Tag Archives: Parade

Lantern Parade

16 March ’13

For the last few years the Palmerston Festival of Cultures has kicked off with a community Lantern Parade.  We went as a family a couple of years ago – I don’t know why we didn’t attend last year, we must have had something else on that weekend.

There are many different beliefs about the origin of lantern festivals, however, it is likely to have had something to do with celebrating and cultivating positive relationships between people, families, nature and the higher beings that were believed to be responsible for bringing or returning the light each year.

Billy (with a bit of persuasion – it’s hard to prize him away from a ‘screen’ sometimes)  came with me to check out this year’s parade.

It’s the Chinese Year of the Snake, so the parade was lead by a fabulous snake lantern named Gerald.  Not a very Chinese name, but I guess he is a Kiwi snake.

Lantern Parade

Gerald the Snake Lantern

Amongst the community lanterns that followed Gerald were the zodiac lanterns from the previous years.  I’d love to know where these fabulous paper creations Continue reading

Week51 – A Cheat

17th – 23rd Dec ’11

So busy with Christmas preparations, I did not pick up my camera this week.  So instead I’ve created a video slide show of the shots from last weekend’s Ashhurst Christmas parade.

Ashhurst Community Christmas Parade 

Week50 – MIRs (Men in Red)

10-16 Dec ’11

The Christmas season is upon us – the community parade on Saturday, then the Fire Brigade family Christmas party on Sunday.  And the weather gods smiled on us.

A Tale of Two Santas

 Wanting to relax and enjoy the days, I decided to set my camera on Aperture priority.  I set the aperture such that the depth of field would allow a wide area of focus.  I could relax knowing that the shutter speed would look after itself as the sun was playing chasey with the clouds.

The parade was fantastic.  And of course the star of the show is Santa.  I walked along with the end of the Parade until Santa’s sleigh was backed by trees (the other background choices are not very photogenic).

Ashhurst Parade

Christmas Parade Santa

 F-stop                  f/7.1
Exposure time     1/1250sec
ISO speed             ISO-200
Focal length         42mm 

The bright mid-day sun meant the camera chose a fast shutter speed.

My Lovely Man volunteered to play Santa at the kids’ party.

Ashhurst Volunteer Fire Brigade

Fire Brigade Santa

 F-stop                 f/8
Exposure time     1/50sec
ISO speed           ISO-200
Focal length         55mm 

Under the trees, shaded from the hot afternoon sun, the camera chose a much slower shutter speed.  It is somewhat slower than I would choose myself for shooting handheld. Luckily it worked out OK. Lesson learned – when letting the camera choose the settings, make sure those settings are actually going to  produce useable pictures.

Week46 – Promotions

12 – 18 Nov ’11

The retirement of the Deputy Chief has meant some promotions and a reshuffle of the Brigade hierarchy.   A get-together with family members was held at the station to present the new ranks.

On Parade

I knew that the Parade was to be held outside, and expecting to need a wider angle capacity, I went with the 18-125mm.  I still lack faith in this lens, and it’s tendency to warp horizontals is annoying, but I knew the nifty-fifty would not comfortably give me the coverage I needed.  And also I wanted to be able to get close in to the action of the presentations, without having to be right up there.

Blake thought Daddy needed a hug before proceedings got under way.

Ashhurst Fire Brigade

Junior Cadet

Exposure time   1/200 sec
F-stop               f/8
ISO                   ISO-250
Focal length      55mm

This kind of candid, moment-in-time shot is the type that I love to capture.

My Lovely Man, the new DCFO, was presented with his  rank epaulets and helmet by  John Bragg, the retired DCFO.   I am very proud of him, of his commitment Continue reading

Week13 – Festival of Cultures

26th March – 1st April ’11

I’ve cheated a teeny bit this week.  The first part of the blog is about an event that took place on Friday – so technically it’s part of last week. But Week12 already has two parts, making a third seemed a little over the top.  And the Lantern Parade really needs to be in the same post as the Fair, they’re both part of the Festival of Cultures.

All of the shots in this post were taken with my nifty-fifty. To avoid endless repitition I haven’t included focal length in the EXIF of the following photos.

To see all my shots from the Parade and the Festival, please go to Valley Photography

Community Cultural Lantern Parade

Friday evening turned out to be a perfect for the Parade.  The forecast rain held off, it was mild and there was no wind.  Hundreds of people gathered around the clock tower to enjoy the show.

The Clock Tower - Palmerston North Square

Aperture    f/1.8
Shutter Speed   1/160
ISO Speed         ISO400

While I like the composition of the shot, I’m not too happy with the technical aspects.  The clock face and tower are sharp, but the statue is rather soft.  I guess this is due to a combination of wide aperture/narrow DOF and the low light.  Lesson learned.

The Parade around the Square was lead by the Rabbit (it being the Year of the Rabbit, according to the Chinese calendar)The Tiger from last year followed, and then the lanterns made at various workshops by members of the community.

Rabbit Lantern - accompanied by Carrot Lantern

Aperture              f/1.8
Shutter Speed   1/160
ISO Speed           ISO400

Tiger Lantern - 2010 Year of the Tiger

Aperture               f/1.8
Shutter Speed   1/160
ISO Speed           ISO400

Bunny Lantern

Aperture         f/1.8
Shutter Speed   1/160sec
ISO Speed      ISO400

Community Lanterns

Aperture               f/1.8
Shutter Speed   1/160sec
ISO Speed           ISO400

The Parade was joined by the Massey University Fire Club.  This is a group of Massey students who get together once a week to practice fire spinning, breathing and eating.  They wowed the crowed with their tricks. Continue reading

Week6 – Apiti, 125 years young

5 – 11 Feb ’11

Shameless plug – images from the Parade are available for purchase at Valley Photography

I’d read about the upcoming 125th Jubilee celebrations in the paper, and figured a parade always makes for good photo ops.  We had no other plans for Saturday, so we packed up the boys (Cat was staying with a friend in town), some bottled water, cameras and an umbrella and set off to Apiti

From the parade programme –

Apiti & Districts 125th Jubilee                                                     4th, 5th and 6th of February 2011

In February 1885, a surveyor’s party inspected the 10,000 acres of the Apiti block with a view to settlement.  Following purchase of the land from the Government the heavy bush land was then surveyed in sections of approximately 100 acres each.  A ballot for the 82 rural sections was held in May 1886, the price being 1 pound per acre.  The first settlers took up their land within 6 weeks, spending months under canvas in the frosts of an Apiti winter.

The parade and displays are a tribute to our predecessors who withstood many hardships, that we might enjoy a better life.

There was a wonderful turnout of spectators, despite the rain – the colourful display of umbrellas adding to the festive atmosphere.  The Feilding & District Pipe Band lead a parade of antique and vintage vehicles, floats, horses, dogs and barmaids.  In an inspired move the organisers had the Parade follow a loop course, meaning that we saw the whole thing twice, once from the right and then again from the left (twice as many photo ops!).  The vehicles were arranged such that the old version was followed by its modern equivalent.  The horse drawn milk cart, driver in period costume, was followed by the new Fonterra tanker.  The antique grader towed behind an old tractor, followed by Higgins’ newest Volvo machine.   And the people!  A collection of colourful characters smiling and entertaining the crowd as the rain poured down…

The Stockman, the Clown and the Barmaid

The rainy, overcast sky had that giant soft box effect, deadening shadows and creating some amazingly vibrant colours.  All these shots have only had a minor adjustment to bring up the black level, and a little sharpening.  The colours are SOOC. Oh – the clown has had the colour from the background removed to help him stand out.

I’m fairly certain the stockmen were the real deal.  They looked a little overwhelmed by all the attention – and I don’t think their dogs had ever seen so many people.

Apiti 125 yrs

Week6 - The Stockman

Swagger the Clown.  What a charmer, he kindly tipped his hat to me when he saw

Continue reading