stood at an angle from me.  We got this trolley going by and I liked how this worked out.

Trolley in front of the Lightner Museum in St. Augustine, Florida.

We just needed another horse and carriage.  Of course, now that we had a plan, there were none available coming down the street in front of the museum.  We waited, and waited, and waited, and waited and gave up.  If I was a professional photographer, I would have hired one of the carriages to go around the block a half dozen times so I could take pictures.  We have some guests coming into town later this month.  Perhaps I can get them to be passengers and I’ll pay for their ride to be my models.

Anyway, we headed back to the main thoroughfare on the water front where most of the horses were and couldn’t get a good shot.  So, I took pictures of the Bridge of Lions instead.

Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine, Florida.

The trolleys run through town covered in lights, full of merry passengers, and playing Holiday tunes.  Many times the passengers are singing as they go by.  Lots of them yell Merry Christmas to you.  You can’t help but have your spirits lifted after a walk through St. Augustine around the holidays.

St. Augustine, Florida
St. Augustine, Florida

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