Shortly after Thanksgiving, lots of cities and smaller communities make a deal of lighting the local Christmas Tree. Vashon Island is no exception, but the feeling of a close, small town is pretty strong. Let me say right now that this is not a tease leading up to some spectacular picture of our town tree – it is not. I didn’t get a good picture of it, so you’ll just have to hop on a ferry and visit it in person if you want to see it.
As it normally happens, the island shuts down the main street (which is called Vashon Highway but is only a two-lane road that is paved the entire length) for this important event so kids and kids-at-heart can flood our humble downtown with good cheer. The third graders sang carols, one of Santa’s assistants gave hay rides behind his John Deere and, for some reason, a horse-drawn wagon was just kind of meandering around.
And, of course, there I was with my large camera attached to a massive lens, right in the middle of the festivities. I’m not sure how many people understand the level of panic one feels while holding expensive, sensitive equipment that is perched 5 1/2 feet above the ground when an in-charge type of person tells a couple hundred kids to move in your direction. At one point an enthusiastic young lad actually took a shortcut between the legs of my tripod. So, I decided the center of the action was not the place for me to be.
I stepped a half-block away and set up shop in front of a second-hand clothing store. Two of the three images below are of that storefront. The first one was shot with what the pros call “selective focus” which, basically, means out of focus. The last shot was taken inside of a restaurant while my camera was happily detached from the tripod. There was no way to get a sharp picture in the low light, so I decided to go for the opposite extreme. This is a picture of a Christmas tree taken while zooming in (or out; I can’t remember) and pushing the shutter release at the same time. It’s the same thing I did for the Love Sculpture at the Indiana Museum of Art.