Christmas Scenes: Three Pups, Two Santas, and a Fish

I took the six photographs below as an experiment after reading this article about photographing Christmas scenes, especially the sections on dealing with low light: How to Use Christmas Bokeh for Creative Holiday Photographs. I took more than six photographs, of course, and I’m looking through the others trying to learn what works well under holiday lighting conditions (!!) and what doesn’t. My camera has a “Night View” mode that I have used before but wanted to understand better, so some of the photos were taken with that setting — an automatic setting that increases ISO to enable a higher shutter speeds but also introduces noise and reduces my control over the results.

For some of the photos, I switched to using a tripod so I could try long-exposure shutter speeds and a lower ISO to eliminate much of the noise; for those taken with the “Night View” setting, I used Lightroom and the Nik Collection tools to reduce it and threw in some background softening to pretend the noise wasn’t there. I’m like a bull in a China shop with a tripod, mostly from lack of practice but also because my tripod isn’t quite right for the camera and isn’t strong enough to safely hold it with a lens attached (and it doesn’t work very well without the lens). I should invest in a new one — or maybe one of the Santas will stick one under the tree — but I’m not convinced I’d use it enough, though I’ll probably change my mind about that after a while.

Thanks for reading and taking a look; more lateron! 


Three pups …

Two Santas …

One fish …

Christmas Scenes: Two Galleries

December is here! To celebrate, I assembled two galleries of some of my favorite photographs of Christmas decorations.

The second gallery below contains photos of the decorations around my house.

The first gallery contains photos I took at the home of some friends, who have more Holiday Whatnots than most Christmas stores.

I’m working on some new photos that I’ll be posting throughout the month; these are photos from my archives — reimagined for my Flickr Reboot project. Like the decorations, the photos have held up well and benefitted greatly from a bit of time spent enhancing their content, lights, and colors.

Select any image to begin a slideshow; thanks for taking a look!



Rose of Sharon: Three Views

Below are three views of a Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) growing in a large pot in my garden, that just produced a cluster of flower buds at the end of July. I took the first image last night, as the sun was setting; the other two are from this morning, when clouds from an incoming storm produced some soft shadows and a bit of luminous backlighting. If the remaining buds withstand August heat for a few days, I’ll post a few more shots after the rest of the flowers emerge.

Click the first image to see larger versions; thanks for taking a look!

Don’t Bug Me, I’m Just Here for the Coke

If you think the praying mantis is staring at you … it is!

I started compiling a list of praying mantis fun facts to include here, then found the video that I posted after the photos. Couldn’t have done any better than that!

Carefully click any praying mantis face to begin a slideshow…. 🙂