Fun Photo Friday — Christmas Lights 2013


Peace on Earth

Peace on Earth

Well, it’s time for the annual Christmas Lights blog.  This year El Paso’s San Jacinto Plaza is undergoing renovation, so the annual downtown light display was moved to the park just outside the main city library, and is comparatively subdued over years past.

Cleveland Square Park

Cleveland Square Park

Nevertheless, the display is still impressive.

El Paso Christmas 2013

El Paso Christmas 2013

Visitors came to gawk.  If they took chill there was hot chocolate nearby.

Hot Chocolate Line

Hot Chocolate Line

And if they got hungry there was the snack wagon.

Snack Wagon

Snack Wagon

But for atmosphere it’s just hard to resist converting nighttime people shots to black and white.

Hot Chocolate Line — B&W Conversion

Hot Chocolate Line — B&W Conversion

Snack Wagon — B&W Conversion

Snack Wagon — B&W Conversion

Christmas lights however are made to display in full color.

Abstract Light

Abstract Light

Most of the shots taken for today’s blog were at ISO 400 to keep digital noise to a minimum.  Aperture Priority was used with aperture set to the widest possible opening.  The camera was stabilized on a carbon fiber tripod (a real must if you’re serious about photography — light, quick to set up, easy to move).  Shutter release was delayed for two seconds to avoid camera shake, and most exposures were taken at about one full second.  Some shots were taken using Hand Held Night Scene mode, in which the camera takes a series of three shots in rapid succession and then internally combines the shots into one image.  The snack wagon shot above was taken using this latter method.

For more tips (especially color balance) see my blog post from December 21, 2012:  Photographing Outdoor (and Indoor) Christmas Lights

Being a former controller, I got to taxi Santa’s sleigh out to the runway:

Preflight Checklist

Preflight Checklist

And then clear the Grand Old Elf for takeoff:

Cleared for Takeoff

Cleared for Takeoff

Here’s today’s gallery of shots.  As always, click on any image below to bring up the slideshow.

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6 Comments

Filed under Fun Photo Friday, Photography

6 responses to “Fun Photo Friday — Christmas Lights 2013

  1. Pingback: Anybody have any Christmas Light Photos? - WaltherForums

  2. Awesome shots, R. Doug. Thanks for letting us share in the El Paso festitivites. Happy Holidays to you!

  3. David K. Williams

    Just need some snow!

  4. Wonderful photos as usual, Doug.

    American Christmas lights are quite a bit more colourful than what you’d find in Germany, plus over here that stand would be selling mulled wine rather than hot chocolate. But it’s sure gorgeous to look at.