Local color — E-M1II experimentation in real life

In our neck of the woods, we’ve had cloudy night skies recently (at least, since my E-M1II arrived).  So I’ve lacked a clear view of stars to test the beast on, but fortunately there are plenty of Christmas lights to work with.  Here’s a quick shot from one of the more-colorful nearby houses:

Local color

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Holiday colors

One of the privileges of photographic life near Denver, Colorado is that you get some uniquely colorful holiday lights to play with.  In particular, the Denver City and County building traditionally is bathed in a very… unrestrained choice of colored lights at night for the season.  Call it gaudy, call it exuberant, call it tacky, the bottom line is that it’s a photographer magnet (we just can’t help ourselves).

Best of all, the folks running the building now turn off the street lights on Bannock Street in front of it every Sunday night when the building’s lit up — this makes it so much easier to capture the building in all its highly-saturated glory.  So last Sunday, I got bundled up to handle our recent frigid night temperatures (clear sky, 17 degrees Fahrenheit) and went to town on the place.

Festive colors

The above photo was taken from near the end of the building’s south wing, if you were curious.  This is definitely my favorite photo of the set, I really like how the snow in the foreground brings some of the chill to the viewer. Continue reading

Steinland

A scene from this year’s “Christkindl Market” in downtown Denver, Colorado — shelves of beer steins on sale at a vendor’s stall:

Steinland

Oddly enough, it was only on a recent trip that we discovered that while the word stein is German, this style of beer mugs is only called a stein in English-speaking countries.  Stein is an abbreviation of the German steingut (stoneware), the material they’re made of.  But in Germany, bierstein (“beer stone”) is the term used for a scaly deposit built up in poorly-cleaned brewing vessels.  A mug like one of these would be called a krug, or more properly a bierkrug.

So there’s your language lesson for the day, more about the “Christkindl Market” in subsequent posts.

Frosty mirror

A few nights ago, we took advantage of a warmer night to check out the “Blossoms of Light” display at the Denver Botanic Gardens.  They put on a nice show, as always, and it hasn’t been as warm since — so, fortunate timing.

Frosty mirror

I took this shot toward the north end of the gardens; with the lens closed down to f/22, a nice long exposure erased the slow parade of other viewers along the path…