Monday, December 21, 2009

12/16/09 Festival of Lights & Peoria, IL Riverfront

The Budweiser Clydesdales featured in the Festival of Lights display

Last Wednesday, I attended the 25th annual Festival of Lights Holiday Light Show in East Peoria, IL. After the show...I headed down to the Peoria, IL riverfront to get some photos of the downtown-area along the Illinois River. I've always wanted to get some night shots of this area when driving home during storm chases in central Illinois, but I usually find myself too eager to get some sleep after a busy chase day. Nevertheless, I found my way in this area last Wednesday night for the Festival of Lights so I figured this would be a perfect opportunity to shoot some photos of the Peoria, IL riverfront as well. As far as the holiday light show goes...since there are no areas to pull-over and take some photos using a tripod this was a daunting task to get the images I was able to grab on my Canon Rebel T1i. The reason for this: even with an IS lens any camera-shake will blur your photos when shooting night photography or the quality will be somewhat degraded without the use of a tripod. Also, don't forget you are "in- motion" driving through this area...that doesn't help image stabilization (IS) as well. Nevertheless, I still managed to grab quite a few spectacular photos without using a tripod. Here are some of the photos I took of the Festival of Lights and the riverfront below:

Only thing missing here is the NBC "chime" being heard
...oh and where's Tina Fey?

Triceratops in the dinosaur display
Know your dinosaurs?! Stegosaurus
Christmas tree on a train-car
More and more ducks all lined-up...
The Coca-Cola polar bear
Train "in-motion"
Huge whale display
This was a really cool shot with this display (foreground)
and the city of Peoria (background)
Oregon Trail: I do remember never try to "Ford the river"...
Budweiser Clydesdales yet again...
Hard to imagine the "attention-to-detail" in many of these displays

Here are a few photos of the downtown landscape along the Illinois River looking toward downtown Peoria, IL from across the river in East Peoria, IL.

Wide-angle shot of downtown Peoria, IL
(background) and the Illinois River (foreground) looking northwest
Wide-angle shot of the I-74 bridge
stretching across the Illinois River (looking northeast)
Downtown Peoria, IL shot (Canon telephoto-zoom lens)
Not as long as a exposure here (downtown Peoria, IL)

My first visit to the Festival of Lights Holiday Light Show was sure worth the ($5.00) I'd say...Hopefully, at some point I'll head back down to this area and shoot some more riverfront photos. I always have wanted to shoot some of the Moline, IL riverfront as well...hmm guess I'll save that for another day.