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.
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.
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.
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.