8 December 2013, 5pm on a Sunday evening. A late decision to get in the Christmas spirit and make our way to Speers Point for Carol’s in the Park.
I was worn out from another very busy weekend in this 2013 silly season. However, crazy as it may be I decided to round up the family and head for the Carols by Candle Light in Speers Point Park. Of course I had my Olympus OMD-EM5 17mm 1.8 by my side however this was more about the kids and fun then a photography expedition.
The traffic to get there took me back to my days sitting on the M5 in Sydney. It was grid locked and parking was at a premium as people came from all over the Hunter to light a candle, sing and bring in this Christmas season together. Our decision to attend the event was at the last minute so there was no preparation and we ended up in the back third of the park which was a long way from the stage. A heard people had been there from mid afternoon to secure their prime postions.
On arrival there was a sea of candle holders spreading from one end of the park to the other. Unfortunately, the stage, screens and sound was set up for more like 500 revelers not the 2000 that attended the event. However, that did not upset the spirit of Christmas as the sea of candles swayed from side to side. I feel most of the revelers on the perimeters simply used the night as a good excuse to get out and catch up with friends and family as the discussions appeared louder then the singing.
This was bit of let down as there was performances from some great local artists, the McClymonts and Australian Idol winner Damien Leith. I did take the kids to the stage for a sing, dance and to capture some of the moments.
The Olympus EM5 performs great in low light with the 17mm 1.8. All these pictures are captured at an aperture between 1.8 and 3.5. The slowest shutter at 1/20 (handheld). With the 5 axis stabilisation of the OMD you can comfortably go down to 1/20 without the blur.
The only issue at events such as this is the focal length of the 17mm 1.8 which gives a 34mm equivalent field of view. This means you really need to be up close and personal to get a portrait from this lens and at an event such as this, it is impossible. A 75mm 1.8 would have been handy or even the much cheaper 45mm 1.8. However, you can only use what is in the bag and have no excuses.
Some more images of my walk around.
At 9pm the night ended in fireworks of which I was setup with a tripod. However, we all know that the best of plans can go sour with a 3yo. He could not handle the explosions and was running away scared and screaming. Therefore, I pressed the shutter a single time and ran to his aid. Oh well.
There is something going on in Lake Macquarie over Christmas each week. I may have to have a Friday night on the Bay and tell you all about that as well. Hope you all enjoy the lead into Christmas. It is coming quick with only 16 sleeps to go.