The wintry weather started in earnest the day of the Santa Breakfast at Tysons Corner Center. The early-morning event was well attended by many kids and parents. Who wouldn’t want the chance to see Santa Claus just before Christmas?
The mall was still decorated with lots of colors for the holidays. Adding to the scene were face painters, balloon makers, and other performers to keep everyone in the holiday spirit. All of these made for some great holiday photos. Santa arrived by train, then he sat in his chair big enough to fit him and children with the Christmas wishes on the ready. I had a really great time taking photos of the whole scene – the lines were long, but everyone did their best to get everyone their holiday treats, and time with Santa.
There was also an appearance and show with the Funny Little People. Santa got a break, and was front and center for the performance. They sang Christmas carols, and some unexpected songs thrown in too!
At the end of the breakfast, Santa headed off to his normal spot in the mall for photos. It has been a busy season for him – so many children to meet, and so many wishes to remember! The next holiday event on the calendar was the opening of the German Christmas Market. Today is the last day, so head out there to shop in the popular European outside marker. The weather looks great today!
Tripods are not the most exciting piece of photography gear. In fact, reading photography forums, you would think that the tripod is an obsolete piece of equipment! The newest digital SLR cameras are so good in low light, that many think that you can just push up the ISO values in the camera to keep your shutter speed fast enough to minimize blur from camera shake.
For a quick review, ISO will determine how sensitive your camera sensor it to light. The higher the value, the lower the amount of light is needed to show up on the sensor. So a photo taken at ISO 200 at 1/30th of a second will be exposed the same amount as a photo taken at ISO 1600 at 1/200th of a second. At 1/200th, you can take a lot more sharp photos because your shutter speed is much higher. At 1/30th, your hands make shake more (especially during outside holiday family photos!).
The advances in technology are really game changing for photographers. When I am in a situation where I am photographing people at an event such as a wedding, or ballroom dance, I will push the ISO however high I need it to go to save the recycle time with the flashes since you never know when you need to have another pop of light. The action will not wait for the photographer! But there are many times when having a good steady tripod underneath your camera is essential. Recently, I have done a lot of shoots with outside Christmas lights, and interiors. It has been a huge help to use the tripod in these cases. I can get a nice long exposure which will blur any of the people in the photos which adds some action into the photos.
Another advantage of using lower ISO 100 – 200, are the colors! I am shooting in a saturated color style these days, and lower ISO values make it really easy to punch these up in post. You lose a lot of this ability once you push the ISO too high. There are many colorful decorations to photograph this holiday season, so get out your tripod and use it for steadier, more colorful images.
Last Saturday, I was the official photographer for the Northern Virginia Magazine Fashion NoVA show held at Fairfax Corner. At this time, there were 7 collections presented showcasing the latest Fall fashions. It was an especially beautiful day out on the main plaza where the runway was setup. Vendors had booths at the side where the large crowd at the show were treated to samples from P.F. Changs, Uncle Julio’s, two restaurants that have locations at Fairfax Corner.
I think these show off the designs very nicely! In order to pull off the looks, there was a lot of work put in from different players. Firstly, the designers put the outfist together. Next the hair and makeup stylists worked with the models. Finally, the organizers coordinated the logistics of the show to make this a success. Subsequently, the next show is tomorrow at Pentagon City Mall. Join us there for more!