Winter Lights

Christmas lights, Portland, Maine
downtown Christmas lights in Portland, Maine

The solstice has now passed and the days are getting longer, but the thermometer is dropping, as the New Year quickly approaches.

What better time to walk around in the freezing cold and photograph some of the seasonal creations that are on display in this northern city, where hours of actual daylight dips below ten hours.

Perhaps this explains why some of the older cultures resorted to building large bonfires to light up the winter night sky.

Nowadays, in the modern era we have the electricity to do the chore for us.

Here in Portland the popular thing to do is to decorate the tress or buildings with balls of lights. It really does look quite splendid in the long winter sky, but I have noticed that the lighting displays have become increasing thinner as the nation struggles throught he darkness of lean economic times.

Tree with lights
tree with lights in Deering Park in Portland Maine

Here is another picture taken from the city park with a hint of afterglow in the night sky. This concept of hanging lights on trees is quite unique to my eyes and quite wonderful as well.

And finally one more picture of some lights on a tree along with the moon in the night sky which is close to full.

Such is the wonder of the new digital technology, which allows me to go out and take the night picture with a hand held Kodak digital camera, come home and slide the SD card into the slot on my computer and post this picture just hours after it was taken. Best wishes and a Happy New Year, Everett Autumn

Christmas-lights-and-moon
Christmas lights covering a tree accented by the moon
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First Snowfall

December snow Shadows
Shadows from a December snowfall

Our first snowfall arrived Saturday night and when I awoke on Sunday morning Mother Nature had left us with several inches of the white stuff. It pretty much covered everything and since the sun came out bright and shiny on the day after, I ventured out with my little compact digital camera to see what I could do with the shadows. Here are the results.

Photographing freshly-fallen snow on a sunny day can be a daunting task, if you don’t take some time to access the overall conditions and study the lighting when can be quite intense in contrast. Often it is better to make pictures in the early morning light or late afternoon, when the sun is not so intense.

For an interesting picture it is nifty idea to study the shadows and let the long black lines that go zigzagging across the white surface be the main compositional element of your picture.

Walking around your local neighborhood or even your backyard can be a lot of fun, even after a small snowfall. Here is what i shot on our first snow event of the year, which left us with a few inches here in Portland, Maine. All in all it was a relaxing diversion from my writing.

December Snow Shadow
First Snowfall Leaves Portland Area Covered In White
December snow Shadow
Shadows in the snow