Andy and I went to Glendale Glitter and Glow tonight. We should have known it was going to be crowded when we got over to Glendale Community College to catch the shuttle bus and had to wait in line for over a half-hour. It seemed that all of Maricopa County had decided to enjoy the mild winter evening and head to the festival. When we got off the bus in downtown Glendale, it was like swimming upstream to spawn just to get around in the crowd of people.
I had considered taking my tripod with me, but at the last minute decided against it based on the crowd. I saw two or three other people with tripods under their arms as well, but there simply wasn’t a good place to set up for a timed exposure (not to mention that my cable release still hasn’t arrived). So all my shots were hand-held, using the “Nightime Landscape” program setting for the most part.
The hot air balloons are always fun to photograph, but you have to point your camera and wait patiently for the operator to decide to fire up the propane tank, creating the “glow” that makes everyone “ooh” and “aah”. There are lots of Christmas lights in the trees, giving the area a festive atmosphere.
However, this year it seems like they changed the way things were arranged. They had all the food vendors together in one place that was fenced in to contain the alcohol, so the crowd naturally gravitated to that area. There were huge lines waiting for food, and it was almost impossible to walk through Murphy Square for the congestion. We managed to find a pretty decent band that was playing on the east side of the square, but by the time we fought our way through the crowd to see them, we were ready to leave.
I was disappointed that I didn’t get more good shots, but I came away with about 25 that were decent. I was more disappointed that the festival was so congested that we really couldn’t enjoy it…we left early and went to Applebees.