We planted the tree in the same year we bought this house, 1996. It was 6 feet tall when we planted it. Easy to decorate with lights. Took about 15 minutes, if that, and most of that time was figuring out how to run an extension cord from the garage.
Problem now is, the darn tree keeps growing. Well over 20 feet tall now. It takes a little more time to put up the lights on it. It also takes more lights each year.
We store the lights in a box in the garage and get them out on the weekend of Thanksgiving.This year we bought another stringer of 100 lights (C7 bulbs) and replaced most of the incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs. We now have a total of 400 lights on this tree. The colors are green, blue and purple, a combination of colors we have decided that we like. Some of the green ones flash on and off.
The process of swapping out the old incandescent bulbs with the new LED bulbs was helped by some assistance from some of our animals. We do not normally do a lot of outside decorating during the holiday season, but this particular tree is special for us. Given the perfect shape of the tree, it would almost be a shame not to decorate it a little bit during the holiday season.
Well, maybe 400 lights is considered a lot to some people. Our neighbors hope that an airplane does not mistake the beacon of lights for a runway. The LED lights are brighter than I thought they would be.
But we do not decorate our house near as much as some people. But it is nice to see the lights with the use of a timer from 6:00 am to 8:00 am and then again from 5:00 pm to midnight every day. The lights will stay up at least until the 2nd of January.
Amateur photographer that I am, I have seldom been able to take a good picture of the tree at night when it was lit. This year I made the bold attempt to play more with the manual settings on the camera and the use of a tripod to get a better picture.
I am not totally pleased with the results, but these remaining pictures are better than the ones I have taken before. I promise to get better.
I like the subtle decorating style the best.
That is some big Fat Albert. I don't how many times you had to throw to get those LED lights "over the top" of the tree and disburse (accounting term) them so nicely, to get such a Balanced (another accounting term) look.
There is no rear shot (a certain "jack" likes those). Are there also LED's on the back side ? Did you have to use a lot of energizer bunnies to get them all lit ?
Bravo for trying to take night shots. Practice makes perfect
bobskoot: wet coast scootin
Frankly the night shot looks fine to me, as does the tree. I think its a nice tradition but I'm glad I'm not there to feel it. You really need to come to Key west sleet and slush is for the birds. Plus you can ride at night here without dying (unless you are drunk) and practice your photography.ReplyDelete
I think you did a find job with the night shot! But now that you have a tripod, there is no reason why you shouldn't play around and try shooting this with a long exposure to see your results. This will be especially cool when the snow comes and you make a night shot of the snow and tree. Then you can compare the results.ReplyDelete
One major improvement, with the camera on the tripod, use a tiny aperture, something like f/22 and you'll never need to buy a star filter, which is the beauty of doing night photography, the lights will take on a wonderful star effect that will amaze you and your viewers!
If you're interested, here's an example of a shot I took at night, with tripod, with a small aperture to achieve the star effect:ReplyDelete
Star filters are expensive--no need to ever buy one.
Dear CPA3485 (Jimbo):ReplyDelete
What a grerat tree to decorate every year... And it is perfectly shaped. And it is clever of you to tst out all the lights on the basement floor. If I did that, the neighbors would never hear me yell "F*ck" evey 60 seconds when decorating out outside flora.
I think the colors of the lights you selected are sensational.
Jack • reep • Toad
Thanks, I like simple too. Some people around here go all out and decorate their homes to the max. We sometimes drive around in the season and see what other people have done, but we don't get too carried away, juat a little carried away.
Thanks for commenting.
Stay warm and ride safe,
The lights are pretty disbursed, but the actual method of disbursement involves a ladder and the use of an 8 ft long piece of PVC pipe with a hook duct taped to the end of it. We go around in circles to properly disburse the lights. Next year we may need a crane.
Thanks for stopping by
That shot is absolutely beautiful.
I am trying to get a little better. It drives me a bit crazy trying to figure out all of the little symbols that appear on my camera. I took a bunch of shots that didn't turn out very well and then got anxious to see how they really turned out on the computer. Don't even remember what settings I used on the better ones. Oh well.
Thanks for the suggestions
The only time I yelled F*ck was when I realized that I had not bought enough LED lights to replace all of the old ones. I knew we had two stringers, thought they were 100 lights each, but when I discovered that they were 150 each and realized I was 100 short......
Jack and Bobskoot
The LED lights use about 3% of the energy that the old bulbs used. I had thought I may have electrical problems if I added another string of regular bulbs. Not a problem now.
Thanks for popping by
I will make every effort to get a shot of the tree when and if it ever snows here, just for you.
We were maybe supposed to get snow here yesterday, but instead just got a little sleet and ice. 90 miles north of us they got 7 inches of snow. Supposed to get to 3 degrees (F) tonight. Wish you were here to enjoy it.
Regarding your settings once you've uploaded your pics to the camera...almost every software that captures the photos on your computer will have meta data on the photos so that you can see the setting for each picture you took. Sometimes you might have to search for this meta data but it's there. It will tell you the ISO, aperture, shutter speed, whether you used flash or not, exposure values/compensation, etc.
What software do you use? We might be able to figure out where the data is located.
The tree looks great! Nice pictures too. The other night National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation was on. That's a great scene when he plugs in the lights...
I was thinking the same thing as Mike. Plug in your 1,000 light LED string and the whole neighborhood goes black
bobskoot: wet coast scootin
Thanks for the tip. I found the data by right clicking and looking at Properties. Now. if I can just figure out what it all means, LOL. Just partially kidding, but that will be helpful information for seeing what works best. My camera is a 5mp Canon and have just been using the Canon software that came with it for what little editing and classifications I do.
Thanks again, I'll keep trying to figure it out.
Great moment in that movie. I also like remembering a couple of the old Home Improvement TV shows when Tim Allen got a little carried away with the Christmas lights.
It is that time of year to see some of those Christmas movies such as the classics like Miracle on 34th Street, etc. But one I have threatened to play recently is "The Polar Express", and I didn't really like the movie all that well when I first saw it. But it has grown on me and can really get me in a Christmas mood.
Thanks for stopping by
Even with 1,000 lights, the energy usage would be way less than 300 regular bulbs like we used last year.
But with 1,000 lights I am afraid that neighbors would complain and nobody would be able to get any sleep. The aura would be even more intense than the vision of Jack's headlights on "Fireballs". LOL
I like the tree. Blue LED's are my favorite. As to the night shots, well, I'm still learning myself.ReplyDelete
I find great comfort in this post. The part about the tree being bigger around and the perfect shape for decorating.
I've put on a few pounds in this job. Now I realize I don't have to worry about it. I'm just working on being the perfect shape for a Christmas decoration! No Santa jokes, either, gang!
It's a good tree, just wouldn't fit on the back of a motorcycle, an image from last year I will likely never forget.
My Canon is a few years old, 5mp, but with good zoom capabilities, both optical and digital. I don't plan on ever being a great photographer, just maybe a better one. Sometimes my patience is limited when I try and figure out all of the manual stuff.
Thanks for stopping by and I promise not to try and decorate you.
Instead of Dan propping up a tree on the back of his FJR, I'm just imagining him being decorated as the tree.
bobskoot: wet coast scootin
Beautiful tree Jim, and well decorated! Enjoy the season!ReplyDelete