Warm Winter

When I posted before Christmas I mentioned wanting some pictures of Christmas lights. I was able to get them and realize a long-unfulfilled desire to photograph something in my home town at the same time.

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North School Park in Arlington Heights, IL was built when I was in my early teens, and ever since it has been home during December to an elaborate display of Christmas lights. From the day I first read David Hobby’s guide to shooting Christmas lights, I have wanted to photograph North School Park in its winter glory, but could never quite make the time on multiple trips to visit my parents. I finally got my pictures last week, when we visited for my younger son’s birthday. Mother Nature was kind to me and (literally) iced the cake with a foot of snow. The train shown above, of course, is my kids’ favorite.

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Capturing the windmill above took some trial and error, as well as defying diffraction with an aperture of f/22. I’m long overdue to buy some ND filters to allow longer exposures at smaller apertures.

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By the time I took this frame, the twilight had deepened enough to give me 20 s @ f/16. Still need those ND filters….

It was when I edited these pictures that I finally decided I like my new D7100 a lot. Not that the D90 couldn’t have done a good job, but there is a combination of smoothness, sharpness, and deep dynamic range in the D7100 files that the D90 just can’t match. I’m looking forward to the next time I go photographing at dusk.

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One thought on “Warm Winter

  1. Pingback: Sailing By | Nicholas Haggin Photography

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