‘Tradition’… At this time of year traditions in our household are daily. The 23rd is the day we bake cookies for Santa, finish any last minute shopping and make sure that all the gifts are wrapped and placed under the tree. Typically I do the majority of the wrapping, but it is the kids who place the presents under the tree. They get so excited about this every year. One by one they carry the presents to the tree, sneaking peaks at who the gifts are for, carefully eyeing the size and shape of each box and maybe even giving one the occasional shake. 😉 To be honest, I didn’t think this was what I would be posting for tradition, but when I was looking at photos from the day, this one just caught my eye. Unaware that I was taking the photo, my son is looking for the name on the tag and our shih-tzu is right in the midst of it all, looking up hoping that maybe one of the gifts is a new chew toy or rawhide bone. At a glance I can picture the kids at 2 and 4, or 8 and 10 running to the tree with the presents. I then can quickly flash to the future, when one day we will be waiting for one or both of them to come home for the Holidays to put the presents under the tree. They do it together… It’s a tradition.
This photo was taken with my DSLR with a 35 mm F2 lens attached. It was taken in the evening and my settings were ISO 3200, aperture 2.0 and a shutter speed of 1/100. I first edited in lightroom increasing the clarity and the vibrance, sharpening a tad and smoothing the luminance. I then used a black and white filter in pixlromatic.
I’ve been ill the last couple of days with a flu-like virus I caught from Jack. I had real trouble finding the inspiration for the picture for today. I ended up with a so-so shot of Will’s Lego Star Wars advent calendar that I uploaded in a hurry, then went to bed in the hopes that I could sleep off this bug before Christmas Eve. So it’s around 10:15pm, I can’t sleep, and organizing the presents which my husband has been wrapping up, I find stashed away the box of Christmas crackers I’d bought a while ago, in a box boldly emblazoned with the label ‘BRITISH TRADITION’. It was clearly a sign, and how could I not get up and take a new picture and edit my blog entry? Christmas dinner is just never the same without crackers. Every table setting placed with it’s own cracker, each diner ready to pull an end with a partner, hear the “bang” as it splits, read the joke, ooh and ah over the little cheap gift enclosed, and put on the colorful paper hat. Cheesy but true, and definitely a tradition.
I took this picture at around 10:30 at night in the study on the desk next to my Mac. I used by trusty 17-55mm f/2.8 lens, with my ISO set at 1600, my shutter speed 1/40, and my aperture wide open at 2.8, all designed to let in as much light as possible. With completely artificial light as this time in the evening, I knew there would be a color cast from the warm light, so the first thing I did in Lightroom 4 was decrease the temperature. I then increased the clarity, contrast, and sharpening, and finally smoothed the luminance.