Tonight is Christmas Eve

This little reindeer is not ready for his Christmas Eve journey.  It looks like he will be missing it tonight.  A reindeer in pajamas???

We found this ornament in Saks on Fifth Avenue on my first trip to New York City.  I had been dragging my feet to visit the City.  Why would anyone in their right mind want to fight all those crowds.  Being an old country boy, I sure did not!  But my patient Karen finally convinced me to go there to see all the Christmas displays. I was amazed, it was like walking through a wonderland of lights, decorations, music, and people having a great time.  The City was truly alive.  I did not even mind the crowds.

The trip was a great introduction to New York City and the first of many more to follow.  This little reindeer makes me smile as I look back on that first visit to NYC.

My Grandmother’s Heart

My grandmother never had money to purchase “store bought” gifts.  But she always made us something special for Christmas.  I can remember one year when she made all us kids “stick horses”.  They were the best gift of the year.  This heart was the last hand-made gift that she made for me. During her last years, her special gift was a beautiful smile, a hug, and a Christmas kiss.  What could be better!  Her heart is always with me.

Over the years, I have followed her way and made many of my own gifts to family and friends.  The last several years, I have made just a few.  I will return to my old ways.  Thank you grandma for teaching me what gift-giving is all about.

Only 3 Days to Christmas

It is only three days until Christmas. I think I need to add a little spirit to my postings.  Over the years we have collected Christmas ornaments during our various travels.  This one is from a kindle mart in Lubeck, Germany.  One evening after work, several of my German work associates and I went out for a “grog or two” in the town square.  The square was filled with little booths serving different libations and selling all sorts of Christmas gifts.  It was so packed that I could hardly walk.  Every one was jovial and full of Christmas spirit.  It was what I imagined an old-time Christmas season would be.  I found a little booth filled with wood ornaments and could not help buying a couple as I was downing my beverage.

Every time I look at this little bi-plane and angel, I think of my German friends and the special evening we had in the Lubeck town square.

 

Not Every Sunrise is Bright

Misty Morning from My Backyard

The few days prior to this were beautiful orange and pink sunrises. The previous days in late November had been warm.  During the night, the temperature had dropped.  I was drinking my morning cup of coffee looking out over my back yard, waiting for another brilliant sunrise.  I was surprised as the sun creeped over the horizon exposing this misty view of the valley below.  Each morning has its unique beauty.

A Mixture of Light

Seattle Japanese Gardens

My search for light continued.  This image jumped out at me when I was walking by.  Hard direct sunlight darted through branches above to highlight the leaves in the foreground.  Filtered soft light covered the background leaves.  Deep shadows hid the grass covered ground beneath the branches.  The combination provided an eye-catching scene.

Reflection

Seattle Japanese Gardens

Many times when I go to a specific place to photograph, I am on a mission of learning and experimentation.  This image is from such a photo shoot.  My mission for this day was to experiment with light:  hard light, soft light backlight, shadows, reflections, color.  Yesterday’s post was a backlight image looking up to the sky from underneath a Japanese maple.  Today’s image is an example of color and reflection.

Searching for different types of light helps me to be more aware of the beauty around me.  I do not think there is bad light.  Different forms lead to different perspectives of what is around me.  As a learning photographer, my job is to make the best of what I see and feel.

Where Did the Fall Go?

Seattle Japanese Garden

As Christmas is quickly approaching and the temperature drops below freezing, I ask myself, “Where has the fall gone?”.  I love the fall colors and try to get out and see as much as I can.  This fall I actually was out quite a bit and had my camera with me much of the time.  But, I did not post many of my colorful fall favorites.  So, as the skies are now pretty dreary, I thought I would brighten them up with some of my “fall color” images.

Brilliance: Light and POV

Glass Sculpture in Early Morning Sunlight

I was doing some “homework” for Dave duChemin’s “Compelling Frame” on-line course when I stumbled on this opportunity.  I was working this sculpture from multiple angles when a bright blast of light flashed in my eye.  The light was coming from the rear right of the frame.  It entered the sculpture from the rear right angle and reflected on the rear left internal face.  It blasted back out at me at approximately a 270 degree angle from which it first struck the sculpture.  I took several minutes to capture the bright reflection.  Camera movement of only a few millimeters impacted the reflection.  At the same time the sun was moving slightly.  After several unsuccessful attempts, I caught one that was a “keeper”.  This was an excellent lesson and how an intentional point of view (POV) made the image.

How Van Gogh Would Paint a Boat

Boat Graveyard & Repair Facility – Charleston, Oregon

I spent a couple of hours exploring an old boat graveyard in Charleston, Oregon,  I was fascinated with all the chipped paint on the old boats from a by-gone era.  They had seen a much better time.  I can just imagine the stories these old boats could tell.  I picked an image at random and played with it in Topaz Impression.  I applied a Van Gogh painting style as an overlay.  Today I needed a break from reality