Saturday, November 19, 2011

it's that time again

Between bites of dinner this evening I ventured out onto our cold 7th floor balcony to snap a few pictures of the Festival of Lights, Halifax's annual holiday parade. Even though my camera complained about being confused, the pictures it captured were considerably more exciting than the event itself. It's the kind of parade that nobody would go out to see if it happened in daylight. Trucks, buses, the Harbor Hopper, and even the Purolator delivery van covered in Christmas lights drove by in slow procession, each and every one playing 1950's holiday music at the loudest possible volumes their freshly installed sound systems would allow.

If you can imagine Brenda Lee singing 'Rockin Around the Christmas Tree' bumper to bumper with Gene Autry's version of 'Frosty the Snowman' closely followed by Chubby Checker doing 'The Jingle Bell Rock' I'm sure you'll get the gist. I can hardly bear to mention listening to the combination of Burl Ives 'Holly Jolly Christmas' and Bing's 'White Christmas' when a traffic jam stranded them out front for ten minutes. Do you ever wonder why it is that popular Christmas music seems frozen in an earlier time?

Anyway, the pictures are kind of neat in a weird way. Between my shivering and the moving vehicles it actually looks like a high tech art event. Who knows? Maybe they'll convince tons of tourists to stop by next late November. But probably not you.

Did I capture a little bokeh?


  1. Nice colors - i like it. Here in nortwestern Maine we have a parade on Chester Greenwood's day (the inventer of the earmuff.) It is mostly fire trucks.
    the Ol'Buzzard

  2. Bokeh, eh? Another new word. Yes, these are fantastic shots, and aren't you lucky to be high up over the parade route to get these shots. Earmuffs a la Chester Greenwood would have been a good thing.

  3. mucho cooloh!! i had to look Bokeh up.... great word - and i'll keep it!! fab pictures! nice use of bokeh effect (see, it's already part of my vocabulary :o) ..... low of -29 here tonight, and we have 8 inches of snow.

  4. Everything is a hi tech art event if you look at it the right way. You and your camera found the way that night. Nice images.

  5. Well, isn't that just so Nova Scotia quaintlyness! (if that's a word)

    Bokeh. A new word to add to my art vocabulary. :-)

  6. ol'buzzard - A parade in honor of the man who invented earmuffs should be held in every northern community.

    marja-leena - I discovered the word for the first time a few months ago and found it it be an excellent description for what can happen by accident :-)

    gfid - It is a good word for the surprising effects I discovered after the event. Last year the parade came as a surprise on the 21st leaving me to think it was being held in honor of my birthday. It's been very windy here (26mph this morning) but so far no snow.

    mrmacrum - Yes, a camera in the hand of an unskilled photographer can create unexpected magic results. It's all in the way we look at things.

    gina - The natives may be quaint but that doesn't mean they're not cunning. One day I'll tell you about the vandalism our poor car has suffered here in our secure parking garage.

    Bokeh is a good word that describes some marvelous effects when done deliberately :-)

  7. Hard to tell if there is bokeh, Might be in the first shot. it is a great word though isn't it!

  8. good evening my dear... i loved these, they remind me of the ones i always end up with when i try to capture the full moon. :) i do like them too, i like to take photos moving things(like me) at the same time because i like the way they sometimes turn out, especially at night. they are certainly more interesting than the parade you might have captured were you not freezing to death in the dark! xoxox & i like the new word for tonight. :)

  9. Hi Susan
    Lovely shots of the Halifax Festival of Lights, and I can imagine Brenda Lee singing 'Rocking around the Christmas Tree' and Chubby Checker etc. I don’t think we will tire of those scenes/ music which will remain frozen yet firmly etched into some celebrations everywhere.
    I trust you’re continuing to enjoy the simple things like cooking reading writing and adding to your lovely paintings and drawings.

  10. Aw yiss, I dig these muchlie. Lightning from the gods.

    Good question about the Christmas tunes, though. Maybe in this secular, jaded age, we still need a tie to a past real or imagined or both, and what's easier than the old standards, and I can see them remaining the same 'cause that's what will be in Company X's Xmas To-Do List.

  11. jams - Nah, I didn't manage any bokeh with these but I love it when it's done well and it is a great word. You've managed it a few times that I can remember.

    linda - Oh my camera was so unhappy. Both on the auto setting and the slower ones I had to hold the shutter release for up to 10 seconds while the screen said 'processing' and the click finally came. The results were amusing enough to post but I won't be out there trying to photograph the full moon in January. Brrrr.

    lindsay - I'm glad to see you've been for a visit again and happy too you enjoyed the pictures. I hope all is well with you now that it's almost high summer Down Under.

    randal - I couldn't help but think of you as I stood out there with my camera that's just two steps up from a Brownie.

  12. ... and on the topic of music.... maybe its cuz i'm a fiddler and harpist, but i tend to like the really really old obscure Christmas stuff, pre sound recordings, played with lush, plummy harmonies and wooden flutes and viols and ceramic drums and just a little brass.

  13. AND happy birthday!!!! i'll bet you're out painting Halifax... or not ;0) you're just a day younger than my youngest lad.

  14. I will not go to any parade that requires me to wear more than shorts ANd sandals.
    Happy BDay!

  15. The older songs are still better so that's why they continued to be played. When newer songs are created that are just as good they'll be incorporated into the x-mas repertoire. For now most new x-mas songs are not so great and don't deserve that many plays.

    Neat light effects on these pictures :)

  16. The images are quite marvelous, especially that last one! Um, let's put it this way: if I ever have a chance to visit you there I will not schedule it around this event!!!

    Saw a bit of the American Music Awards the other night. After watching Justin Bieber sing a new holiday song off of his new holiday album (yawn) I guess I understand why the old pop holiday songs remain in favor. :)

  17. gfid - I must admit I'm generally drawn more to the much older music too. I love Christmas carols as well so I try to find a performance every year. Churches are usually good for that. And every Christmas I'll find some quiet time to listen to all of the music from the Nutcracker because my parents gave me the album one Christmas when I was small. Sitting by our tree with all the other lights out was my favorite thing.

    and thank you :-) - I'm officially very old now.

    okjimm - I feel the same way and that's why I spent only ten minutes on the balcony.

    liberality - Yes, they are but I can't help but remember it was the 50's and early 60's when the huge commercialization of Christmas first began. Nowadays you can't go into store in the US after Hallowe'en where they're not playing the same songs non-stop. I'd remember them more fondly otherwise. Anyway, the first part of the parade was kind of fun and the kids were enjoying themselves enormously.

    Thanks for the good wishes :-)

  18. lydia - I hadn't seen your comment until I finished writing. The parade is pretty weird but I was never big on going to them anyway. However, when one passes your window it's hard not to look.

    Isn't Justin Bieber the current lip syncher in chief? Yes, I'd rather listen to Chubby Checker too.

  19. These are cool. Number Two looks like a very interesting painting.

  20. cr - I'm glad you like them even though the results were totally accidental.