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Holiday Imagery

Traditional Manger Scene; Frankenmuth, MI Copyright 2009 Andy Richards

Traditional Manger Scene; Frankenmuth, MI
Copyright 2009 Andy Richards

In my mind, the “holidays” start with Thanksgiving and run through the end of the year. It is a time to celebrate our families, for so many of us the manifold blessings we have, and perhaps to think about those who are less fortunate than us and those who serve us in so many ways (particularly in these times, our military and diplomats – many of whom are not unable to spend the holidays at home or with their families, because of the sacrifices they may for us – and to them, I want to say thank you for all that you do for us).

Happy Holidays to those who serve our country, and thank you for all of your sacrifices for our protection and freedom!

The year-end holidays are also traditionally a time of “New Year Resolutions.” And each year, on of my resolutions has been to get out and take some holiday images of the Christmas lights. Like so many resolutions made at this time of the year, they are made, but not fulfilled! My personal “dog ate my homework excuse” revolves around my “day job.” As an attorney that specializes in estate, tax and business succession planning, the holidays as I define them, coincides with my normally most busy time of the year. But it is an excuse and I need to get out and do some shooting. So when it comes to holiday images, I have to say: “I’ve got nothing.”

Holz Brucke Frankenmuth, MI Copyright 2009 Andy Richards

Holz Brucke
Frankenmuth, MI
Copyright 2009 Andy Richards

Well ….. almost nothing. After thinking about it some, I went back to my files and found a few Christmas Images. I had taken this traditional manger scene in Frankenmuth, on wintry night after work. When I looked at it immediately afterward, I was “underwhelmed.” While it is still not the epitome of nighttime photographic art, I have been pretty happy to have been able to play around with NIK software’s ColorFX Pro to work with it enough to feel unembarrassed about posting it as a Holiday Image illustration. As I blogged recently, the NIK software has brought a new element to my post processing and it has really been fun to work with it and see what it can do with images.

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS EFFECTS 121520090001

Christmas Lights
Copyright 2002 Andy Richards

The image of one of only a handful of covered bridges in Michigan, Zehnder’s Holz Brucke, an authentic German crafted bridge spanning the Cass River, in downtown Frankenmuth, was taken on the same freezing cold evening. Again, I was able to work with the image in NIK software’s VIVEZA 2 to bring the colors to what I remembered.

Holiday lights present an opportunity to make some creative and fun images. The first of this series of outdoor lights is a closeup “sectional” image, with which I was trying to show the color contrast of traditional red with the blue lights of the adjoining tree.

Christmas LightsCopyright 2009 Andy Richards

Christmas Lights
Copyright 2009 Andy Richards

The next two images were set up for a “normal” shot. I then “zoomed” my lens during a medium-long exposure.

Christmas LightsCopyright 2009  Andy Richards

Christmas Lights
Copyright 2009 Andy Richards

Wherever you are, whatever you celebrate, and however you celebrate it, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

There are several areas near my home that I have made a mental note to try to get out and photograph. Maybe this will be the year. In the meantime, here are my wishes to all, wherever you are, whatever you celebrate and however you celebrate it, for a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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2 Responses

  1. Like that exposure-zoom trick do you? Neat little squiggles on the ends of the red light shafts on the first of those images above…were they the result of a burp, hiccup, shivers, or frozen fingers? I suspect the latter. LOL

    My best wishes to you and your family, and all of your blog readers during the holiday season and a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year for all…Jim

    • Thanks, Jim. Ha ha. As you know, I am generally pretty conventional with my images. Every once in a while, I like to try something different. I have tried the zoom trick on numerous subjects and rarely end up with an image I like. I think it works with the Christmas lights about the best of anything I have tried it with.

      Thanks for the holiday wishes. Same to you!

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