Blue Christmas

Blue Christmas

It’s that time of year again, Christmas is right around the corner and everyone is firmly settling into the Christmas sprit. I have had many requests for a holiday image come through and I have heard them loud and clear. The problem is that I have not been around much holiday cheer with work and seeing as with a camera you sort of need to be in front of something to shoot it, I was left with nothing interesting to share with everyone. I just couldn’t bring myself to make another christmas light bokeh photo!

Eventually I realized that I would just have to make something happen so after a little brain storming I came up with the idea seen here. While it is not exactly how I pictured it in my head, I still thought it would be worth sharing all the same. It’s kind of a funny story actually…

Blue Christmas Center

After getting the idea I knew that I needed some free time around sun set so I looked at my calendar and noticed I had Saturday afternoon free for once. I made plans to take a few hours and make it happen but somehow the afternoon fell to pieces. I arrived at home later than I thought I would after a late night friday out of town so I started off a bit tired and rushed. The first setback came when the tree I thought I would be using for the shot became unavailable to me. My tree was ok but it was at home and covered in ornaments already. A bit frustrated I quickly reformatted my plan to get back home, un-decorate my tree, and bring it out instead.

I returned the work van I had borrowed to carry the bigger tree I was going to use because my tree at home (the one seen here) was small enough to fit in my car. Only problem is that when I went to get in my car I noticed I had a flat tire! By the time I got the spare fitted on I knew I had run out of time and I had pretty much given up on the idea because I knew I would be traveling or working the rest of the week and by then it would be too late.

The next day my father was gracious enough to step in and start the event I had to work that afternoon so I could give the shot another try. Only problem then was that unlike the perfect spring like weather and amazing cloudy sunset of the previous day, it was now pretty miserable and raining. I decided to go ahead with the shoot anyway so I stuffed my tree in my car and headed out. At my apartment the tree stand I had was a sort of ugly plastic green thing so I thought I would pick up one of those more classic looking metal red and green ones somewhere on the way out to the lake. Of course, like everything else, this didn’t work out. No one had any tree stands in stock so out of desperation I bought one identical to the one I already had form a Boy Scout troop set up close to the lake because I was quickly running out of murky grey daylight to shoot in.

Blue Christmas Mono

I finally made it to the lake and hoped out of my car with my camera bag to take a couple of test shots but… My camera battery was completely dead. Yep. Just. One. Of. Those. Days Weekends.

My brother, thankfully, also shoots with a 5D and he had a couple of fully charged batteries closer to me than my apartment was so I sped off down the road on my little donut spare tire to get more batteries. I finally get back to the lake and after a quick stop at the park office to let them know I wasn’t crazy I took out the tree, stand, and a portable battery to set up out on the dock. Finally, I could shoot.

Outside of only having 20 minutes to work and experiment before the park closed and the sun was totally gone things went mostly ok. Well, other than my memory card filling up leaving me to quickly go back and delete some random old photos on there to make room. I originally wanted to set up a tripod and get things exactly as I had imagined but I was left having to go hand held in the end. I took photos up till the last possible second when I grabbed the tree and my soggy camera gear, shoved them back in the car and drove off to work hoping that what I had was usable.

That, of course brings us up to now, editing the photos a bit and posting them for everyone to enjoy. Hopefully you guys see something you like! If the tree just isn’t for you I have also included a bonus image I took at home of a wreath YoungDoo made from extra clippings from the tree. Side note, apologies to the OCD viewers out there that will take offense to the curved dock in the centered tree image, not much I could do to get everything all perfect for you guys this time but I did my best. Also while I’m at it… retina updates will most likely come in the new year, both on the site and in desktops.

I suggest you check back again soon because I have a great giveaway ready for this year right here on 50ft. I just want to snap one last christmas themed photo before I post the giveaway. So till then, happy holidays!



  1. Jake Bouma - December 18, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Wow. Instantly one of my favorites of yours. Thank you.

  2. Kai - December 18, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Love it!

  3. dave - December 18, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Very Nice. Thank you.

  4. Lauren - December 18, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    I love them! Perfect backgrounds for this time of year. :) Thank you for all of your effort ~ it’s crazy how everything always seems to go wrong at once!

  5. pk - December 18, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Great tree photos, kudos to your family for helping you out. I love the photos, but I think I enjoyed the story more.

  6. Conor McClure - December 18, 2012 at 5:31 pm


  7. Tim Sondrup - December 19, 2012 at 12:44 am

    Love that second shot! Making it my new desktop wallpaper.

  8. pumpkin - December 19, 2012 at 8:15 am

    Hey! happy Christmas !

  9. Dave - December 19, 2012 at 9:04 am

    A great read, I always enjoy those behind-the-scenes moments. Murphy’s law was at full play here, but I think that and the background story made the end result all the more special to me. Number two is an instant favorite for me, too. Thanks for the Christmas present, John!

    It’s about time we get that retina thing going eh ;)

  10. dimitrios - December 19, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Thanks for the awesome tree ;-)
    Marry Christmas…

  11. dimitrios - December 19, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Thanks for the awesome tree ;-)
    Merry Christmas…

  12. youngfoever8 - December 22, 2012 at 2:46 am

    love them

  13. Barry - December 24, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    Thank you and Merry Christmas!

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