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by Michael Petersen


Welcome to the Michael Petersen Photography blog! 

Today, we're thrilled to take you on a visual journey through one of Cairns' most enchanting annual events—the Cairns Festival's mesmerizing light display. As a seasoned photographer in Cairns, I've had the privilege of capturing the radiant spectacle of light and color that graces our city during this extraordinary celebration.

In this blog post, we'll delve into the art of capturing the Cairns Festival's light display, showcasing its beauty and brilliance through the lens of a dedicated Cairns photographer. Join me as we explore the magic of this event and discover the secrets to creating captivating photographs that truly encapsulate its essence.

The Cairns Festival: 

A Celebration of Light and Culture

Every year, the Cairns Festival transforms our city into a vibrant tapestry of light, sound, and culture. This multi-day event celebrates Cairns' rich diversity and artistic spirit, and it culminates in a breathtaking light display that illuminates the night sky. The festival provides the perfect canvas for photographers in Cairns to showcase their skills and capture the heart of our community.

Preparing for the Perfect Shot:

To capture the essence of the Cairns Festival's light display, preparation is key. As a professional photographer in Cairns, here are some tips I swear by:

Scouting the Location: 

Visit the festival venue before the event begins to familiarize yourself with the best vantage points and potential obstacles that may affect your shots.

Equipment Matters:

 Bring the right gear. A tripod is essential for stabilizing your camera during long exposures, and a variety of lenses can help you achieve different creative effects.

Mastering Camera Settings:

 Understand your camera's manual settings, especially aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. This knowledge will allow you to adapt to changing lighting conditions and achieve the desired effects.

The Art of Capturing Light Displays:

During the Cairns Festival, the city becomes a canvas of vibrant colors, patterns, and movements. To create stunning photographs, consider these techniques:

Long Exposure Magic:

 Use long exposure settings to capture the trails of light and create mesmerizing light streaks, giving your photos a dreamy quality.


 Pay attention to composition. Experiment with different angles, perspectives, and framing to create visually striking images.

People in the Frame: 

Incorporate festival-goers into your shots to add depth and a sense of scale to the photographs, highlighting the human element of the event.

Post-Processing and Sharing:

Once you've captured your images, the journey continues with post-processing. Edit your photos to enhance colors, contrast, and clarity, while ensuring they maintain a natural and vibrant look. Use photo editing software to fine-tune your shots and bring out their full potential.

Sharing your Cairns Festival light display photographs on your website and social media channels, optimized with keywords like "photographer in Cairns" and "Cairns photography," can help showcase your work to a wider audience. Encourage your followers to share their own experiences and memories of the event.


The Cairns Festival's light display is a true testament to the beauty and culture of our city. As a photographer in Cairns, capturing this spectacle is both an honor and a challenge. With the right preparation, equipment, and techniques, you can create breathtaking photographs that not only showcase your talent but also immortalize the magic of the festival for all to see.

I hope this guide inspires you to explore the Cairns Festival's light display through your lens and share your unique perspective with the world. Happy shooting, and may your photographs illuminate the beauty of Cairns for years to come!

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