Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Christmas Traditions {or Trying Out New Photo Techniques}

Since I missed blogging the entire Christmas season, you are in for a recap of my favorite time of year - albeit a bit late.

Mobile, AL is home to a little jewel called Bellingrath Gardens, and as I stated in this post, we have a long-standing tradition of visiting during the Christmas season to see the extensive light display. This year, thanks to a very thoughtful birthday gift from my parents, we were able to continue this tradition with Canon in tow.

As usual, I took my camera, and this year I tried to do something different. I can't decide if I like it or not, but it's my job as captain of this ship to share everything so here we go.

I started out with my settings as usual, which gave me a clean, black, background with no depth, just lights.

About halfway through the display, I changed my settings to include the surrounding trees and people. I like the idea of it, but the photos didn't turn out quite as I had hoped. Practice makes perfect, I guess, and since this was my first attempt, I'll take it.

This shot below reminds me of a rough editorial-type shot. I can't pinpoint why exactly because the quality isn't even that great, but I love it for some reason.

Canon was so excited to see "China" that he was beside himself. Every time he sees this photo, he still screams "China!" as if he has been to that beautiful country in real life. I really want to travel there too, so it looks like we are going to be planning a trip there. Hahahahahahahahaha! Who am I kidding?! That won't be happening for a LONG time!

Something about these shots just scream "psychedelic, man."  What a trip. har har.

So what are your thoughts? Do you prefer the clean lights with black background or being able to see the surroundings with the lights? Although I know that I would have to practice to make it look better, I am not sure I am liking the whole leaves-in-the-shots thing. Makes them look dirty to me.

I think next year, I may try to go alone in addition to going with my boys - so I can just stop and really work on the shots that I want without feeling like I am holding them up. In any case, this tradition is one that we cherish during Christmas time and the older Canon gets the more he is beginning to love it too.


  1. What a beautiful place! I kind of like the ones with only the lights more - they're just clearer and the lights make up a whole picture themselves without needing "real stuff", though the ones with the background are also cool for context.
    I can just imagine Canon imagining he's been to China... clearly mesmerised! :)

    1. Yeah that is kind of my thought too. I like the idea of seeing stuff around it, but everything is cleaner with just the lights. Thanks for your opinion!