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.)