Our current time zone: GMT +8 (We're home in Singapore!)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Twas The Light Before Christmas

Every year in December, cariocas (natives of Rio) gather at Lagoa Rodrigo, a lake sitting between Ipanema and Corcovado (where Christ The Redeemer stands), to take in the sight of a giant beautifully lit Christmas tree.

The special feature of the tree is that it floats on the lake, creating a magical reflection of dazzling lights on the water surface. The idea was initiated by a private company, who designs and constructs it every year for the people of Rio.

The great thing about this simple act of giving, is that everybody - whether fortunate enough to be born in the upper crust of society or living a harder life in a favela - has a Christmas tree to call their own.

After staying in Rio for a week, we were convinced that we would be perfectly safe walking through Ipanema's streets at 10pm to the lake, and headed out to see the tree in its full sparkling glory.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, why are you so far away and so difficult to photograph without a tripod?

After gazing at the tree for a good 10 minutes and watching the various lighting designs twinkling in the dark, we whipped out our torchlight and set to work lighting up the skies around us.

The tree was too far away so we created our own tree, right in front of us!

Just to remind ourselves where we were....

My Spanish teacher in Singapore said after seeing this pic, that 'Rio' is the name of a woman. So Dan had better watch what he writes...

There were some life-sized wooden cut-outs of capybaras (the biggest rodents in the world, which look like giant guinea pigs) at the Amazonian Bar near where we were. We thought they looked rather un-festive sitting there in the dark - so we accessorised them.

It was suppose to be a fire-breathing unicorn-capybara. But it looks like it's wearing a party hat and blowing on a party streamer instead. Well, the poor thing had a broken hind leg, so whatever makes it happy.

We turned one into Rudolph by giving it a shiny nose and antlers. Dan made it happy by drawing in a proper hind leg for it, despite the original wooden leg being broken.

Not quite the picture of an angel despite the wings and halo

And with that, we wished everyone at the lake a Merry Christmas in advance in light graffiti and walked back to our inn at midnight - safe and sound!

I tried to write "Christmas" in full but screwed up. Dan did a better job here. Merry Christmas to all our readers!


Tracy Su said...

How did you get the lights to stick around long enough to photograph your graffiti? I hope this isn't a really dumb question, but it looks very cool =)

Yi Lin said...

Welcome to our blog Computer Help! I didn't realise that the title of the post was the same as an existing poem - shall check it out. Thanks!

As for how to do light graffiti: we used my DSLR:

1. Set it on shutter priority mode and scroll down till the shutter speed reading becomes "BULB". Set to lowest ISO (for my camera, it's 100)

2. Click and hold to open the shutter and leave it open. Be sure to hold the camera really still thru out. Or use a tripod.

3. Get a friend to start writing or drawing with a torch. He doesn't have to write fast. But the torch must be shining directly towards the camera as he writes.

4. When yr friend is done writing, release your hold on the camera so that the shutter closes.

Review your pic. You should have captured everything that your friend wrote/drew.

Dan's point-and-shoot works too, but the results are better when you can manually open and close the shutter as and when you want.

Try it! The fun is in trying over and over again with different doodles. It's a laugh - we promise!

Forever Living

Forever Living
Read about the products, then contact our wellness sponsor!
Related Posts with Thumbnails