It’s funny what you find when looking for something interesting to shoot.  I was walking around Redmond (the old part of town) and walked past this closed down restaurant called Acapulco Fresh.   What caught my eye was the fact that the place was falling apart and pretty dirty yet still had the word FRESH above the door, but clearly it wasn’t.

So I took the shot, got home and promptly forgot about it.  I found it today and thought it might make an interesting posting.  One of the reasons I went round the town in the first place was I wanted to see if I could find things to shoot near home (rather than make the assumption that to get great pictures you have to visit great places).  What I found out was that you can get pictures anywhere, you just have to look.

This was an interesting shot as I wanted the sign (obviously) in the composition but the sun was in the way.  So first I stood back and put the tree in the way.  This was OK but the tree in the image was totally in shadow, so I added a little bit of Sun to the right and that lit the tree and helped the image.  Not great but came out OK.

Have you ever tried to spin a yoyo that’s half your body size and weight? No, well apparently it’s pretty hard to do.

Well folks, here we are on Christmas day and I’m very close to the end of the year and the end of this new years resolution.  I really can’t believe I’ve successfully posted every day, and after December 31st, I’ll never do this again.  That said I will still post next year, just not as often.  I’m going to write quite a long posting on January 1st about this experience and explain why you should NEVER try and do it!  Still I still have a week to go so had better post a picture for today.

Tonight’s image takes us back to Carillon Point in Kirkland.  This little harbor has a great marina and very posh hotel and shops and is a gerat place to take some shots.  This image was taken just after the sun went down and the sky looked great.  I got really close to the harbor’s edge with a nice wide lens and made sure I had a really small aperture.  This gave me a really deep depth of field (so lots of the image was in focus) and I was able to ge the light in focus as well as the boats far away.

I loved the orange color cast thrown on the wood by the small light and the deep blue sky, I think it made a really nice image.  Light reflections in water also always look great so the small lights going round the harbor added to the image too.

Tonight the guys sat down and enjoyed a mince pie.  This is a very British thing (I think), not sure they are popular over here in the US. Basically they are dried fruit filled pies. Taste great!

I guess I can’t let us get to Christmas Eve and not post a picture of Santa.  Now under normal situations I’d look to post a picture with Abi sitting on Santa’s lap or something, but she is far too sharp for that!  She hates Santa.  Don’t get me wrong, she love’s Christmas Day and loves her stocking full of gifts etc., but there is no way you will get her near Santa.

Her argument is (and I have to say this is a pretty good argument), that we spend all year telling her to keep away from strangers.  We tell her she shouldn’t accept gifts from them and definitely shouldn’t let them touch her.  Then, once a year, we take her to some old crusty dude and try to make her sit on his lap, give him a hug and ask for a gift.  If she’s lucky he will give her some candy and promise to break into her house and visit her when she’s asleep in bed at night (when the house is all locked up).  I guess when she puts it like this I wouldn’t go near him too.  So Abi actually crosses the road when we approach “Santa’s Grotto” – even that sounds bad thinking about it!

So I was passing Santa’s “house” (that sounds better) in Redmond and I asked him if I could take his picture.  He of course said yes (reluctantly) and stepped out of his child cuddling booth and posed for a picture.  As you can see here, he is very happy!  I showed Abi and was about to ask if she wanted to meet him but she just said “no way babe” and walked off!

Carter and Master Chief opened a box of Peppermint Bark this afternoon and got a hammer out and started breaking it up!

Today’s posting is an unusual one for me I guess, as I don’t typically post images that have been so heavily processed.  But I only have a few days to go to the end of the year and I thought why not. (Plus Lisa really liked this image).

This was taken in Mount Vernon at the Tulip festival up in Skagit Valley.  The tulips were really that red and the sky was pretty blue and I was lying on the floor (on a black bin bag) taking shots.  I was getting loads of funny looks from people there but that’s really not that uncommon.

This is going to be a big surprise but I processed this image in Lightroom and Photoshop, I increased the saturation and clarity (that makes the image shaper) and added a dark vignette. The end result looked pretty cool and is my picture for today.  Hope you like it too.

I swear I can’t bring anything nice into the house without these two little dudes getting their hands on it.  Today they “found” some dark chocolate Truffles!

There’s this road that takes you from Carnation to Monroe that winds you around a very rural area of farms and big fields.  The road actually follows the Snoqualmie river and at some point the Snoqualmie river goes off and is replaced by the Skykomish river (don’t just love the names or our rivers?).  Anyway the Skykomish then takes you all the way to Monroe.

When you approach Monroe you have to go over this large bridge (and across the Skykomish river).  The bridge in itself isn’t that impressive I guess but once you cross it you can turn off the road and go down to the river under the bridge.  This affords you a great picture of the river and bridge above you.

I actually got another image from this location at the beginning of the year.  If you look back to my first week you can see a fisherman in a small boat, that was taken here looking up river, so I guess it’s only fair that I should another shot in my last week from the same location.

I realized today just how many HoHo ornaments we have around the house!  Carter and Master Chief found another one to pose next to for today’s picture.