The 2017 Purdue Memorial Union Christmas Tree Arrives

Each year when the Christmas tree arrives at the Purdue Memorial Union we head down to take a look at it. For the last couple of years my daughter and I have actually watched the tree lighting ceremony. The Purdue Christmas tree has been an annual event for the family. The photo of it has been something that I have been doing every year as well. Each year I usually have some new piece of gear that I want to use on it. In a way that was true this year as well. I had my Canon 5D Mark IV with me with the Canon 17-40mm lens. I really want to make a photo of the tree with my new 11-24mm lens, but when I made this I was walking through from a job, and I had on me what I did. Before the tree goes down this year I will stop by to make a photo with the 11-24mm lens.

Should I Make Them Move?

As I was set up for this shot I was walking to my car from a job on campus. I didn’t want to spend too much time at the Union, but I wanted to get the shot. I liked the idea of the people at the piano even though they would be a bit blurry. What I didn’t like was the two guys standing on the left side of the frame on their phones. I waited over fifteen minutes thinking that I would wait them out. I contemplated asking them to move, but who am I to say who can stand where? At the end something at the Union must have gotten out, and the area around the tree was filled with people. If I could get a little higher that could have been a shot, but I didn’t see it so I packed up and moved on with what I have. Do you ask others to move so that you can get a shot?

Using Aurora HDR Pro 2018

This is actually the first photo that I have made with the new Aurora HDR product. When I really got started into photography I used HDR on everything. I mean everything. I used Photomatix to make images of pizza, ornaments, and even a dog. I really liked a part of the look, and I sacrificed the rest of the image for that. I have since nearly quit using HDR programs. It has been a long time since I opened Photomatix which was my most used program. The in program HDR function in Lightroom really does the trick when I feel that I need to combine images. I do have Aurora HDR for some shots where I want to play a little though. This was one that I had an idea for when I made the photo. I like to combine the sharp and glow looks in Aurora for a picture with a little dreamy quality to it. I think that it worked well here, and gave me a different look than I have been making lately.


About Pinola Photo

I am a sports and lifestyle photographer based in West Lafayette, IN home of Purdue University. I cover sports for Big Ten teams as well as other colleges. You can follow me on twitter @pinolaphoto. You can also view my website at

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