I had seen lots of excited references to London's Lumiere festival over my timeline recently so when a friend suggested we do a photo tour of the installations followed by dinner I was all up for it. Especially the dinner part but hey, I thought, the photography might be fun too.
We met on the Sunday evening, the last night of the spectacle. It was a wet, miserable night. A rain down the back of your neck and seeping into your shoes kinda night when sensible people stay indoors. except mostly, it seemed, they hadn't.
Every installation we visited was surrounded by crowds of people with the same aim as us. (haha- dodgy photography pun!)
There was barely a soul who didn't have some form of image capturing device held up from smart phones to enormous professional looking set-ups.
Because I am short and not dedicated enough to the art of photography to barge my way to the front or wait hours for the sea of people to part, my pictures are rubbish. Unless you are feeling kindly disposed then they are an artistic interpretation of the event which features the brolly and phone wielding tourists as an integral part of the installation itself. You choose.
I saw lots of cold, crying children so my advice if you fancy it another time or in another city is take snacks, wear weatherproof clothing and build in breaks - the whole thing was spread across the city so our decision to eat dinner at the wonderful Cafe Pacifico part way through our tour was a good one giving us chance to rest, refuel and warm up.
And as a courtesy note, If you visit one of these fabulous festivals, do everyone a favour -wear a coat with a hood and leave the brolly at home. Most of our views were ruined by flapping umbrellas.