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Posts tagged “lights

Fireworks for Canada Day 2014

I was so excited this year, I looked up articles for taking fireworks and scouted spots ahead of time. When the evening came, I arrived 1 hour ahead of time to find that my first couple of spots were already taken but found p”plan c” and planted myself in position, checking the lens, set to manual focus and battery. I held down the shutter release in some cases as long as 19 seconds, periodically covering the lens opening with the cap to get multiple images in one shot. Sometimes it was blown out but got a good effect in a few.
The nice thing about a shutter release cable is that I could watch the fireworks live. It was fun and I got a kick out of the line-up of photographers dotted around the hill at different levels. The people next to me were newcomers to Canada and we hugged each other and I welcomed them. meanwhile they were recording and sending texts or emails back to their relatives.

I discovered a new feature here in WordPress. I put the photos into a” gallery”. if you click on one, a slideshow opens AND you can see the exposure settings.
So here are a few from last night:

Light the Bridge!

There has been a campaign in the city of Edmonton to donate money to light the high-level bridge after the waterfall proved too costly and full of flaws. There are 50,00 lights due to the generosity of the citizens of Edmonton and I do not think that it cost the tax-payers anything. While out on an evening walk I thought that I would take my camera and tripod and practise some shots for the fireworks and bridge display on Canada Day next Tuesday.The lights seem to move in lines  from one end to the other, changing colour and rhythm.

Last year I got pretty good fireworks but black sky and was envious of the blue skies of my fellow photographers.I did some research on exposures and decided to try putting my speed on “bulb”, pressed the remote shutter down for 5, 6 and 7 seconds. I used manual mode and manual focus, and kept my ISO at 100 and tried f/8 to f/11.I used my zoom lens at 70mm up to 300mm and prefer the wider shots, and probably move the viewfinder up,which will be good for the fireworks. The blue bridge in the foreground is the pedestrian and LRT pathway. Here are the results:







Celebrating the Light Displays

Now that we have had a few days of warmer weather I managed to get out to take photos of a few of the light displays around town. i did use a tripod and Shutter priority settings with exposures from 1/ 5 to 1/15 of a second. I so enjoy seeing the light displays, I hope you do too!


Strolling along Candy Cane Lane

Oh,  I thought, I have seen Candy Cane Lane so many times. But, maybe there is something new or a change in the usual.

I am glad that I went because there were new things to see and changes that made it better than last year. It was fun to run into friends and I enjoyed the music, some from the houses and some from live singers. It was cold and my thighs were frozen after eight blocks , even with “long johns”  on, but it was worth the trip and the wonder of it all warmed my heart.

I am going out for a walk right after this blog because the sun is shining and it is a beautiful day though somewhat cold and because we are, according to the weather reports,  heading for colder weather ( a ten degree drop) and more snow.

So enjoy the tour and blessings of the season to all…

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Whiteout is when it is snowing so hard it is just white in front of you,usually in a blizzard and people can get lost in their own yards. Now it wasn’t that bad today, but close. I needed to pick up some items between 1 and 1:30 p.m. and it started to snow just before. I went out to my car and took the brush and wiped the snow that had accumulated in about a half hour. There was a couple of inches but as fast as I could sweep off the snow with the brush it was replaced. By the time I got to the front windows of my car there was a couple of inches on the back windows so I did the best I could and backed out of my spot went down the alley and onto the street. At the church a few people were shovelling the walk in the same manner. Quickly, but to no avail. I got what I needed and headed right back home. There was a few inches on the road and it felt like I was driving through butter.

Thank goodness it didn’t last too long and there is evidence the plows were out and obviously people were out with their snow blowers as well.

Piling up© Jane Chesebrough

Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos when it  was snowing at the heaviest point this afternoon, but I went outside tonight and took some snapshots..no longer a whiteout, more like serene evening snow scenes.

After the Storm

© Jane Chesebrough

Winter Wonderland in Fall

© Jane Chesebrough

My Neighbourhood


© Jane Chesebrough



© Jane Chesebrough

Tomorrow I am supposed to go out on a photo shoot with my friend Frank  so I will share some of the photos with you tomorrow evening. I am definitely looking forward to it.

Now that was a Weekend!

My apologies for not getting to your blogs or commenting on them, just had to skip a few days for other duties. I volunteer at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival and have been doing so for about fifteen years.The only years missed during that period was when I was out of town and my job would not give me the time off and last year due to illness. But they welcomed me back, thankfully and it was fun. The perks? Getting fed delicious gourmet meals the whole time, a t-shirt of good quality, free admission, and parties with some of the bands from the festival playing. I just don’t have the energy for all the parties anymore ( I used to go to them all) and I would have loved to go to Sunday’s  but just had no energy left. But I did go to Saturday’s  party and sang in the acoustic room  with other folk enthusiasts then danced away to the Johnny Clegg band and Parachute Club (forgot about my arthritis).

I loved seeing favourites like Amadou & Mariam, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Emmy Lou Harris, Arlo Guthrie Family Reunion,Hills to Hollers with Linda Tillery, Barbara Higbie and Laurie Lewis and Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Mavis Staples.  New to me in that I heard them for the first time were Andrea House, Pokey Lafarge, Joanne Shenandoah, Monkey Junk and James Vincent McMorrow. But the best was the headliner, the wonderful powerful Bonnie Raitt. She put on such a show and was pulling her favourite musicians on stage with her and obviously having a blast and so were 20,000+ more of us. Welcome back Bonnie! I have no photos of her because it was requested that no photos be taken and I had taken some when she joined with Mavis  but removed them out of respect and they were poor shots anyway.They are etched in my mind’s eye.

Here are some photos to give you a taste of the festivities. They were all taken using my Canon 70-300mm lens and no editing has been done yet.

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

I want to Share One Decorated House with You before Year-end-Amazing!

This house in Edmonton,Canada was decorated out of a son’s love for his mother,Maisy, who loved Christmas. Since her passing,he has kept up the tribute. It is a challenge to photograph  because there is so much but I will try to give you an idea of the immencse effort this must take as well as the load on electrical bills. There are pictures of her in different locations and even the windows are decorated.

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It is Looking Like Christmas

©Jane Chesebrough

I like getting out to my favourite seasonal celebrations with my friends or alone with my camera.This was taken at a fundraiser for a children’s hospital. I deliberately shot this at a larger aperture to get a narrow depth of field and throw the background out of focus.Actually the whole thing is out of focus but I like the effect. I used a zoom lens which meant that people did not notice that I was taking a photo and were always walking in front of me.   When the crowds started to annoy me, (getting bumped was occuring more often) I decided to pack it in before totally losing my Christmas cheer, went home, turned on some quiet music and my tree lights and relaxed with an eggnog and coffee. Ah-h-h- so nice.

The view from the steps of the Legislature

©Jane Chesebrough

Like I said in my previous post, the star on the tree is really bright and “blows up”  I increased my shutter speed a bit to compensate for the brightness and get some detail while still seeing the rest of the lights.

Listening to Choirs and taking a Stroll

©Jane ChesebroughJoined a friend for a walk around the legislature grounds tonight and took some photos then went inside to listen to the choir and taste some hot chocolate. The snow is almost gone and icy and dirty so not much of a winter wonderland but the music sure makes a difference. I am putting a photo here from the other night because I have a sneaky suspicion that my battery will die before I complete the download. So here is a straight shot of the Alberta legislature then a shot from the front steps looking at the large Christmas tree-with a new star at the top.A very bright star I may add, that got me turning my shutter speed up to compensate.©Jane Chesebrough


Frozen in Motion

©Jane Chesebrough

This is another one of my “abstractions using motion. I took this at the Alberta legistrature. with all the lights and trees surrounding the central area.

Lights One Way or Another

I wanted to take photos of a couple of  trees on a street that were wrapped in lights but perplexed about how to  photograph them: with the street and building  signs,zoom in and eliminate some, abstract them?  So I tried a couple of approaches: which do you prefer?

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Ice on Whyte

©Jane Chesebrough


Amazing sculptures of ice and snow done by teams from around the world, especially Harbin, China, our twin province. Wish they filled in those holes in the ground. I tripped into one about a foot deep and went head first to the ground.I  held my camera up to protect it but my muscles are sure sore.Definitely hard on the back and shoulders.But I enjoyed the entertainment and sculptures.

1/15 second, f4 ISO 800

Alberta Legislature at Sunset

©Jane Chesebrough

After hearing that the best time to take pictures of Christmas lights is around sunset, I ventured over to the legislature grounds from 3:30 to 5:30 and took this at  5:08 p.m. I used shutter priority at 1/20 second, aperture of 4 and  set WB at cloudy to get more golden tones. I don’t have a lot of detail on the building but was going for the colour in the sky and the lights and am pleased with the result.  It helped that a couple wandered into view for perspective. There are still some shots I took earlier while it was still daylight and thought afterward, “Now why didn’t I get that point of view when it was darker and the lights were on?” I will get my chance when I go on a shoot with the Edmonton Meet Up Photography club next week, weather permitting. I am playing with different settings and using horizontal and vertical layouts for landscapes with interesting results.

Something a little less traditional….

©Jane Chesebrough

and definitely more abstract….

©Jane Chesebrough

New Year Celebrations

©Jane Chesebrough


©Jane Chesebrough

Happy and Prosperous New Year!

©Jane Chesebrough

Because I was working throughout the holidays I decided rather late in the year to go to the New Year’s Eve  celebrations in downtown Edmonton. Enjoyed the indoor entertainment at CBC radio and at city hall. The last hour outdoors was minus sixteen celsius but felt warmer with the crowd of thousands; the music from Soulijah Fyah  helped us stay warm, too. Sometimes having a conversation with a friend while you are both taking photos is almost impossible. Every time I turned to say something to my friend she was clicking away at something and I am sure I did that to her too. But glad I had the camera for the crowd shots and fireworks. For the latter I just set my camera to night scene mode and fired away, sometimes had to wait for the the camera to catch up before I could shoot-annoying being in a crowd and people are pushing you to get by when you are trying to line up a shot-being short has it’s disadvantages at times as well. Ha Ha got a few “head shots” when I was taking photos of the fireworks.Helps to be patient and not take myself too seriously.

I do wish all a happy, prosperous New Year of good will and the heart to follow your dreams.

Blue and White with Lanterns


©Jane Chesebrough

After our photo club outing to Candy Cane Lane got canceled on Wednesday because of a storm with high wind-chill factor, I went for a quick look this evening.  1/10 second, 4.5 f stop 500ISO using shutter priority mode.

Pretty Snow and Lights

©Jane Chesebrough

A Star!

©Jane Chesebrough

Embracing the Light

©Jane Chesebrough


Went into the streets the other night with a friend to capture some of the seasonal  lights. We learned a lot from each other, as I do from others on this blog site. I saw a person in this composition, reaching up to embrace the light.

used shutter priority of 1/10 second, f3.5 at a focal length of 18mm and 800 ISO



More Lights

©Jane Chesebrough

This photo is from the other night when I took my walk-about.did some post-editing on Photoshop, straightenened it out a tad, and lightened it. shutter priority at 1/10 second, f-stop 4, ISO 800

Enjoying the Lights


©Jane Chesebrough

Used shutter priority mode with 1/25 second at aperture of 3.5 The ISO was high at 800.18 mm

I would love to hear others opinions on the best way to take a photo of the Christmas lights with a DSLR. I am sure that it may be personal preference though I have heard the opinion that the best time is around sunset. I am happy with this one because it is in focus, and the colour is true, the way that I remember seeing it. I used a tripod, although a flimsy one.

I really had trouble with fog-up of both my LCD and my glasses, sometimes could not see the image at all-was surprised that the photos came out. I will take a plastic bag with me next time-the idea is to put the camera in the bag before going back indoors to avoid condensation. But mine was fogging up outside, probably because I kept breathing on it. Ha Ha….It was minus 15 celsius.

I am registered in a Continuing Education Photography course in January-looking forward to that! I know it will help me get more range out of my camera and help with catching the light in a variety of ways. In the mean time I will practice from the instruction manual and explore the different settings.


©Jane Chesebrough

I took this at the festiva and figured my lighting was set up for me so took the shot using shutter priority of 1/30 sec and aperture of 5.6 Kept my WB at daylight. It was so much fun but so many of my shots are not focused, or lack a strong point of view to attract the viewer’s eye. Must remember what it is that I want to express: contrast in light/shadow? Texture? Phenomenal colours? All of the above? Well in this one it was the subject and the lighting that caught my eye as well as the background busy-ness…

Tinsel Town

©Jane Chesebrough

I was just as fascinated by the box shaped hanging beads as I was by the trees. The lights would change constantly as  revolving spotlights would cast a different hue onto the decorations. I used an automatic night scene seting for this one. 1/30 sec. f4.5 ISO 400

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