Christmas Comes To Downtown Lafayette

Last week while driving across the Union St. bridge I saw this large Christmas tree in downtown Lafayette. I made a mental note to come back and see what it is all about. Right now Lafayette is just coming out of a big overhaul. Most of the streets and sidewalks downtown are or have been worked on. Of course the controversial bank is also going up as we speak. I found this quiet scene after walking across the pedestrian bridge. I would have liked to have been there about a half an hour earlier, but it was already pretty dark when I showed up.

A Closer Look

On the scene I was all about using all 24mm of the lens that I had on my camera. Once I got back home and started editing the photo I realized that I wanted to see more detail in the middle of the frame. Most of the outside of the frame was boring. I was shooting at ISO 100 so cropping in would not give me too much noise. I cropped the photo at the top of the post to make the photo that you see above. What do you think? Is the wider angle better? Do you like the cropped version better?

The Best Time to Photograph Christmas Lights

When I first started taking my photograph seriously I would drive around well after dark to photograph Christmas lights. At that point the lights really looked great to my eyes. Of course my camera has nowhere near the technology that my eyes do. I quickly realized that the best time to photograph Christmas lights is at blue hour. An issue with getting our bill at a local restaurant put me behind, and cost me this chance to get my photo. The great thing about photography though is that you get another chance tomorrow. I like this photo, but I think that it could be even better.

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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.