New narration piece "Lanterns To Let Go"...
I've always wanted to witness one of these night lantern festivals. Thinking that would only be possible via a trip through Southeast Asia, such as Thailand. So it was a pleasant surprise to find out The Lights Fest existed and was going to have a festival outside Sacramento California in February of 2018.
This piece was shot there on a cold night in a generally all white part of the state that was primarily packed with Asian folks that night. Perhaps the tradition brought every person of Asian descent from Sacremento, which is a mostly "folks of European descent" town. The ethnic mix was good and made for a more Eastern like experience. And a surreal experience at that. Seeing so much texture in the sky is a rare occurrence and making the effort to go to it yourself if the traveling roadshow is coming to a location near you is highly recommended.
On a tech wonk side note, this footage was shot using the anamorphic mad science project at 1600 ISO. Which the camera actually handled quite decently I must say. I find that V-Log color space is quite noisy in low light so this was shot in Cine Like D. So the dynamic range isn't the best but, fair enough. Anamorphic lenses are inherently a bit soft around the perimeter of the frame as well as when wide open. So all those factors make for footage which isn't quite what you might call "pin sharp", but is still passable at the high 6K resolution of the anamorphic frame and I'm not complaining as to the material we captured that night. The GH5 checks every box in my dream rig book short of its low light capabilities. Even the GH5s doesn't eat low light in an incredible way which inherently is a limitation of a smaller sensor. However, I have shot some low light footage on the Black Magic Micro Cinema Camera which I must say performed better in low light than the GH5 with a more clean look. And that's a small frame camera so go figure. Inevitably, unless the GH line perfects its current low light ability into the realm of amazing, a Sony A7s something is in my future.
Sky lanterns are an age old ritual throughout Asia and much of the rest of the world.
They are oftentimes used in night festivals for a variety of reasons:
for celebrations and other special occasions;
to be present in the moment as your single flame rises with thousands of others;
for personal reflection, good luck, or sharing wishes, dreams, and goals.
Releasing lanterns can be a beautiful metaphor for letting go or releasing problems and letting them sail away into the dark abyss above.
Watching a lantern rise helps to show how we can release habits or behaviors that tie us down and no longer serve us.
As well as perhaps show that our problems are similar to the problems of others.
Witnessing a sea of light makes for an ethereal and surreal experience.