Time for what has become sort of an annual tradition here at the blog — Christmas light photography — but this time with a travel twist. This week I’m going to not only give you five articles, but I’m going to take you to Carlsbad, New Mexico, for a Christmas light boat ride along the Pecos River.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of Christmas on the Pecos, which originates from the Pecos River Village. Ursula has talked about going on Christmas on the Pecos for some time, and this past Friday was the day. She purchased our tickets in advance online, picked me up from work, and we headed east for the Pecos River Village.
Once you arrive, plan on touring the village:
There will be many lights and decorations to photograph:
About thirty minutes before your scheduled boat ride you can pick up your boarding pass and get in line for the tour boat:
You’ll be offered a blanket to keep you snug, but we didn’t need it this night. Temperatures were in the low 60s/15°+ Celsius. From here we began our trip along the banks of the Pecos River:
Most of the shots you’ll see this week were taken in manual mode at 1/40th of a second and ISO 800 at widest possible f-Stop (f2.8 to f5.6 depending on the focal range used. The camera was my trusty Canon G1 X with it’s 1.5-inch/38mm 12 megapixel sensor. I chose this over my usual travel camera, a Panasonic FZ100, because the larger sensor and larger pixels on that sensor would give me the least amount of noise at higher ISO settings.
Even so, most shots were about two f-Stops too dark, which I corrected with post-processing, and several shots were motion blurred because of the moving boat and slow shutter speed.
Even with all this working against me, I still think I came out with some winners. You’ll see the best of the series on this week’s Fun Photo Friday, but I’ll also present other photos over the next three days as well.
One of the more fun aspects on photographing Christmas lights along the banks of a body of water are the colorful reflections you can use to balance out the composition and add interest to the photograph:
Here are two more examples of what I mean: