Category Archives: Christmas Lights

Full Moon & Christmas Lights

Okay, so the moon was only about 97% full. Close enough for government work!

It’s tough to find a balance…

..between the moon & the Christmas lights. The dynamic range is too large!

Up close and personal…

…it’s even worse. Overexpose the moon just enough so you can still see features, and you can barely tell there are Christmas lights to be seen here. But…

…pull in the Christmas lights and the moon is completely overexposed.

This is why composite photos are needed. Or you can get artsy-phartsy…

…and just go for something more abstract.

Time to post this before the electricity goes out. It is REALLY howling out there tonight, and it’s just a matter of time before the wind brings down a tree branch and we go dark!

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Filed under Astronomy, Christmas Lights, Photography

Nuevo Faux Tannenbaum

For those of you not illiterate in three separate languages, we got a new artificial Christmas tree this year. Today was the day to put it up!

Yes, we need to get that ornament at the very top a bit more straight as seen from this side.

From this side it looks much better.

What did you do with your weekend?


Filed under Castle Willett, Christmas Lights, Photography

Hanging Christmas Lights 101

Actually it wasn’t 101 – barely made it into the low 90°s on Saturday! Gotta love that SoCal weather!

Spreading racks of lights across the lawn – which do we run out of first? Lights, power outlets, or daylight?

Ladders in position – it’s critical to take the high ground early!

Bins of more lights, with power cords starting to get laid out.

The first sets of “big” lights along the western gutters go up first.

Getting power from where it is to where it has to be takes hours at the beginning, but after 25+ years, I’ve learned a few tricks.

Those are NEVER going to work if that doesn’t get plugged in somewhere!

A different view of Hissy. What? You want me to be hanging on to the ladder and/or tree instead of taking pictures?

The big, long, ugly, orange extension cords are a necessary evil – but we wrap them in garlands to make it a bit more palatable.

I love those sunbeams cutting through the palm tree!

This is how you get all of your power cords strung and about 60% of your lights up in one day with just two people.

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Last Light

Well, it’s almost the last light for this year’s Christmas light display. They may be on tomorrow & I might not be able to actually get them down on Sunday if the weather sucks, but if nothing else I’ll pull the plug on Sunday.

This was the first (almost) clear night in a couple of weeks, so I took the opportunity to grab a few last photos with the moon and a few lights together.



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Filed under Astronomy, Castle Willett, Christmas Lights, Photography

A Walk In The Lights

Complete with an audio track of a 737 going into Burbank and a business jet going into Van Nuys!

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Filed under Castle Willett, Christmas Lights, Video

As 2016 Departs

untitled_panorama1_cropped_adjusted(click on the image to get the full-sized, 6868×3077 pixel, 11MB file)

About thirty minutes ago, the sky turned pink outside. It had been gray and rainy all afternoon and I could still hear rain hitting the skylights, but now it was like we were inside a giant, pink, neon light.

I don’t know that I consciously knew what was happening, but I grabbed my camera, an umbrella, and ran outside. (This is why I keep a cocked and ready camera sitting near the door.)

Unlike yesterday, this starts to approach being a “Noah on Mt. Ararat” class rainbow. With a little teasing while combining the five images in PhotoShop, you can see part of the outside arc of the double section in the upper right corner.

More on 2016 later…

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Filed under Christmas Lights, Panorama, Photography, Weather

Christmas Eve 2016

One of the kids is in Europe, one is visiting from Northern California, and one came over with her boyfriend from their home elsewhere in Los Angeles.


I should have thought to take pictures BEFORE we started opening presents. I say that every year and I usually forget. But we only opened the gifts tonight for the the daughter and boyfriend who won’t be here tomorrow, so there are still plenty left for the morning.

“Scrooged,” “White Christmas,” and “Love Actually.” Three of the finest Christmas movies ever.

Wherever you are, whomever you’re with, whatever you have going on in your life, I hope you have a little bit of time this holiday weekend to share a bit of joy, love and be loved, smile, laugh, and remember that the world probably isn’t quite as bad as the headlines would make it  seem. Then I hope you’ll be able to do that every day for the next year, and beyond.


Filed under Castle Willett, Christmas Lights, Photography