Blue Mountains Winter Magic Festival

hands, heart, feet...

hands, heart, feet…

As a long time resident and professional photographer of the Blue Mountains I’ve always looked forward to the annual Blue Mountains Winter Magic Festival in june each year. The festival is held in the upper mountains township of Katoomba and revolves around the winter solstice every year. It’s a time for people to embrace and showcase their inner creative and flamboyant streaks by wearing a costume that reflects the annual theme of the festival. Each year the theme changes, this year it was peace and over the last few years it has been phoenix dreaming and historia…Every year there is a grand parade that makes its way up Katoomba street, cheered on by large crowds that line the sidelines. Each year crowds over 45 ooo+ people will come and visit the festival. There is a huge selection of stalls to browse through on the day and many performances take place at various venues of the course of the festival.

Over the last few years I’ve been one of the official photographers and I thought I would put together a small showreel of some of my favourite images that I’ve captured of this wonderful local festival over the last few years. I thought this year was the busiest in terms of just moving through the crowds, I personally struggled throughout the day as I felt pretty unwell and only shot a small portion of the day’s festivities. Luckily there is always plenty of local photographers on hand to showcase the event to the public via social media platforms. As always the event is organised by a group of tireless volunteers who do a great job of coordinating one of Australia’s biggest festivals..no small task i’m sure, and they do an outstanding job.

So sit back and scroll through some of the images that I have personally enjoyed capturing of the Blue Mountains Winter Magic Festival. I hope to see you there next year…..

cheers Ben

Website- benpearsephotography.com.au  Winter Magic Festival Website-http://www.wintermagic.com.au/

looking back at winter magic over the years

selfie time

selfie time

rhythm

rhythm

Strike a pose- Winter Magic 2013- low res

Strike a pose

Grand parade coming through

Grand parade coming through

Sweeney Todd & Mrs Lovett

Sweeney Todd & Mrs Lovett

Happy faces

Happy faces

romantic interludes

romantic interludes

Carrington hotel fireworks

Carrington hotel fireworks

smiles all round

smiles all round

street performers

street performers

marching to the beat of the drum

marching to the beat of the drum

little fairies

little fairies

tall people

tall people

wonderful volunteers

wonderful volunteers

having a good time

having a good time

scarey outfits

scarey outfits

traditional music

traditional music

colourful kids

colourful kids

knights of the realm

knights of the realm

blue mountains fans

blue mountains fans

marching bands

marching bands

fireworks in the mist

fireworks in the mist

great performers

great performers

eye popping acts

eye popping acts

captivated crowds

captivated crowds

what goes up must come down..

what goes up must come down..

getting there groove on

getting there groove on

stop on red

stop on red

talented youngsters

talented youngsters

boom shakalaka

boom shakalaka

show of hands

show of hands

burning off lunch

burning off lunch

little Harry potters

little Harry potters

cultural centre drumming

cultural centre drumming

church choirs

church choirs

Captain Jack is sure to be there

Captain Jack is sure to be there

checking the outfit

checking the outfit

viking encounters

viking encounters

long time participants

long time participants

beautiful costumes

beautiful costumes

yummy food

yummy food

redheads

redheads

funksters

funksters

jumping with joy

jumping with joy

happy helpers

happy helpers

festival favourites

festival favourites

thor

thor

great traditional dancers

Jo from Wagana

happy stall holders

happy stall holders

performing to the crowds

performing to the crowds

morning entertainment

morning entertainment

getting the shot

getting the shot

spidey deliveries

spidey deliveries

blast from the past

blast from the past

belly dancers

belly dancers

kids in colour

kids in colour

sun dancers

sun dancers

rock singers

rock singers

up on stage

Wagana performance

friendly pets

friendly pets

graffiti artists

graffiti artists

dressed in white

dressed in white

making news

making news

Mad hatters

Mad hatters

ending with a bang

ending with a bang

thats a wrap for now

Hands, Heart, Feet

5

Winter Magic Festival 2017

Winter Magic Festival 2017

Winter Magic Festival 2017

1

Winter Magic Festival 2017

40

Winter Magic Festival 2017

Fireworks 2

Winter Magic Festival 2017- Fireworks

Winter Magic ver 3 copy

Winter Magic Festival 2017

About Ben- Ben Pearse is a commercial and portrait from Katoomba in the Blue Mountains. Ben works from his home portrait studio in Katoomba and also sells and licenses his large portfolio of landscape images of the Blue Mountains, Australia.

You can follow Ben’s photographic journey on these social media platforms Website Facebook  Instagram  Twitter  Google+  Flickr  500px

Blue Mountains Winter Magic Festival 2013

Carrington lawn dancing- winter Magic 2013- low res

opening the festival- hands, heart & feet

So as the drumbeat fades into the distance it marks the close of another great Winter Magical Festival that was held in world heritage listed, Blue Mountains, Australia. As usual the event was held in Katoomba on the winter solstice, meaning the shortest day of the year. We got lucky with the weather as the rain held off  most of the day & just long enough for the fireworks display, before the skies opened up. This year would see me don the fluoro vest in order to get in close to some of the great action throughout the day.

The official estimates for the crowd this year were in the vicinity of 45000+ which is a great result for all those who put in the huge effort in organising this massive event for the local Blue Mountains community. Allot of these events are normally run by the local chamber of commerce in other towns, this event however is run by the local members of the community. It is a real credit to the locals to get something this large off the ground. There is allot of voluntary work hours that go into the winter magic festival every year to make it a viable option to put run.

The Grand Parade that makes it way up katoomba street had over 700+ people participating and gave the large crowds some great Kodak esque inspired moments to capture. This is always the highlight of the festival as you witness all the weird and wonderful costumes making their way past. One thing I really enjoy is the great personalities you get to chat with throughout the day. These festivals really allow people to embrace,explore & express their creative and quirky personalities. I think this is crucial for the blue mountains community as we are home to some truly exceptionally creative residents.

I felt the need to try and cover allot of the festival this year and in doing so I still missed quite allot of activities. When you are trying to document a large event such as this you don’t have the luxury of sitting back and waiting for the “money shots” as their is far too much to cover. I have seen some great shots from other photographers on the day and I’m happy that I was able to put my own spin on the event as well. Next year i’ll implement a different plan of attack  in covering the event, it’s all a learning curve for me and I love a good challenge. This year we saw the  addition of the newly built Katoomba Cultural Centre which added a wonderful vibrancy to the festival and town atmosphere. The cultural centre hosted some wonderful musical and performance acts that really got the crowd in a fantastic mood throughout the day.

I really enjoyed myself on the day and it was great to see so many families having a fun time too. The finale to the day was again well worth staying around for. Held at the Carrington Hotel, the fireworks display was a real treat for the audience that saw the night sky light up with a great array of colour and sound. If you missed the event this year I urge you to put aside a few hours and come have a look next year…………..I’m sure it will be great!

If you haven’t already seen my album of photos from the day you can see it here-https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.594399713914223.1073741833.483571081663754&type=1

Have a wonderful weekend, cheers ben                                                                                                                           more shots from the day              

Spiderman delivering newspapers- Winter Magic 2013- low res

Spiderman delivering the news                                                              

Belly dancing- WM 2013- low res

dancing up the street

Street performers-Winter Magic 2013- low res

engaging the crowd

Ben Pearse Photography

drumming to a different beat

Harry Potter- Winter Magic 2013- low res

cute kids in costume

Part of the Act- Winter Magic 2012- low res

eye popping acts

NSW Rural Fire Brigade

lending some help

Get the shot- Winter Magic 2013- low res

straining to get the shot

Carrington lawn dancing- winter Magic 2013- low res

feeling the rhythm

Katoomba Street- Winter Magic 2013 ver 2- low res

standing out in the crowd

St Hildas Church- Winter magic 2013 in colour- low res

singing a song

Sweeney Todd & Mrs Lovett near Carrington- WM 2013- low res

acting out

I Love Blue Mountains- Winter Magic 2013- low res

catching their eye

Strike a pose- Winter Magic 2013- low res

pausing to pose

Charlie and friend- WM 2013- low res

getting a hug

Dancing- Winter Magic 2013- low res

working the shot

Police band- Winter Magic 2013- low res

marching the street

Having fun-WM 2013- low res

having a ball

Carrington Hotel fireworks- Winter Magic 2013- low res

watching the colours

Winter Magic

Blue Mountains Winter Magic Festival

Blue Mountains Winter Magic Festival

So it’s that time again, must be cold then, when the weird and the wonderful brush off the dust from the favourite outfits and join in the parade of the annual Winter Magic Festival in Katoomba, Australia. The festival is held around the winter solstice (shortest day of the year) and will be the 20th anniversary of the event.  The festival is a total community event, run by members of the local community. Each year their is a loose theme in which participates can work their costumes towards. This year it is Historia, whatever that is i’m not too sure, but it really doesn’t matter as people will generally wear whatever they like.

The grand parade is great as it involves over 500 people all dancing, walking, skating, drumming & much more up Katoomba street in various attire, having an absolute ball. Spectators line both sides of the street as the parade makes in way past giving everyone, giving some great photo opportunities. As with all big events their is a fantastic volunteer input from the local community making the day that much easier to help co-ordinate.

For me it means a day spent wandering the streets in search of great photo opportunities and wonderful conversations with the people who go to so much effort with their costumes. It’s always great to see the whole  Blue Mountains community getting behind this wonderful annual event. Each year I’ve seen it grow bigger & better and that’s a real credit to those that spend countless unpaid hours behind the scenes. Ofcourse you always will get the naysayers and detractors with anything a little left of field, but their the ones I usually spy with the camera having a laugh, though they would never admit it.

So if you have the time this June 22nd, pack on plenty of warm clothes as it does get quite cold, chuck the kids in the car and come and have a great day here in Katoomba with the Blue Mountains Winter Magic Festival. If you want some information on the festival here is the link to the official website.

hope to see you there

cheers ben                                                                                                                                                                               some winter magic from the past

getting the shot

getting the shot

blast from the past

blast from the past

Captain Jack is sure to be there

Captain Jack is sure to be there

street performers everywhere

street performers everywhere

Happy faces

Happy faces

see the mighty Captain America

see the mighty Captain America

traditional music

traditional music

romantic interludes

romantic interludes

Mad hatters

Mad hatters

knights of the realm

knights of the realm

juggling flames

juggling flames

happy kids

happy kids

fire works to end the day

fire works to end the day

and so much more