Wednesday, December 24, 2014

O, Come Let Us Adore Him!

O Come Let Us Adore Him, Christ the Lord!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Awkward Christmas Photos PLUS One!

I took a Christmas photo of my daughter and her family of handsome men for their Christmas card!

Now check out some more Christmas family photos for your chuckle of the day.  (P.S.  If you have very delicate sensibilities, just note there are a couple of photos with scantily clad people, however, all the critical parts are covered.)

Please tell me I did a better job than these awkward family photos!!!  I bet the families AND the photographers who took them, cringe when they revisited these photos years later!  (I also cringe when I look at some of my past photography attempts.... as recent at last week - haha.)  

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Share The Gift!

If you are among my dear friends who say "Merry Christmas" at this time of year, as we celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, take a moment to be be inspired and uplifted as you listen to David Archuleta and Peter Hollens sing "Angels We Have Heard On High", accompanied by the Piano Guys and joined by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The video depicts beautiful scenes of Christians wanting to ‪#‎sharethegift‬.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Turn Your Christmas or Holiday Lights Into Beautiful Bokeh!

The trick to turn your lights into a beautiful background bokeh pattern is to use a relatively wide aperture (small f stop).  Position your subject a good distance in front of the lights.  Using a telephoto lens, zoom in for a close-up of your subject, (focus on your subject), and you will create beautiful light balls.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Turn Your Christmas or Holiday Lights into Stars

Tip:  to make your Christmas lights twinkle like stars, set your camera for a small aperture, (big f number), and a long exposure.  You will probably have to use a tripod:

 (Check back for another light tip.)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

St. George LDS (Mormon) Temple at Christmas

St. George Temple

Tip for shooting outdoor Christmas and Holiday Lights:  
Instead of waiting until dark, shoot about 15-30 minutes after sunset. Think twilight or dusk.  Instead of having a boring black sky, you will have a beautiful deep blue sky as a backdrop to the colorful lights.

(Two more tips to follow on how to make your Christmas light photos more eye catching and interesting.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Tuweep Overlook, North Rim, Grand Canyon

Tuweep Overlook, North Rim, Grand Canyon

Well, today was an adventure!  We took off early this afternoon to explore a new area for RZR riding.  We loaded up the machines, packed a lunch and headed out on a beautiful, warm, sunny day in December.  It is hard to believe what beautiful weather we are having both here in southern Utah and also in northern Utah.  I feel a bit guilty enjoying near 70 degrees of warmth, when other parts of the country are either having horrible snowstorms or are recovering from horrible snowstorms. 

Anyway, our goal today was a remote lookout over the Grand Canyon which is about 90 miles from our home near St. George.  After turning off the main road, we found out, however, that it was illegal to drive our RZRs on the side road, so rather than turn around we hauled them over 60 miles on a dirt road, that at places was worse than a washboard, and at other places we had to navigate over boulders.  Sixty miles in and 60 miles out going about 10 mph at times is a long way to be jerked, jarred and jostled!  We kept saying, if we were riding our RZRs we would have been able to zoom along at a good clip without any effort at all! 

It is safe to say, that of the millions of tourists who visit the Grand Canyon, only a very, very small number have been to this remote location.  There are no services, no gas, no stores, no cell phone service, and if you get a flat tire, or have another emergency, it will cost you about $2000 to get assistance that may take a very long time to arrive!

Needless to say, it took longer to get there than expected, and we arrived just shortly before sunset.  If you like the peace and quiet of remote desert landscapes, enormous red rock boulders and cliffs, and standing on the edge of a 3,000 foot vertical drop that ends in what appears to be a tiny ribbon of the Colorado River, then this place is for you!  The scenery was indeed breathtaking!

As far as picture taking goes, I'm not so sure.  Looking in the opposite direction of this view, which would be roughly east, I could not see the river at the bottom and most of the canyon was in deep shadow.  So no picture there.  Because of the terrain and position of the setting sun, I couldn't find a composition without the sun.  I had to take whatever shots I could get quickly, because the sun was setting fast.  I only took about five shots, and so I had to be satisfied with this, lens flare and all.  Personally I don't mind the flare, but I know many would find it distracting. 

Even though we have the satisfaction of going somewhere beautiful that very few people will see, I don't think this will be on our list of places to revisit.  But, hey, we can say we've been there once!