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!

I spent the day out shopping today and have finally got all my prezzies ready for the big day – now I just need to wrap them, but that can wait a day or two.  When I got home I had a terrible headache and didn’t feel like heading out for a picture.  So tonight’s posting is from my backlog.

A month ago I visited the Japanese Gardens in Seattle, I actually went there the last day it was open in the season so it was pretty deserted.  Anyway I took quite a few pictures, most of which I have already posted, but here’s a new one.

I found these stone steps at the end of the path and loved the red maples and fall colors in the trees around the path.  Using a wide angle lens I shot the steps with the surrounding gardens and got a nice image.  I have no idea where these steps go but I think they make a nice image.  Tomorrow I’m off out again, this time with the camera.

Master Chief got hold of some Sleigh Bells tonight and was walking around ringing them – very annoying.  So Carter confiscated them.

I did go out today to take some pictures but it was pretty bad weather again.  It was actually snowing at home, but in Bellevue (where I decided to go) it was coming down pretty hard.  I drove around looking for something interesting to shoot but it was not nice, so I headed home all depressed.  Of course that means I’m going out again tomorrow.

But Lisa came up with the idea of shooting one of the Christmas trees.  She suggested I get a narrow depth of field shot of one light in focus with the others behind all blurry, but when I was setting up the camera I noticed some of the ornaments.  It appears that last year Lisa got some new ones, actually buying one of each of the family.  Now to be honest, I put the trees up and Lisa and the kids decorate them so I had no idea what the ornaments are.  So when I saw a little Tony, I had to shoot that.

I kind of took the picture Lisa suggested but with a different twist.  It’s a little more fun than a serious shot of the tree.

Carter was hanging on to joy today, not saying he’s depressed or anything, but he wasn’t letting go!

I mentioned in a posting the other day that over the weekend Lisa, Abi and I attended the “Redmond Lights” event.  By the town hall they had this massive tree (and I really mean it was huge) covered with lights.  There were loads of normal lights and some that appeared to animate, I guess because of the size of the tree it was just impressive.

Anyway I took a few shots of this tree from different points of view.  When I got home Lisa and I looked at the pictures and a heated discussion ensued over which image was best.  I think in the end we got it down to two pictures, this one below and another that had another large tree in the foreground that was beautifully lit up with orange lights.  In the end we couldn’t agree on the best image so I followed a tried and trusted approach to pick the right one to post.

So here is Lisa’s favorite picture.

Obviously its pretty dark outside so I had to put the camera on a tripod and capture the image with a long exposure.  I should state that if I didn’t do that, one of two things would have happened.  Either everything would have been very very dark (except for the lights) or everything would have been very blurry.

Having said that of course you can see the people under the tree are very blurry as they are all walking around.  I did my best to clean them up but if I made any more modifications it would have looked very fake.

One thing that struck me was the color of the sky in this image compared with the color of the sky in other ones.  If I stood further back, the sky was blue and black, but when I was closer the sky had an almost orange hue.  The reason for this is the tree to the left.  This was covered in orange light and the closer I got to the tree the more light spilled into the camera and affected the ambiant sky color (wow how technical is that!)

I have to say that this month is proving to be the hardest month of the year.  It’s really not because of a lack of desire to go out and take pictures, it just that when I leave the office at the end of the day it’s totally black outside and raining.  But I only have 27 days to go (can’t believe that) and I really want to end on a high! So I checked with Lisa and have been assured that this weekend we have nothing planned and I’m going out to shoot loads of pictures no matter what.

The guys decided to do some wall climbing tonight.  They did pretty well too.

It’s kind-a funny the things you chose to shoot and post when you do this kind of “picture-a-day” nonsense and tonight’s posting is a great example of what I mean.  30 years ago when I was but a “slip of a lad” (well I was actually 19 then but I was definitely young) I really didn’t notice much around me, that is of course unless there was a sign saying “Bar Open” or there was a very pretty girl in my field of view.  In fact put a pretty girl in an open bar and World War III could have taken place behind me and I wouldn’t have noticed.  I’m sure you get the idea.  (Oh and before any of my American friends get all moral on me, the legal drinking age in the UK is 18, so finding open bars and pretty girls was a common pastime for me and my friends.  (The fact that I worked in a bar when I was 17 is neither here or there – but I digress.)

The mere thought of me stopping to stare at a sunset, or field of flowers was just out of the question, in fact I can feel 19 year old Tony inside cringing as I type this.  But age does many things to a man, we become more open to our surroundings, have an higher appreciation of natural beauty and are willing to look a complete dicks arse (friend joke) staring at something beautiful a 19 year old would point and laugh at.  Don’t get me wrong, I still like staring at a pretty girl (as Lisa will attest) but 30 years ago did I every think I’d post to an online web site a picture of a fallen tree stump?  Clearly the answer is no, I mean the web didn’t exist 30 years ago, but I think you get my point.

I should point out that I had a couple of beer’s tonight so I’m rambling a little here but what the heck, only 38 days to go, I should enjoy this opportunity.

Anyhow, back to the picture.  I was walking along a beach on Bainbridge Island and I came across a fallen tree.  So what I hear you ask.  Well the tree was rather uninteresting, but the roots at it’s base had turned almost silver and gold.  I looked pretty amazing and I found myself staring at the said tree trunk for far too long (pretty sad eh?)  Anyway I thought I’d take a picture as I really liked the way it looked and figured it might make a nice image.

So not your everyday traditional picture, not sure if this should be classified as a landscape, or macro image, maybe it’s just “arty” either way I like the way it came out and am posting it tonight.  (Hopefully this is not the beer talking).

Tonight the guys decided to play a game of golf – thank you Valerie for loaning the set.