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:
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.
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
A scene from this year’s “Christkindl Market” in downtown Denver, Colorado — shelves of beer steins on sale at a vendor’s stall:
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.
There’s a house in our corner of town whose owners go above and beyond when it comes to Christmas yard decorations. Â The tree is just the start of things:
But as I said, that’s just the start. You have to see the whole yard for the full effect:
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.
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…
Captured on a photowalk through the Denver Botanic Gardens:
Every year in December, the Denver Botanic Gardens puts on a “Blossoms of Light” show — it’s always a great display, although generally also a bit cold. But if you bundle up and carry a spare battery in your coat’s inside pocket, you’re good to go!
Oh yes, and don’t forget a tripod too — this is a 2.5 second exposure (at ISO 800 for minimal noise). Fortunately there are plenty of turf areas along the paths, so you can set up a tripod without blocking traffic or damaging the plants. But no commercial photography (i.e., stock shots for Getty) unless you want to fork over a $350 fee to the Gardens…