For years, I have tried to photograph the spirit of Christmas. But photography only goes so far. The most I could get were the Christmas lights. Those lights are great for cards and prints. However, they always seemed to end up a bit “flat”. Christmas trees in Holland were a very intimate affair. Tucked away inside the house or perhaps just in front of the front window, the best decorations towards the inside.

Leeuwarden, Netherlands

Here is our Christmas tree from 1980, doing my own developing and printing of the negatives in a simple darkroom. For now I also have to contend with the dust on the scan, let’s call is angel-dust in the spirit of Christmas.

The winter months have arrived. From now on, the nights will be longer than the days. Even more so when skies are overcast and laden with snow. This is the time I like to think of myself as a night owl. No need to stay up late or get out at unfriendly hours to enjoy some of the night sky, sunsets and sunrises.

Winnipeg Skyline

This is my time to shine for night photography. I can get up late and still shoot sunrises.

As many of you know, I have been involved with Lightroom for some time now. Probably longer than most people know that Lightroom exists. It is a very convenient way to categorise, catalogue a large number of pictures. My current catalogue is about 80,000 pictures, all taken over the past 20 years.

Sunset in the city

Lightroom started in 2007 and once I got my hands on a copy of it, I was sold to the technology. For a long time already I had had pictures and no way to know anything about them. Including the place where I had put them. Real shoeboxes, then real albums, then digital shoeboxes, you name it.

Photography comes with its unwritten rules. Break them and you’re in the doghouse forever. Or you become a famous artist. The decision will be made by the multitudes on Social Media. Unless you have a very effective marketing team at your service, then you can do whatever you want and everybody only admires your millions in sales.

Straight lines

One of those rules is about the “S'” curve in your picture. Apparently it cannot be a good picture if there is no curve in it. So the lead picture here can never be good.

Long exposure. For a very long time, this was a realm I could never venture into. Film was what it was, and the skills required for successful shots would have taken way too much of it. Back in the day, I was happy to catch a passing firetruck with its lights blinking. That was my first shot with light trails. It was also the last shot for another 25 years of photography.

Afsluitdijk - 10s f/11 ISO 100

The long exposure bug came back when I got a digital camera. A small Point and Shoot from Nikon. The “night modes” mostly tried to cancel the light trails in order to get decent pictures, but I found a way around that.

3 days 7 hours

Looking forward to seeing your new adventures!

4 days 8 hours

Hi, The best time to visit starts around May Long Weekend. Before, most is still frozen or too cold. There is no entrance fee ...

Judy Moffat
4 days 21 hours

When is the best time to tour and is there a entrance fee

5 days 23 hours

Henk! I guess I haven't been following things as closely as usual. This is a surprise. I think you will love the east coast. ...

6 days 2 hours

Wishing all the best on the new horizons Henk!

6 days 4 hours

It has been so wonderful to get to know you and your wonderful family over the years. I will always remember evenings out wit ...

Michelle Perron
24 days 20 hours

Hi there, Having grown up in Northern Manitoba (Snow Lake to be exact), your nature sound recordings bring me right back ...

1 month 2 days

I'd join you!

Ken Krueger
1 month 6 days

Luckily I own a cottage at Big Whiteshell lake, and have frequented the Big Whiteshell Lodge and met the new owners two years ...

1 month 10 days

Thank you for sharing your story & Im glad you are better & looked into ways to improve your health ie B12. I taught diet/lif ...