This is the second year the local Japanese gardens has put on a Christmas light display. Prior to last year, the gardens were closed all winter. I took my camera and headed out for a stroll around the illuminated gardens and a few shots for the blog. The colors on the trees and remaining foliage were bit magical, and the moon was full and shone almost as the star of Bethlehem. As we emerge from the longest night, I wish you all light, joy, and a Merry Christmas.
We’re past solstice, but this is still the darkest time of the year. This year, two gardens near my home put on light displays as part of our collective tradition to cope with this darkness. My sister and I went to the free one together. I could get my large tripod in, but I didn’t use it for everything because it’s kind of impolite and I was practicing for my next outing.
The photo club took an outing to another nearby light show. This one relied more on actual trees and reflected light. Some members were able to get in with small tripods, but I left my beast in the car. Certainly the staff would not grant me admission with such large sticks. I had to use some high ISOs. Noise was an issue. I’ll have to get a smaller tripod. Just being there was pretty enchanting though.
The lights give us hope and beauty in a dark season. We arrange them, tend to them, and marvel at them. Source or reflected, we all need light and hope. Spread light this season to those you love and more.
It’s a bit late (an unfortunate theme for me this year), but I still wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas. I wish you warmth, light, and comfort in this often dark and cold season. May you find hope and good things in this time, and in the year to come.
It’s officially almost too late for a Christmas post. Nevertheless, I did take a few shots of my upgraded mantel decorations, and I wanted to share a couple.
Wishing you all light, beauty, and time with those you love most over the next few days. Merry Christmas!
This year, I did things differently for Christmas Decorations. For one, I decided to hang my little beaded whatever it is off my living room lamp. I like it so much I’m not sure why I didn’t think of it sooner.
Then, my mother thought I should change up my mantle decorations a bit, so she gave me a tall round glass vase to put ornaments in. After looking online for ideas, I decided I wanted pine cones too. I thought I’d have some fun with the reflections and surface curvature while photographing the end result.
Merry Christmas Everyone!
Wishing you peace on earth today and throughout the coming year.
As I was decorating my home for Christmas on Monday, it occurred to me that a lot has changed this year. Still, many things remain the same as they have for years. I listen to the same music for Christmas, and I still hang this lovely angel on the tree every year. She’s been mine since my first Christmas.
Yes, that’s right under, not in. Being owners of an artificial Christmas tree, my family is fortunate enough to have a tree whose branches bend to the floor under the weight of a typical household feline. The cats are both resigned to this, but they do enjoy sitting beneath the branches and admiring the beauty. It’s quiet back there too.
This year, I thought I’d try to get a photo. Flash simply would not do, and dear Jen is a dark cat, so I turned on the brighter lights in the room and pulled out my tripod. Jen was a little bothered by the autofocus in the first shot. I also thought it wasn’t close enough.
I moved in, switched to horizontal, and used live view to focus. Fortunately, Jen was pretty still. It was brighter than I wanted the final shot to be, but I decided to take it down in post rather than risk getting Jen noisy or loosing detail in her fur.
All the decorations went up the first of December, so its high time for some Christmas photos. I selected a diverse group of Christmas decorations and decided to light all of them with the string of LED Christmas lights I purchased this year, just to see how it would work out. I was going for more of a warm, soft look in all the photos, but I still wanted some light/dark contrast.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Next Time: New Year’s / Year in Review
Everybody knows the old traditional Christmas colors: red and green. But increasingly, stores are offering decor in any color you fancy. Although I prefer the traditional, I followed the counter-culture this year and included a little pink in my decorating pallet. This was more of a “Man, where am I gonna store those pink vases?” moment than a brash throwing off of tradition. I bought some silver and white artificial flowers to accommodate my storage plans. While I was at it, I decided I may as well leave out this darling beaded angel. She’s probably a craft made by some housewife decades ago. I found her in a small town thriftshop a few years back and thought she was pretty.
Another slightly more traditional approach is the cream and gold color scheme. It’s rich and warm, but not very colorful. I’m in favor of having a little of it here and there.
So yes, I favor the traditional. Christmas comes at a dark, bleak, and often snowy time of the year in my corner of the world. Red is warm and bright, while green reminds us of life and vegetation. It’s what we need right now. Warmth, brightness, life, and beauty.
Merry Christmas Everyone!
Next Time: 2012 Year in Review
For years, my family did the ornament every year thing. My sister and I would each get a new one from our parents. Sometimes, our extended family would also give us ornaments. We could get up to three in one year. Needless to say, our tree is full. We also collected a bunch of large, previously enjoyed beaded satin balls. These used to hang from the diningroom light fixture, but now we have cats. The satin balls would just be too tempting. One still resides in my room, where I can close the door at night.
I didn’t get to photograph our ornaments this week, but I would like to share this one old photograph from my archive. It’s from four years ago.
Wherever you go and whatever you do in the next week or two, remember that love is an important part of Christmas. It’s the perfect time to show others how much you care about them, and not just with gifts. With actions and words. I hope you all have a merry Christmas, and may this be a season of peace on earth and goodwill toward others for all of us.
Next Week: Archive or Retrospective
2011 is my first full year as a blogger, and next week’s post will mark the end of Post-a-week 2011, a challenge I’m on track to complete successfully. Due to the holiday, I may post later in the week, but I will post. It would be a shame to come so close and fail in the last week. I’d like to take a photographic look back at the year 2011, maybe including some photos I didn’t post earlier. Otherwise, I will at least come up with something archive to post.