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AWOL at Blackpool Lightpool Festival

A camera person films a mother and child in front of a large illuminated blackpool sign
Filming at the iconic blackpool sign

In the heart of Blackpool, a mesmerising spectacle unfolded as the town centre transformed into a canvas of light and art during the annual Lightpool Festival. The event showcased a diverse range of art installations that illuminated the night, capturing the imaginations of both locals and visitors alike.

As the sun dipped below the horizon, Blackpool's iconic landmarks became the backdrop for an enchanting dance of lights. From dynamic light projections on historical buildings to interactive displays that awed the gathered audience, every moment was a visual feast.

Although capturing art and shining lights sounds simple, filming in low-light conditions presented its own set of challenges. We had to adapt to the constantly changing brightness levels, ensuring that we could record the vibrant hues not just of the lights themselves, but also the colourful glows across the faces of fascinated spectators.

Thankfully, we had just the cameras for such a wild range of luminance!

We decided from the start that to match the client's vision of capturing the magic and wonder that art and light can bring, we needed to maximise its natural glow, hence out came the diffusion filters to add that soft, fuzzy halation and spread the vibrancy across the frame - bringing light to the darker areas.

A family stand amongst trailing lights taking a selfie
Families enjoyed the range of art installations on offer around the town centre

Of course it wouldn’t be a proper Lancastrian shoot without a solid downpour, and whilst the crew may have shivered at the thought of bracing themselves against the wind and rain of the unpredictable Fylde Coast, it didn’t stop the crowds from amassing in their hundreds, nor did it deter our Director of Photography, who opted for the unusual decision to let the rain stay on the lenses. Whilst this may seem an unusual approach, sometimes you have to get creative with the elements around you and letting a few drops of water drip across the filters created a kaleidoscopic effect that spread out from the lights, accentuating their colours.

With the footage now making its way through post production, we can’t wait to see how the finished video looks… I suspect it will be a lot of fun in the colour grading suite with this one!

A camera stands in the rain in front of an illuminated Blackpool Tower
Capturing the tower in the rain

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