Float the Boat 2017

There was an interesting event on last Friday and Saturday near where I live in Lake Macquarie – the first annual Float the Boat parade, with over 20 boats decked out with bright lights sailing to light up the lake.

The idea was inspired by some of the flotilla light festivals that have been very successful overseas and the idea was to follow both sides of the lake, with Friday night’s flotilla starting at Marmong Point Marina and ending in Belmont, with the parade on Saturday night ending in Wangi Wangi.

I caught the parade at Belmont on the Friday and it was a really fun event – it was very cold and overcast but thankfully the rain held off and seeing all the boats and yachts lit up was fantastic. Some of the designs were very inventive as well; there was one of a shark I particularly liked and a lot of the kids watching nearby loved it too.

Taking photos of the parade was an interesting challenge. I enjoy night photography but it’s not often that I’d choose to shoot fast-moving subjects at night as it’s very hard to capture them without motion blur and my gear isn’t what you’d choose for the situation.

So I ended up settling for a bit of a compromise by trying to exaggerate the motion to create some interesting shapes, then once the boats had finished I walked round to the Belmont 16s and took some photos of the boats themselves. I quite like how the photos came out in the end.

I also took this video which shows some of the parade out on the lake.

It was a really fun event. The plan is for it to become an annual event and be even bigger next year so I look forward to seeing it again in 2018.

Photos and video © CJ Levinson 2017

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