30.12.12, Week 72: Tree Lights
I’ve been trying to take a nice shot of Christmas lights illuminating a fir tree ever since I had my camera. I haven’t managed to get a shot I was happy with until this year. A close friend of mine lives in a village near me which has a pond in the centre of it. Each year they put up a huge Christmas tree, which comes from my secondary school’s hall, next to the pond. It’s a very striking sight with the reflection of the Christmas tree in the water. Unfortunately, I haven’t managed to get a good shot of the reflection in the water, but it did provide a very good opportunity to take a shot of some Christmas lights on a tree without the rest of the scene being illuminated by other lighting. It was also nice to get some fresh air because I haven’t been outside much this holidays.
I’m in two minds about the photo. I don’t know whether it’s good that I focused on the wires and the lights, or whether I should have focused on the needles and let the lights be blurred in the background. With the composition as it is, I like the way the lights are surrounded by the tree’s branches. It makes the negative space more interesting in the image as the needles are quite softly outlined, rather than being sharply focused upon and brightly lit. I also like the way the needles take a variety of shapes throughout the image depending on how close they are to the point of focus and on how well lit they are. The only drawback is that I think the wires look quite ugly and as they are so sharply in focus, attract the viewer’s attention more so than the subtle aspects of the image that I like. I do, however, think that the out of focus bulbs in the background look really good. They give more depth to the image and because of the shallow depth of field there isn’t really any clear indication of where they are in relation to each other.
This Time Last Year
A close-up of a lampshade: 01.01.12: Week 20, Honeycomb.
In this weeks ‘This Time Last Year’ I wrote about all the things I said I would try to do when I wrote the first post of 2012. I set myself a series of aims, most of which I did not manage to keep. I’ve taken considerably fewer photos that I have deemed worth keeping this year, less than half the number I took last year. I will let you decide whether you think the quality of the shots has become better or worse. I did, however, manage to buy the new lens I was saving for, and feel that I have made a lot of progress at becoming a better photographer with it. I posted thirteen archive pictures last year, which is exactly a quarter of the posts made throughout the year. I don’t think that’s too bad an achievement considering I haven’t been particularly mobile for the majority of this year and have had to work a lot harder at university. I started learning HTML and CSS with the intention of creating my own website, but the scheme has been shelved for the foreseeable future. This is largely because I realised that if I designed a website, it would look pretty much entirely like this one, so I lost a lot of the enthusiasm I had for the project.
Date taken: 29.12.12
Speed: 1/10 sec
Focal length: 29mm