The Berlin Festival of Lights

The Berlin Festival of Lights

This week I’ve been sifting through a load of old pictures which is a great exercise in procrastination if ever there was one.

Most of them will never see the light of day outside of our own four walls because they were taken in pre-digital days in the form of prints or transparencies, but here are some that were taken digitally in 2015.

Each October since 2004 Berlin brightens up the Autumn evenings by staging the Festival of Lights.

Landmark buildings and monuments are turned into an amazing light art festival, and although there’s not much to say about them, I’ve decided to include a selection as a gallery for posterity.

The first set of pictures are of Berlin Cathedral, which you can read more about here. This installation was created by Thierry Noir from Berlin.

The Hotel de Rome may not be on the list of Berlin’s impressive landmarks, but its contribution to the Festival of Lights was certainly impressive.

Unlike the Berliner Dom, this was a work of art in 3D motion and would have been much better if I had taken a video of it.

The theme represented the Far East and included a dragon that seemed to stretch out into the crowd. Difficult to capture these things on a still camera but quite breathtaking.

It was a murky night for taking pictures of the TV Tower but in a way added to the atmosphere.

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Each year the focal point of the Festival of Lights is the Brandenburg Gate, and in 2015 there was an exciting 3D display lasting half an hour.

There were entries from 6 different countries making up the display and the audience were given the opportunity to vote for their favourite. The contestants were from Spain, France, Poland, Hungary, Australia and a joint effort from Germany and Bulgaria who were the eventual winners.

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22 thoughts on “The Berlin Festival of Lights

  1. toonsarah

    This looks great – I love Berlin and a festival like this would be a good excuse to return one day! We have had similar in London more recently and I agree that video can be useful for the moving displays even though like you I prefer taking stills most of the time 🙂

    Reply
    1. Malc Post author

      Thanks for taking a look Sarah. I think you would enjoy the Berlin Festival of Lights although I think I’ve seen enough of these things for now

      Reply
  2. Stuart Templeton

    that’s a very impressive light display for sure and some great photos Malc – I don’t know if you needed video, I think the still capture it really well. Like Alli mentioned, I love the TV tower – very atmospheric.

    Reply
    1. Malcolm Post author

      I’ve never been keen on taking videos to be honest Stuart. I prefer trying to capture a moment in time, but video is better in some circumstances I suppose. Thanks again for taking a look

      Reply
      1. Stuart Templeton

        I love the fact we still call it video! When was the last time you recorded on one 😀 I sometimes feel like getting out the old High-8 recorder and giving it a while. I’m with you though – I prefer stills but sometimes you have to capture motion.

        Reply
        1. Malcolm Post author

          I know what you mean. I remember when it seemed like a good idea to transfer a cine film onto a video cassette 🙂

          Reply
  3. Alli Templeton

    What an awe-inspiring sight this must have been, to be among all these fabulous light shows, Malcolm! Sorry I’ve taken a couple of days to reach this beautiful post, but we’ve been away in North Yorkshire and I haven’t been able to do any blogging. The first picture really appealed because of the purple lights (my colour)! And I agree that the misty sky around the TV tower adds to the effect. And I love the idea of the dragon reaching out to the crowd. It looks as though the Berlin Festival of Lights is a wonderful sight to see, and I hadn’t even known they had one over there. Thanks for sharing this with us. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Malcolm Post author

      These sort of events do lift the spirits in an urban environment that’s for sure.
      I’m always happy to receive your thoughtful comments at any time Alli: I’m sure North Yorkshire has more to offer than one of my humble offerings 🙂
      I hope you were up there for pleasure because it’s a wonderful part of the country. I’d be interested to know if you managed to visit any castles while you were there.

      Reply
      1. Alli Templeton

        Hi Malcolm, it’s always a pleasure reading your posts. And I love light festivals, so this was a real treat.

        Yorkshire was mainly pleasure, so absolutely, I got to lose myself for hours in Richmond castle which I found hugely impressive – especially the keep, and the views. We also spent a wonderful evening at the coast at Filey – a treat for Maddie. I don’t know whether you know it, but it’s a very pretty stretch of coastline just south of Scarborough and it’s got a good history trail too. We walked for a few miles enjoying the clear sky and the full moon’s reflection across the lively sea and the glistening wet sand. And there was a lighthouse in operation too. Very special atmosphere there. Maddie was in heaven. So, as you can imagine, we weren’t in any rush to come home… 🙂

        Reply
        1. Malcolm Post author

          I’m familiar with Richmond but not Filey. My experience of the Yorkshire coast is limited to the area between Robin Hoods Bay and Staithes which includes Whitby of course.
          It sounds as though you and Maddie had a thoroughly good time. I just love moonscapes with the light shimmering across the water; it always reminds me of the song ‘Moondance’ by Van Morrison 🙂

          Reply
          1. Alli Templeton

            Yes, Filey was pretty special. Maddie was besotted. I’d never seen the moonscape over the sea like that before, so it had a lasting impact on me too. I see what you mean about ‘Moondance’! Maddie had us listening to The Longest Johns as we were by the sea. They’re from Bristol: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70wkdqX8HP0

            Reply
            1. Malcolm Post author

              You’re never going to believe this Alli but I’m in the process of writing a post on the beaches of St Ives and wondering whether to include ‘The Island’ or not – the exact spot where the Longest Johns are performing their song in that You Tube clip. How weird is that?
              They sound good don’t they?

              Reply
              1. Alli Templeton

                Oh my goodness, Malc – that’s beyond weird – we must be psychic! Yes, they do sound good – I have to admit I’ve found a real liking for them since Maddie introduced me to them. They’re very talented, and their songs are so evocative. I’d like to take Maddie to see them perform one day. Very much looking forward to your St Ives post then! I’m just doing an Easter one. Happy Easter 🙂

                Reply
                1. Malcolm Post author

                  If you can get to see them in the appropriate environment they’ll sound even better I reckon.
                  I tend to keep out of the way of the crowds on a weekend like this, so it gives me an opportunity to write up a post to keep me out of mischief. Enjoy the Easter weekend and I’m already looking forward to your next post.
                  🙂

                  Reply
                  1. Alli Templeton

                    Should be up now. I’m just like you, and avoid crowds at all costs. That’s why we went to Yorkshire before this weekend! I’d love to take Maddie to see the Longest Johns in the right environment – good point there. I’ll have to look into it. 🙂

                    Reply
        1. Malcolm Post author

          As you say, they’re everywhere now. I’m tempted to say that I think there are too many, but they certainly brighten up the dark autumn and winter nights

          Reply

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