We just returned from a very quick trip to Southern California to do a mini-Christmas celebration with my son and family for Christmas. The Christmas decorations at the mall where we ate dinner were amazing!
We were dreaming of white Arizona Christmas as we checked the weather apps each day. As the weekend approached, the forecasts kept showing a snowflake for most of Christmas Eve day- and they were right. It rained in the late morning, quickly turning to sleet and then snow- heavy snow that lasted all afternoon. We ended up with about six or seven inches at our house, and it is still here. Beautiful!
I posted this photo on Facebook- and then noticed the fire hydrant in the foreground, which I have since removed (fire hydrants and garbage cans are what cloning brushes are for!). After I took this shot, I walked toward the tree- and fell against the curb, cracking my lens hood and banging my arm and knee. Happy to report that the only damage seems to have been to the lens hood (which is a replacement for the one I cracked in Montana. . .)- the camera and photographer are just fine!
For the last four years, I have photographed the lights at Courthouse Square here in Prescott. Some of them can be found here and here. This year I decided to use multiple exposures for an impressionist interpretation.
The snow of a few days ago turned into a drizzle, which created reflections of the Christmas lights at Courthouse Square last night.
It’s actually looked a lot like Christmas since Thanksgiving! I love my house at Christmas- all the traditional little knicky-knacky things brought out- and then there’s the tree. It’s fake, which was never our tradition, but it’s decorated with ornaments from our kids’ childhood and some newer ones picked up over the years. I started acquiring snowmen in the last ten years or so; here’s one that sits in our entryway.
Yes, it’s taken with a Lensbaby!
When I woke up this morning, our neighborhood looked like a Christmas card. As a California transplant who has never lived in snow until the last couple years, I am enchanted by the transformation that takes places overnight. It snowed here a week ago, and parts of town were still covered- but we only had snow left in patches until this morning. I put on my boots and went out with my warm jacket over my PJ’s and took some photos with my Nikon- but my favorite shot has to be this iPhone panorama.
I did a quick HDR edit in Snapseed and posted it to Facebook. As usual, I couldn’t leave well enough alone, so brought it into Lightroom for some brightening and noise reduction. I then took it into Photoshop and applied some Topaz filters. First, I used Simplify to create more of a painterly look- and then Texture Effects, where I did a “from scratch” edit to bring in a texture that made it look like it was snowing.
And now it really does look like we live in a Christmas card!
It is highly unlikely that we will have a white Christmas, but we are certainly enjoying the pre-Christmas snow!