Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Another White Whale


Let me tell you about my Monday.

I produced "Newswatch 16 This Morning" and went home a little after 7 am.  After a breakfast of chicken parmigiana, I watched a couple of "Hogan's Heroes" episodes and set out to conquer another of of my holiday white whales.

Regular blog readers know one is the WEJL tower in Scranton.  No matter how many times I photographed it, I could never get it quite right.  The same goes for what you see above-- the giant Christmas tree inside the Liberal Arts Building at Marywood University.

Let me back up and jump around a bit.  Marywood started putting a giant tree here in 1982, which was my senior year.  It was actually half way through my senior year.  I graduated the following May.  I didn't go to a tree lighting ceremony until decades later, when I thought it would jump start me in a Christmas mood.  Yes, it helped.

Last year, the pandemic forced the cancellation of the tree and the lighting ceremony.  I didn't go in 2019 because I just wasn't feeling it.  Family obligations kept me away the two years before that.

This year's tree lighting was open to students and staff only.  Distinguished and successful alumni were excluded, and I get that.  Pandemic.  Also, even masked up, I wouldn't feel comfortable in a crowded building, anyway.

Be that as it may...  Marywood held final exams last week, so the campus is a ghost town this week.  I had the building to myself, and I could take my time with a variety of shots, using different camera settings and different locations in the rotunda.

I've been going "full manual" lately, including focus.  Note to amateurs, like me:  It's not that difficult.  Take your time.  Experiment, and the light meter will not steer you wrong.

I really wanted a tight aperture shot, hoping for a starry twinkle effect with the lights, and I didn't quite get what I wanted.  I also tried some long exposure shots, looking to get a nice glow going.

For example, the the shutter was open for 25 seconds in the shot you see below.

Was the photography expedition a total success?  Far from it, even though I was happy with some of the shots.

There were other plusses.  First, getting out after an overnight shift rather than collapsing in bed was nice, and the weather was beautiful.  Second, it's always wonderful being back on campus.  The place has changed, a lot.  Walking around still brings back some pleasant memories.

Merry Christmas!