A while back, I signed up to be a part of the Clever Cookie School of Blog, and since then I’ve gotten to be good blogging friends with some incredible bloggers from around the world. Each month on the 10th, some of us form a 10 on 10 photography circle. We share 10 photos (occasionally more – my bad!) from our life – a day of our life, generally – and one of us link to another. Our visitors have the opportunity to make their way around the circle. Some of you may have made your way here from Steph at Steph’s Joy and if so WELCOME! Others of you will leave me and head on off to visit with Cathy at Peregrination Gourmande. I hope you enjoy!
I’m just going to be upfront and tell you – I’ve got more than 10 photos for you this week. I actually have 16, I think. Considering that I started with over 300 photos from this event, I’m pretty proud of the fact that I’ve narrowed those down to just 16 that I’m sharing with you. I was fairly ruthless during the editing process and wound up leaving myself with approximately 70 photos from last Saturday night. If we are being completely honest, I was tempted to share all 70 of those with you, not because I love them that much but because the event was so much fun!
As most of my days start, Saturday December 3rd, I was up before the sun in an attempt to chase its rising. I wasn’t quite sure where or what I wanted to shoot Saturday morning but I wound up at the Biloxi Schooner complex. Despite the fact that I like to call myself a photographer, I am often remarkably oblivious. If you saw this week’s Photo Friday post, you saw that I almost missed the Christmas decorations because I was too busy looking at the sun. As I was getting myself situated to take photos Saturday morning, I didn’t see the lights on the schooners at first.
There’s no excuse; occasionally I’m just an airhead. I think I was also worried about the sunrise that morning. Afterall, I’d dragged myself out of bed when clearly I wanted to still be snuggled up in it. The lease the sun could do for me was shine. Unfortunately, the little tiny circle of it there in left-hand corner is as good as it got. Too many clouds.
When I finally did notice the lights, I remembered that we had plans to see the Biloxi boat parade later that night. We’ve lived here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast for the last 5 years, but this is the first time that we actually made it to the parade. Every year I am upset that we’ve missed it, and every year I tell Sweet Husband that we have to go next year. 2016 has been difficult in many, many ways, but finally making it to the parade certainly makes for a sweet ending to the year.
Hey – I take my victories where I can.
The photography club was hosting an open group shoot for the parade, and while I didn’t meet up with any of the other members during the shoot, the conversations before the shoot about settings and how to handle shooting bright, slow-moving objects against dark backgrounds were invaluable. There were several times when I actually stopped shooting, whipped out my phone and went back to the group discussions in order to make some corrections. Without those conversations, I highly doubt that any of these photos would be worth viewing.
Even with those conversations, though, there is an incredibly steep learning curve associated with shooting very bright, slow-moving objects against a dark background. Even with a tripod, most of my images were shaky. I was lacking a remote shutter release so what I did bracket my shots in the hopes that at least one of the three would be clear. That worked pretty well for me, but it wasn’t ideal. Santa brought me a remote trigger as an early Christmas pressie so I’m hopeful that when we head out to Christmas on the Bayou Saturday night, things will be a bit smoother for me.
Editing these images wasn’t the most fun I’ve ever had either. Because of the darkness, I had to push the ISO settings on my Nikon D5200 to 1600. That meant the resulting images had a lot of grain or noise. My editing process is usually fairly simple. I adjust exposure and contrast, maybe apply a preset or adjust highlights and shadows. Fixing the noise required doing a bit of investigation. Fortunately fixing noise in Lightroom is a pretty simple adjustment.
Beyond taking pictures, though, Sweet Husband and I had a blast! We brought a cooler full of adult beverages with us and met up with some of SH’s coworkers. Recent transplants from Chicago shared fish tales. We played with kids and laughed, all while freezing. For most people, temperatures in the 40s aren’t terribly cold. I just want to remind those people that on the water with wind blowing makes the 40s cold. When you are out of the habit of dealing with cold temperatures, wind-punished 40s on the water are cold.
I am a sucker for Christmas lights. I don’t know what it is about them. Perhaps it’s about a return to childlike wonder and an innocence of belief. Maybe it’s just about the feeling of joy. Whatever it is, I love it. We may not have our tree up yet (this weekend!), but we do have our outside lights on. SH has been telling me all week that I need to be prepared for after Christmas on the Bayou; he’s going to ride me around to look at lights. People here on the Coast take their Christmas lights seriously. I’m giddy at the prospect.
As much as I love Christmas lights, I also love fireworks, and the boat parade ended with a bang. I didn’t even attempt to capture those because by then, I was on overload. I also fight this internal battle about recording an event and truly experiencing it. For this particular occasion, I really focused on recording it. When the fireworks started, I made the decision to put the camera away and just stare and giggle.
I thoroughly enjoyed shooting the Biloxi Boat Parade and hope you did too. I can’t wait to shoot this evening (look for those photos in next week’s Photo Friday post). Tell me – what do you look forward to with the holidays each year? And have you ever shot something like the boat parade? Any tips for me for tonight??? Talk to me in the comments 😉
Now because this is a photography circle, please make your way to my friend Cathy at Peregrination Gourmande. If you’re here from Steph’s Joy, thanks for coming on around the Circle! Leave us some comment love on your trip, please because bloggers love comments. I hope you enjoy!