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This is one of my favourite festivals but I don’t get along to it as often as I would like. The crowds at night can be overwhelming and it can be impossible to find anywhere to park. The Auckland Lantern Festival is celebrated on the first full moon following the Chinese New Year, and this year it celebrated the Year of the Snake. The snake, apparently, represents wisdom and intuition, so I wonder why it always gets such a bad rap. The festival is a reminder of the tremendous influence Asian culture, especially food, is having on Auckland. There are dozens of stalls selling amazingly yummy stuff at the festival. Obviously if you are going to photograph lanterns it’s best to do so when it is dark as they shine brilliantly, but this year that wasn’t possible. And I actually found it a much better experience and easier to photograph with light in the sky. It also brings people into play who would otherwise be very hard to photograph. I think the lanterns are terrific! All photos were shot with a f1.4 50mm lens.

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