Saturday, December 28, 2013

Dreaming of a White Christmas

Every so often Lena gets tired of spending Christmas in Southern Californa and insists that we spend Christmas in Sweden and enjoy a traditional Christmas in Sweden. Unfortunately the weather in southern Sweden has a somewhat different interpretation of traditional Christmas, and what we generally get is rain, wind and clouds.

As luck would have it we did get some snow a couple of weeks before Christmas and Lena and I took the opportunity to pay another visit to Skäralid National Park. It made for a fantastic winter setting but it only lasted one day before the rains came and washed it all away.

This image was taken with the Canon 6D and my "walk-around lens" the 24-105L, post-processing done in PS Lightroom, with some extra saturation to bring out the red in the buildings.

This image is taken with one of my absolute favorite lenses, the Samyang 14mm f/2.8. Although this is a completely manual lens, you shouldn't be intimidated by the lack of autofocus. Even at f2.8 the depth of field will extend from 2m to infinity, so focussing is rarely a problem. This lens costs a fraction of what Canon's 14mm lens costs, and easily matches the Canon in most aspects, and surpasses the Canon for astro-photography where the Canon has a tendency to make stars look like commas.

And here is the Christmas weather we were dreaming about:

But I had to dig into the archives from 2005 and the Ice Hotel in Northern Sweden for this one.

Best wishes for a happy new year!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Reflections on the Water...

I spent a blustery fall day in the Skäralid National Park in southern Sweden in the beginning of November. My self-appointed theme for the day was reflections, and as I took pictures a song from my childhood played in head.

Season Suite: Fall

Reflections on the water like shadows in my mind
Speak to me of passing days and nights and passing time
The falling leaves are whispering winter's on its way
I close my eyes remembering the warmth of yesterday

It seems a shame to see September swallowed by the wind
And more than that it's oh so sad to see the summer end
And though the changing colors are a lovely thing to see
If it were mine to make the change I think I'd let it be...

But I don't remember hearing anybody asking me...

John Denver (1972)

You can hear it here starting at 2:54.

And as certain as winter is coming, there will be a spring; and in the meantime there are always a few die hard optimists who refuse to let a little wind and rain put a damper on life...

All images taken with Canon 6D and 24-105/4L iso50. A neutral density filter allowed exposures up to 30 seconds.