Patrington Christmas Lights

Last night I went with KCFM to another Christmas light switch on event, this time in Patrington.

I have learned from doing the previous events that the presenters will be very active, that the lighting would be poor and that the weather could be poor. I had chatted with the presenters and the street team about what they did last year and what I could expect. I was told that the main street would be closed off, that there would be a few market type stalls, that there wouldn’t be a stage and that Santa would arrive in a fire engine to switch the lights on. Matt who presents the breakfast show and Amy who presents the Late Night Love Affair show would introduce the various activities throughout the evening.

It was a clear and very cold night so I was pleased that I had fully charged my batteries as the cold can cause them to drain much quicker than usual.

We began by visiting several of the shops in Patrington in order to record some clips for a breakfast show feature called ‘Up Your Street’. A few were shy, some were too busy but the staff in Newtons Fish and Chip Shop were very keen to talk to us. They were giving away free chips to any children that took part in the event later in the evening and they were also selling candy floss and had a chocolate fountain that would help them raise money for an ITV Christmas appeal.

We spoke to a few others and made our way back up to the Christmas tree. A small stage had been erected and two players from the Scorpions Ice Hockey team had arrived as had two players from Hull Kingston Rovers. They were here to have their photograph taken and give away signatures to fans.

Just before the event started the KCFM Street Team, began to give away KCFM flags to the children that were gathering. I had been a bit hesitant about photographing the children last time but this time I was determined to be a bit more confident. I approached several families and asked if I could take photos of their children with the flags for use on the Internet – everyone I spoke to was very happy.

It was very dark in the street and the stage was lit from the back by two small spotlights. I set my camera to ISO 3200 and my aperture to f5.6, adjusting my shutter speed to compensate for whether I was looking into the light or not. A photographer from the local Gazette was also taking photos and he commented that I was not using a flash. I am not keen on using a flash and much prefer to make best use of the ambient light around. I had thought about using a tripod, but because of the expected crowd and because I wanted the flexibility to move around quickly I chose to leave it at home.

I tried to capture all the elements of the event including the presenters and street team at work, but also some of the atmosphere of the night. I hadn’t been aware that Rory, the Hull City Mascot would be there but I tried to capture images of him high-fiving the crowd.

The crowd was one of the main issues I faced and a bit of disorganisation on the part of the event organisers. When the children from the junior school get onto the stage to sing a few carols there seemed to be very few people supervising them, the onlookers pushed forward and I was given no choice but to move out of the way. Santa gave every child a present as they came off the stage but again the crowd was too close for me to get any decent photos. I had also asked if I could get a photo of the presenters with the ice hockey and football players but the players left before the end of the event.

These are some of the photos that I took last night.