I discovered this last year completely by accident, when I went for a late evening walk… imagine a park, usually dark at night, illuminated by a myriad of faint lanterns hanging from the trees and whatnot. It was a magical experience, made even more so that it was completely unexpected… I did not know about the Lumiere Festival at the time.
This year, I took my wife along. We went a little earlier. Perhaps that was a mistake… perhaps the crowds just got bigger since last year. But crowds are one thing. It’s another thing altogether that just about every second (!), I was blinded by someone’s camera flash. Now I will not go on about the pointless stupidity of using a camera flash when you’re trying to photograph faint lanterns in the dark, as I got past that some forty years ago, at the age of six or thereabouts, when I was watching an ice skating event on television, complete with spectators using camera flashes high up in the seating area, perhaps hundreds of feet away from the competitors they were trying to photograph.
No, it’s the inconsiderateness that bugged me. The blasted flashes made it impossible to enjoy the sights… every time I stared at a faint lantern, trying to discern its shape (and some of them were quite beautiful and elaborate) some idiot flashed his camera in my face. At one point, I could stand it no more, and yelled back at the dark, in the direction of the multicolored swirl that was still on my retina, telling the unseen photographer that he is ruining it for everyone with the stupid flashes. In retrospect, I realize that I sounded just like Victor Meldrew from the British comedy, One Foot in the Grave. So much for the promise I made to myself years ago about not joining the club of grumpy old men prematurely!