Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Eve This Year...

When I was a kid the big Christmas Eve event was sitting on my father's lap and having him read "The Night Before Christmas." As the story neared it's conclusion (the same conclusion every year) we'd breathe a little faster because following the story, we'd be allowed to open ONE Christmas gift -- as long as it wasn't the "big one."

That was then. This year, Sheree and I packed up her brand new Canon 50D (which she loves, by the way) and my eVolt and went to a cemetary.

It was freezing outside, with temps below the -26c mark. (You guys know about shooting in cold weather, right? You simply accept that the cold will suck the life out of your battery and make your camera cranky. It's best to keep the camera inside your jacket so it can stay warm.) We did a lot of shooting, ran back to the warm car and then headed out again.

It was a memorable afternoon. I love graveyards, especially when I stop to consider that under each tombstone is something that used to be a person, and that what is on the tombstone is what the people left behind think you should know about them.

Sometimes it's just their last name (which I have always suspected is because that's the least expensive package) and sometimes there are grand displays. Like this angel.

I've seen her in summer under the blistering heat. Here she is in winter, with her fall foliage covered in the dusting of snow we got a few days ago.

I've added the bokeh to the edges to direct the eye to the subject of the shot. I increased the vibrance on the leaves inside Photoshop. Because she came off as "way too grey" -- I first used the Burn Tool to accent her lines. Then I used the nifty new CS4 Vibrance setting.

The shot from behind really worked for me as well. I loved the shell look of the wings, contrasted with the snow coating her head and her wings.

It's the same statue -- just two completely different views of it. See how changing your position can radically change the way your image is presented?

The shot at the top of this blog was something I set up. Those are my tracks heading off into the distance. I put them into the snow at that angle because I wanted them to head away from the tombstones, apparently going nowhere.

If you take a look at the largest tombstone, you will see why I did it this it an end to Xmas if you like.

Cemetaries are wonderful places to shoot. Your subjects aren't going anywhere and they never ever complain about the cold.