Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas At Temple Square

Linda said that one thing on her bucket list was to see the Christmas lights again at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah.  I’m not crazy about visiting the city, but we left our peaceful valley to confront the crowds and traffic.  We saw a Christmas play, “The Forgotten Carols”, ate some great food, shopped, and marveled at the amazing Christmas lights.  I even hiked into the hills to photograph an historic old lime kiln.

Temple Square is a ten-acre park-like location that includes the famous temple, tabernacle, visitor’s center, and more for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS), often called the Mormon Church.  Linda is a member of the LDS Church, so this visit had extra significance for her.
The Christmas display is one of the best anywhere.  There must be millions of lights, and several pools reflect the colors.  This shot was taken at dusk.

The grounds and buildings are gorgeous.  The Assembly Hall architecture was beautiful in the colorful light.

A tripod is helpful to hold your camera steady for high quality images, but today’s digital cameras can also take beautiful hand held photos after dark using high ISO settings, if you can live with increased digital noise.

A remote shutter release helps minimize camera shake.

This photo was taken at ISO 12800.  

The spectacular display at Temple Square is a wonderful, family friendly place to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.  There are beautiful reminders everywhere about the birth of Jesus Christ.

All photos are copyrighted by Ross Walker, and cannot be used for any purpose without permission.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Small Town Christmas

I get a kick out of the Christmas celebration in downtown Montpelier, Idaho.

This year, December has been unusually warm so a nice crowd came out for the festivities.  Bonfires were set up along Washington Street and people roasted hot dogs in front of Radio Shack.  Horse drawn hay rides went around the city where there were living nativities and other scenes to see.  Santa was at the visitor’s center, there was a traditional Christmas tree lighting, and a Christmas craft fair was in the old abandoned hotel.

I spent the night experimenting with long exposures to capture intentional blur.  (20 seconds, ISO 100, f 10).  There were a heck of a lot of deleted photos.
The sidewalk looks empty in this photo, but the long exposure blurred movement so that people nearly disappeared.  (15 seconds, ISO 100, f 10)
There is a small park with a statue of Old Ephraim, a legendary grizzly bear that was finally killed in 1923 after devastating livestock for years in the Bear Lake Valley.  Now he guards the community Christmas tree.  (5 seconds, ISO 400, F 13)
My wife Linda (left) and her sister, Jo Ann had a table at the craft fair downtown.  Linda sold her crafts and our photo notecards, and Jo Ann sold her books.

Christmas in Montpelier, Idaho seems more laid back and peaceful than in the bigger cities.  The celebration may seem small and old fashioned, but everyone had a good time.  There is no way I would trade it for the commercialism I see most other places.

May your Christmas be filled with the true spirit of this amazing season.

All photos are copyrighted by Ross Walker and can not be used for any purpose without permission.