Fun Photo Friday — Christmas Lights 2013

We’ll finish this week’s Christmas lighting celebration with a Fun Photo Friday that originally ran back in 2013:

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

Nevertheless, the display is still impressive.

El Paso Christmas 2013

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

Hot Chocolate Line

And if they got hungry there was the 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

Snack Wagon — B&W Conversion

Christmas lights however are made to display in full color.

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

And then clear the Grand Old Elf 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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