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Old Nov 18, 2007, 9:10 PM   #1
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I can't believe it's time for the Christmas lights to go on, but that they did this weekend at out botanical garden, which draws thousands for its annual display. Not all the displays are finished, but some wonderful opportunities for letters. The S is obvious and turn over the candy cane to get a great J.



This pinwheel offers obvious Y's and V's, but I've also seen D's and L's. There may be others.


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Old Nov 18, 2007, 10:54 PM   #2
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Nice work but a bit overexposed. Also, I think the white balance is off a bit in the first shot. When I shoot outdoor holiday lights, I set WB to "incandescant" or "tungsten" (both the same thing but different names on different cameras). That will make sure the white lights are white instead of yellow.

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Old Nov 19, 2007, 5:59 AM   #3
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Thanks for the suggestions, Cal. On the first shot, I took it down and tweaked the WB a little in PSP, then re-posted--a subtle, but definite improvement. I was using a Vivitar 35-85 f2.8 MF zoom lens for these shots, and overall, I really liked its performance, but I do see the overexposure. I suspect the very bright lights against the totally black background simply overpowered the camera's meter on Aperture Priority mode. I'll be going back to shoot a couple of more times during the holiday period, and the next time I'll shoot on full manual to get a little more control.
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Old Nov 19, 2007, 4:31 PM   #4
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You might try shooting in auto/program mode and dialing in a bit of negative exposure compensation. You don't need much, maybe -0.7 or so. Just enough to keep the lights from "blooming". Don't even try to use flash. That will really screw up the exposure.

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