Sunday, December 24, 2017

'Twas the night before Christmas...

A Visit from St. Nicholas

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too—
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack.
His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Source: The Random House Book of Poetry for Children (Random House Inc., 1983) & Poetry Foundation

Friday, December 22, 2017

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Wishing you all the best for the holidays and in the new year.

Mindful of the Mood

'Tis the season for the yearly email purge. My email inbox was stuffed with hundreds of helpful hints on improving my photography.

Recently I received one from Improve Photography on how to create Mood. They suggested increasing the contrast, desaturating, and shooting from more dramatic angles. Not really inspiring.

So I consulted the Google and found this really good article by Frank Myrland of Digital Photography School: How to Capture Mood and Atmosphere in Your Photos

My photos seem to be hit and miss when it comes to expressing moods/emotions. It could be why lately I've been feeling a little "meh" about going out and shooting.

The following are some shots from 2017 that kind of work. But I need to be more mindful of the mood, I think. Learn how to create atmosphere.

A goal!

Tough one.

Seek out the mood.

Create atmosphere.

Give it a go.

To enlarge an image, click on the photo.

Friday, December 8, 2017

A night @ a skating rink

It's been a while since my last post, I know.  Haven't gotten out much lately. Too tired from work. The brain seems to go into mush mode where there is no energy to create.

Tonight I broke the mush-brain cycle and went out to shoot downtown night scenes with some friends. We started at Olympic Plaza and slowly made our way down Stephen Avenue.

Here are some of the things I saw and managed to catch. (Click on photo to make them larger.)