Lisa pointed out that I hadn’t posted many Christmas Trees, in fact I’ve only posted one and that was a couple of weeks ago.  So I thought I post another tonight, this time from Salish Lodge in Snoqualmie.

This large tree was just outside the hotel and an easy picture to make.  The lights around the building added nicely to the image and the blue sky looked amazing – even though the sun had set.  When I got there to take the picture there were some couples standing in front of the tree taking pictures.  One of the disadvantages of walking around with a camera and tripod is everyone thinks your willing to take their pictures.  So one of the couples came up to me with a camera (well actually it was an iPhone) and asked me to take their picture.  Usually the fastest way to get them to move on is to just take the shot. So I took their phone and took a couple of pictures.  They seemed pretty happy and off they went.

So I set up for the image below. I wanted some foreground interest so stood behind the flowerbeds and composed the image.  This one isn’t great as I couldn’t get the picture I really wanted, as there were cars right next to me.  So I got the best shot I could.  The end result looks OK I guess.  I like the lit up bush in the foreground with the little light, and the hotel and tree looked good.   So this is my second and last Christmas tree.

Tomorrow’s it folks, I post tomorrow’s picture and then plan on taking a break.  I’ll also share me New Year’s resolution for 2013, so come back then.

Red was found this afternoon in a “Blender”, only Master Chief and Carter left, oh dear!

If you read last night’s posting you will have seen that I visited Snoqualmie and the Salish Lodge to get a picture.  Well right next to the hotel is this walking bridge that crosses the main road to the overflow car park.  I saw last night that the bridge was lit up and thought it might make a nice picture.  So I headed up the the bridges entrance (on the hotel’s side) and set up the camera.  It was a little frustrating as every time the bridge was empty and I got ready to take a shot, someone else would walk on the bridge from the other side of the road.  One couple decided to stop in the middle of the bridge and watch the traffic go past underneath for a few minutes.  Of course when they finally walked past me they said the usual “Oh, were you waiting to take a picture?” when they clearly knew I was.  People always do that!

The image came out really well.  It had been raining earlier (and was just starting again when I shot this) and the bridge was wet.  So all the lights along the bridge lit it up really nicely.  I had to take two pictures to get this one end result.  When I exposed correctly for the bridge, the light on the far left (the white one) was so bright it blew out the left hand side of the image.  So I took two shots.  One that gave me a great bridge, trees and sky, and one that gave me a “manageable” not-too-bright street lamp.  Then I blended them together in Photoshop so the end result reflected what I actually saw.  Looks pretty good too.

3 Days to go…

Tonight there was another terrible accident!  Master Chief clone was found in the waste disposal – dead!  His leg was on the side and everyone started to wonder if this was an accident or if something else was going on.

As the sun was setting tonight I thought I’d pop out and grab a picture for the day.   It was starting to rain where we lived but my plan was to shoot at a higher altitude, so I was hopeful I’d be OK.  After a half hour drive I arrived in Snoqualmie and the Salish Lodge.  This is a really “posh” hotel right next to the Snoqualmie falls.  In fact if you go back and look at my posting on October 29th (see here) you can see the Lodge at the top of the hill on the left (above the water falls).

The Lodge was all lit up and looked really nice and as the sun had just gone down the sky had a beautiful blue color so I set up to take a picture.  In front of the lodge is this stone fountain in the middle of a small roundabout surrounded by trees and plants and I thought it might make good foreground interest for the image.  So I repositioned and grabbed the shot below.

My timing was pretty good as just after I took this shot loads of people drove up and took ages to unload their cars.  So this image with nobody in it was lucky – 1 minute later I wouldn’t have got it.  I took a couple of other shots while there that I might share before the end of the year, but this was my favorite so it goes first.

After this posting, only 4 days to go :-)

A terrible thing happened tonight, we had a stabbing in the house.  Kat (our only female Halo solider) was found with a big knife in her!  What’s happening?

This weekend (just gone) I got the chance to stay at the Salish Lodge in Snoqualmie.  One of the interesting things about the Lodge, is that it’s right next to Snoqualmie Falls.  In fact my bedroom had a balcony that overlooked the falls and the view was just amazing.  I was actually there for a work event and I took my camera with every intention of popping out and capturing some great pictures, but I didn’t get the chance to shoot until it was time to leave.

It was late afternoon when I checked out of the hotel and it wasn’t raining (it was yesterday) so I thought I’d grab some shots before I headed home.

I walked out of the hotel (in the image below you can see the hotel at the top of the waterfall on the left) and down to the viewing area to get a shot.  The challenge was taking a picture before the camera lens became completely soaked!  The volume of water going over the falls was just incredible and as the water hit the river at the base, huge sprays of were thrown up to the observation area and then came down on any idiots watching like rain.  Obviously I was the only person there.

So set up the camera while I was facing the other way, and then turned around quickly and captured the shot.  The image I captured is below, and you can see some of the water drops on the lens in the top right corner.

I really wanted the water going over the falls to have that “ribbon” look you see in so many waterfall picture. So I attached a neutral density filter to the camera that dropped the amount of light entering the lens by 8 stops.  This allowed me to have a nice long exposure, so the camera went on the tripod and I took the shot.

Considering the amount of water being thrown up I’m really pleased with the end result.

Time to vote for the President of the United States!  How exciting…

I was looking for something to post tonight and went through my “Unposted” directory and nothing really grabbed me.  And as it was 10pm I started to worry a little.  So I went through my 6,198 picture library (that’s how many pictures I’ve taken this year) and I came across this train.

The image was taken in Snoqualmie at the railway museum.  When you drive towards Snoqualmie for about a mile on the right hand side you pass all these old trains.  There are loads of them and they are all rusting and falling apart.  Unfortunately there is this six foot high wire fence between the path that runs next to the trains and the exhibits, so it’s quite hard to get a good shot.  You don’t want a dirty big fence in the way.

So I found a part of the path that was a little higher than the rest, pushed the tripod up to it’s nine foot maximum height, lifted the camera over the fence and took the shot.  Considering I couldn’t properly compose the picture, I think it came out OK.

What makes the train and picture interesting (to me anyway) is the terrible state it’s in and the autumn colors of the metal.  It’s all red, brown, yellow and orange and I think looks cool.  My only regret is that I don’t have a nice blue sky above, that would have looked really good.  But you can’t have everything.

This weekend I’m going to try some light painting with some flashlights.  The Halo guys grabbed one each but I think Carter has flashlight envy.