A Day in Dallas

We took the girls to Dallas today, primarily for them to ice skate in the Galleria, but also to get in a little last-minute Christmas shopping, which of course went very well. We also hit a couple of our favorite eateries: Razzou’s, a Cajun-Creole joint in McKinney, and, of course, In-N-Out, probably the greatest cheeseburger establishment ever. We left Magnolia about 6:45 a.m. and made it to McKinney in plenty of time for lunch, finding an extra hour to kill at MY all-time favorite store, Half-Price Books. (I bought a first-edition hardcover of Kurt Vonnegut’s “Bluebeard” for an astonishingly small amount, as well as “Skywalking,” a biography of George Lucas that I first read when was 11-12 years old. Yeah, it’s a cool store.) The weather was soggy and gray, but not cold, and traffic was a bit of a challenge at times, but navigable. The biggest deal was, of course, skating at the Galleria, and the girl got to stay on the ice for a couple of hours. There were hundreds of other skaters, and the rink was adorned – dominated – by a lovely, multi-story Christmas tree festooned with probably a million winking lights. I, of course, had camera in hand.

I wanted to capture the movement of the crowd at the skating rink, but quickly grew tired of the standard method of shooting. I was using my 10-24mm Tamron lens, which continues to impress me and expand my abilities with the camera. Once the girls got their skates strapped on (in a locker room that smelled nauseatingly of feet), I started trying to figure out what kinds of images I wanted. I decided I would try my hand at “smearing” the figures of the skaters while keeping the tree in hard focus. To accomplish this, I dialed up Manual mode and started playing with my shutter speeds. (Naturally, I kept aperture, ISO, et cetera, in a range commensurate with shooting indoors, which is to say, wide open, and sky-high.)

Most of these images were shot at f/9.0 at 1/6 of a second, ISO 1600. I was pleased with the majority of them. Needless to say, the Galleria is a spectacular building, and I fell in love with the Christmas spirit on display. (I also spent a helluva lot of money.)

Galleria ice skaters and Christmas tree

Galleria ice skaters and Christmas tree

Christmas tree, Galleria Mall, Dallas, Texas

Christmas tree, Galleria Mall, Dallas, Texas

My first shot of the Galleria Christmas tree, as we entered the mall. We were suitably impressed.

My first shot of the Galleria Christmas tree, as we entered the mall. We were suitably impressed.

Christa and the girls, Galleria Mall, Dallas, Texas

Christa and the girls, Galleria Mall, Dallas, Texas

Ice Skaters and Christmas tree, Galleria Mall

Ice Skaters and Christmas tree, Galleria Mall

The zamboni driver smooths and polishes the ice. I just like the word zamboni.

The zamboni driver smooths and polishes the ice. I just like the word zamboni.

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