TIMBERRRR... That's the sound you would expect to hear in the woods as opposed to hearing this echo off the walls in your living room. Many holiday families that purchased or cut down a large live Christmas Tree has lived with the devastation of their tree and years of memories crash to the ground. My family experienced the joyful feeling of visiting the Christmas Tree stand, ripping open multiple tightly wrapped trees all to find the perfect northern specimen for Santa to leave gifts under, only to hear the cracking of wood and the shrill sound of glass smashing on the floor. Tears begin to flow as reminiscent stories are told of each broken memory. This only happens once, because when that first tree falls the next step after cleaning up the memories is to anchor the monster to the wall or ceiling. You pray the string is strong enough to lasso an elephant and is transparent to everyone admiring your decorating expertise. The holidays do survive.
This year my ladies once again convinced me to pop the Advil and throw a ten foot behemoth into the back of the truck. After we strung the lights, set the ornaments, tossed the tinsel, and carefully set the Angel on it's perch overseeing our home, that familiar "crack" was heard. We were within a few moments of pure ruination of our holidays. It was time to get the string and wall anchors and save the day.
As I verified the anchors I began to look closely at the near disaster and realized that if this tree fell, our memories would once again be compromised and I needed to use my camera to document the years. This turned into a perfect situation to photograph our ornaments in an environment that is only available for a few weeks a year. Typically our ornaments are carefully packed and stored in the attic. I was witnessing the natural habitat of our ornamental memories where the colorful bright holiday lights brought the hibernating ceramic figurines to life.
Photographing the ornaments turned an impromptu point & shoot opportunity into a very satisfying family project. We can now enjoy these pieces of art anytime from this point forward. I can also share our memories with others. I feel a sense of security in shooting the images because tragedy can happen at any time where these beautiful pieces of art can be destroyed. Glue can only help for a short amount of time. Do you love photography? Now is the perfect opportunity to shoot images that are only available during this time of year. Give it a try, shooting these type of images can be challenging. I shot all these images on manual with an ISO of 200, shutter speed 125, and an aperture of 8.0. In addition I used my Speedlite 580EX II set on ETTL with the flash exposure set from -1 to -3 depending upon the reflectiveness of the object.
Have you had a similar experience, I'd like to hear about it.
Enjoy and remember,
"Moments in time are lived once. Images of those moments live forever."