Saturday, December 11, 2010

Luminario - Winter Snapshots & Japanese Lantern Festival

Luminario, the Japanese light festival at University of Alberta's Devonian Gardens, just west of Edmonton, was a simplistic, but elegant display. At first, I was disappointed by the lack of colour & culture, expecting to be educated on the lanterns, their significance and the role of the Japanese dancers who were featured on the advertisement, but were nowhere in sight.

Lanterns were made of paper bags and white candles gingerly placed in the snow to light up the winding path. No colour, no culture.

Then, as we watched the lights and chatted, I was gently reminded that perhaps it's best to go to events like these with no expectations, and just enjoy the experience.

Instead of Japanese dancers, we were greeted by cheery, Christmas carolers and much needed hot cider. Despite having on my merino wool MEC base layers, hat, gloves and jacket, I was still freezing (mostly my toes, actually - I think I need winter socks; definitely new boots anyway!)

The fire pits located at various intervals were definitely a warm welcome. We huddled around the fire, talking to others who ventured the -20 degree weather (no wind, thankfully!). If you take a close look, you can see (through the wintery frost, a group of us huddled, watching the carolers in reindeer like, lit-up headdresses.

The quality of these photos is why I can't wait to get started on my online composition course, Secrets of Better Photography, by Metro College. I just can't wait until my 4 days off at Christmas to blog, take pictures, and learn!

Below, a word from Kiara...

"Hey! I thought I'd poke my long Labrador nose into my mom's blog post and interupt, as I do in her daily, off-line life. We got to roll around in the snow and take some awesome pictures. It took forever to try to make the snow look bluish, but mom's taking a photography course to learn more about colours and how to catch me when I get waaay too excited and roll around faster than her camera lens can handle. I'm a whole fifteen months old now, but I still love visiting Santa - see below. This year Santa wouldn't let me sit on his lap - even though I'm well within my weight range (really, I wish I could eat all the food I want, but all of my human family just won't let me...some rambling about hip dysplasia or something). There were sooooo many puppies waiting in line with me; it was a blast!"

Frame 1:"Ok, Santa, I guess you can grab my leash"

Frame 2: "Mmm---you have candy? cookies? treats? Ok, I'll sit still and salivate"

...3 seconds later

Frame 3: "Oh, c'mon, mom, snap that picture already - I'm getting boooorred!"

As I put together my first December entry, I can't believe we are nearly halfway through this month! Stay tuned for Candy Cane Lane, Fort Edmonton Park's Christmas Reflections and some end of the month holiday fun at my place, coming soon.

Here's to a few weeks off studying, a few days off working, and Happy, photo-blogging Holidays!

No comments: