Tag Archives: photographing Christmas lights

Christmas on the Pecos — Part 3


Christmas Tree Mirror

Christmas Tree Mirror

The cost for the Christmas on the Pecos river cruise varies by age and day of the week (the following are 2016 prices). Children 12 and under ride for $10 Sunday through Thursday, $15 on Friday and Saturday.  For 13 and up the cost is $15 in the cheap nights and $20 during the prime Friday and Saturday evenings.

The Four Wise Guys of Christmas

The Four Wise Guys of Christmas

Is it worth it for 40 minutes?  I think so.  In fact, I wouldn’t mind doing this again someday.  I know kids will certainly enjoy it.

Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos

Photographically speaking, this is a great place to test your skills.  Ideally, outdoor Christmas lights should be photographed while the sky still has some light in it after sunset, but this wasn’t an option here.  Since the sky was dark, I now had to rely upon water reflections to add interest and depth to the photos, and I had to do so at fairly slow shutter speed on a moving boat.

Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos

The photo gallery below will give you an idea of what can be accomplished, and tomorrow I’ll give you some more technical data on the camera settings used.

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Christmas on the Pecos — Part 2


Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos

The boat tour for Christmas on the Pecos runs about 45 minutes.

Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos

Three boats were available this year, and the seating capacities were 15, 40, and 45.  We were on the largest, Bella Sera.

Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos

The light show starts out a bit sparse, but about halfway along the length of the cruise things start picking up nicely.  The following two shots were taken shortly after leaving the Pecos River Village:

Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos

And these shots were taken toward the turn-around point:

Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos

Come back tomorrow for some more images.  Until then, enjoy this sampling:

Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos

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Christmas on the Pecos — Part 1


25th Anniversary of Christmas on the Pecos

25th Anniversary of Christmas on the Pecos

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 taken in 2016.

Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos

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.

Pecos River Village

Pecos River Village

Once you arrive, plan on touring the village:

Pecos River Village

Pecos River Village

There will be many lights and decorations to photograph:

Pecos River Village

Pecos River Village

Pecos River Village

Pecos River Village

Pecos River Village

Pecos River Village

Pecos River Village

Pecos River Village

About thirty minutes before your scheduled boat ride you can pick up your boarding pass and get in line for the tour boat:

Lining up for the Christmas on the Pecos boat ride

Lining up for the Christmas on the Pecos boat ride

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:

Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos

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.

Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos

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.

Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos

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.

Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos

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:

Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos

Here are two more examples of what I mean:

Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos

Christmas on the Pecos

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