The Daily Focal Point

December 16, 2008

Results! Photo Challenge: Lights

Filed under: Light, Photo Challenges! — cabenelson @ 12:36 am

Dude… are you freezing or what? Is it not the coldest it’s been in a while? I’M FREEZING and I’m in California!

So how was this challenge? I’m sure it forced some people to have either a very steady hand or busting out that old tripod of yours. It’s a challenging shot but just like always, I’m super impressed with the level of talent.
Again, I hope we all learn something new or take a different perspective in our photography.

Our first photo this challenge comes from Rob at Dusty Lens at Dusty Lens – North Metro. Visit Rob’s site and take a look at his “Urban Art” photo, it’s a beautiful picture.
Great colors and wonderful glow! Rob says, “It was darn cold here as it was 8 degrees (f) and windy as I was out taking some photos. I was shooting at a shopping mall with an outdoor pavilion area. I was approached by mall security who asked what I was up to. I replied I was shooting the Christmas display. He told me he didn’t mind me doing this just so I keep from photographing the shops. The shop owners don’t like photos of their place nor does the mall owner approve of their property to be photographed. Thanks to an understanding security guard, I got my photos.”
Don’t you hate it when “the man” comes down on us? And what’s the harm in taking some pictures, It’s not like we’re the Paparazzi! Great photos as usual Rob. I’m glad you got the shot.

Our next Photo comes from Sheila at I’m loving her blog and it’s not just because her photos are great (which they are -very talented) but it’s because of her writing. She has the ability to put fluidly put together a good story or capture what she was wanting to convey. I fully respect that because I can’t do it. As evidence of my terrible grammar and structure.
Pewter Hope
Sheila has a wonderful story that goes hand-in-hand with this picture. If you’re going to view the picture, you’re going to need to read the story. I love pictures like that, that mean so much to someone they have to explain it because it’s only 50%. You’ll need to click here for the story. I love the photo and the story. My wife and I went through that earlier on when she was living in Australia and I was in Texas. I almost, almost cherish those times because it shaped us so much. Okay, blah! I’ll stop. Great photo Dr Cason.

Our next two photos come from Stacy. Stacy has a great eye for photography and I’m very excited to see her at Christmas (we’re family) I think she thinks of me like Cousin Eddie.
I love the line in this last shot and how you framed it on the left side of the field. Stacy said this, “Here are my shots for the week. I must say that I’m not very happy with my shots. I kind of waited until the last minute to do these today. It started to rain and it’s like 12 degrees today. So needless to say this isn’t my best work. lol. Here they are. I like the Light Path better than the green lights but these were the only two that looked semi-decent.”
They look great Stacy! Can’t wait for us to go shoot together when I get home.

Our next set of photos come from Nana. Again, I couldn’t be more stoked that Nana chose to participate with these challenges. Nana has a wonderful view and eye for photography.
tunnel of lights
I absolutely love the first one and the second one has wonderful textures and layers. These layers make your eyes have a fun time following it up close and then further as the lights go back. Very cool!

This photo comes from Gail at From The Back Deck. Gail had a recent post on her love/hate relationship with photography and it hit me. It’s the same feeling I have my hobby/passion. Read it, chances are you might feel the same way. It can be found here.
Quiet at Last
Great mood! It’s perfectly framed. Gail said, “The wind blew and the temperature fell. Snow flurried and roads closed from ice and snow. No elegant picture of holiday lights planned in advance. Just simple candles.” Looks great Gail.

Our next photo comes from Ginger at Ramble Ramble. I’ve mentioned this before but Ginger has a great eye for photographs. And this picture is great!
Ginger says, “Just like in my Christmas decorations, I’m running late with this challenge. This is the ONLY shot I could pull off this weekend that wasn’t horrible…photographing the lights with no tripod made for some crazy bad pictures.
But, I really like what’s happening with this one–of course the macro setting helped make me more comfortable!”

Dude Ginger you must be on Valium or something because you’ve got some steady hands! Very impressive without a tripod. Great shot! You labeled this photo tangled and the word “tangled” being associated with Christmas lights gives me the chills.

Our final shot of the challenge comes from Mary Elizabeth. Who I always love when she participates and I love looking at her photos.
Okay, I had to look at this shot for a while. My first initial response was, “I love it!” Then I thought I was viewing it form the wrong angle, or you provided it to me not rotated. And then I realized that nope, this was it and that it didn’t matter. It wasn’t about the light themselves, rather it was about the light from it. Mary Elizabeth, you successfully created a great mood with this picture by just capturing the light reflect from the walls. At least that’s how I see it! Mary Elizabeth said, “i really struggled with capturing the Christmas lights how i wanted to, but this was one of the last shots i took and i ended up really liking it. i was just laying down next to it, and i noticed how pretty the lights on the tree lit up the ceiling so i began to shot from that angle. i’m pleased as punch as how it turned out (considering i couldn’t get a single other shot i liked!!)!”

Great shots this week! Again, very talented group and I couldn’t be more pleased with the participation I’m getting from everyone, it’s just awesome.

So which ones did you like?

I’m contemplating taking a hiatus this next week. I’m sure most people are going to be busy and I didn’t want to issue a challenge and have it be one of those things on your mind, “Crap, I need to send something in” at a time when you should be hanging out with family. That is unless people are up for it? Is everyone okay with a challenge this next week? Who would be in?

Thanks All!



  1. Impressive photos, everyone! I had fun with this one despite the cold and security issues. We might say this was a double challenge so to speak, Lights and Night/Low Light photography. Well done!

    I’d be up for it if there was another challenge for this week. Next week may be a tough one to get in.

    A note for those who live in the northland; when the temp drops well below freezing while shooting outside, you want to warm the camera up slowly.

    Put your camera in the camera bag before returning indoors, even for a brief moment. Let it sit for many hours to warm up slowly before downloading your images. Otherwise condensation will form on your camera and lens.

    If it dose get condensation, do NOT clean the lens. Clean it after it warms up and the codensation is gone.

    Comment by Rob — December 16, 2008 @ 7:58 am

  2. That’s great advise. Thank you Rob. I just recently moved to Overland Park, Kansas and The weather is a lot different than what I’m use to. I didn’t know that about my camera. Thanks again.

    As always, everyone did a superb job. I love these challenges. I really enjoy seeing everyone’s perspective on photography.

    I loved Dr. Cason’s shot this week. The depth of field is amazing. It’s so soft too. For some reason it was really peaceful to me. I loved the angle that Mary Elizabeth shot at. It took me a minute to figure out how you shot it.

    As for a photo challenge next week, well I can certainly try. My (and Caleb knows what I’m talking about) family can be really high maintenance. I also won’t have access to photoshop. I can certainly try though.

    Comment by Stacy — December 16, 2008 @ 8:16 am

  3. Hi Caleb!

    I love the layers in Nana’s second shot. So cool. I had hoped to get some Christmas Tree shots but haven’t been out with the kids to look around. I will go later tonight to visit a huge train.

    Hope to get something good. 🙂 She

    Comment by Sheila @ — December 16, 2008 @ 3:53 pm

  4. Yeah, this one was a challenge, but wow there’s some great stuff here this week (oh wait, that’s right, there is every week!).

    Comment by Ginger — December 16, 2008 @ 4:37 pm

  5. Really fantastic photos everyone!

    I cannot even begin to say which ones I like the best, because they all capture light in such different and unique ways. Suffice to say, these photos light up my soul!

    Comment by Kathleen — December 16, 2008 @ 4:44 pm

  6. Yep, definitely my sweet neices shot (Love, from Auntie) Sheila, it’s beautiful. It’s soft, almost velvet. Second, I love “Tangled”.

    Comment by Gail — December 16, 2008 @ 5:16 pm

  7. Sorry I missed this week’s challenge (I didn’t realize how rare computer time would be while out of town) but I enjoyed seeing what you all sent in. Lights are definitely fun, and since it’s dark so much of the day this time of year, I got lots of practicing in!
    I’d do my best on a challenge this week, but can totally understand a hiatus being in order. How’s that for a non-answer? 🙂

    Comment by 12littlefeet — December 16, 2008 @ 5:19 pm

  8. I love the shots from Sheila en Gail most. I’m having a small break this week but you can count me in for a new challenge.

    Comment by nana — December 17, 2008 @ 7:52 am

  9. Wow! Great shots! We actually remembered to take some this weekend (my husband and I) but then, of course, I forgot to send them in on time. DOH!

    I’d try to participate in a challenge if there was one next week, if only I can remember!! lol.

    Comment by Jaden — December 17, 2008 @ 8:28 am

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