Sunday, December 6, 2009

20 photos of Christmas, Day 1 | A lighted bush and the bokeh effect

I spotted an ugly bush covered with colorful Christmas lights during my drive home on Wickham Road in Melbourne. The lights are deliberately out of focus to fill the frame with those colors.

Christmas is hard to find in Florida. Snow doesn't fall. Apples don't grow, so there's no locally produced cider for mulling. Bells don't even have the same jingle in the humid air.

Sure, people decorate. But there's something odd about Santa's sleigh skimming over Bermuda grass. And there's something plain wrong about palm trees wrapped in lights. But, I guess, you work with what you've got.

Because I was raised in New England, Christmas is different in the Sunshine State, but it's still Christmas nonetheless. And I need to convince myself of that.

So, in the next 20 days, including the holiday itself, I intend to find Christmas here in Brevard County and portray it through a different photo each day. Like many ventures in my life, this photographic assignment wasn't planned. I just thought it would be a way to put myself into the spirit of the season and to get out of the old apartment more often.

Today, the first day of Christmas on The Offlede, is represented by a more abstract photograph. During my commute home early this morning, I saw any ugly bush laced with colorful lights. I braved the 50-degree temperatures for a few minutes to snap a 1-second exposure. It was taken with a 200mm lens from about 15 feet away, but the lens was focused as if my subject were much closer. This out-of-focus effect accentuates the image's bokeh, or the way my camera renders blurry points of light.

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