In 8 Pics: A blog-type series dedicated to narrating the odd collections of photos I gather as I roll through the adventures of my life. Click to enlarge the photos.
Welcome to the holidays. Winter. December. Heaps of epic snow. All of it rolled in with both a figurative and literal storm this past weekend, and we celebrated by clambering with the masses to the local Festival of Trees in downtown Edmonton on Friday evening.
Festival of Trees?
I’d never actually been to this event before, and if neither have you here’s the deal: dozens of groups put together and submit glamorously-decorated holiday trees, cakes, gingerbread houses and other christmassy-type things, and then all those things are plunked down into the middle of a lavishly decorated exhibit hall for families and other folks to enjoy.
I met the girls downtown after work and after a quick dinner, we made our way to the event, bought some tickets and entered the christmas season.
Yeah, it’s here. Each year I generally try and avoid immersing myself in anything holiday-related until at least December. But with a six-year-old who is already counting down the days until Santa arrives and the crazy-snow-filled not-quite-winter we’re already experiencing, I opted this year to just let it come when it comes… and enjoy it.
Claire was a mixed bag of grumpy, however.
She visited the Canada Post booth and wrote a letter to Santa.
We caught a bit of the dance performance and it held her attention for a while, mostly because her best friend was performing.
And then despite her earlier excitement at wanting to see all the decorated trees, we arrived and the reaction was kinda “…if you’ve seen one you’ve seen em’all.”
We did line up and enjoy the gingerbread house and cake decorating exhibit. I think that might link back to her mild Halloween-season obsession with that show “Halloween Wars” where they were doing a series of cake decorating challenges on the Food Network. We recorded them and watched them together, and she loved it. I compared the cake design, some of it impressively elaborate, to that show and her interest was mildly renewed.
But the night pressed on and trees are trees are trees are trees… at least to a six year old, no matter how much her parents are enjoying the display.
When we visited New York last month I got into the habit of using the “miniature mode” filter on my camera to take macro-style shots of colourful things.
To be perfectly honest, we were lingering, killing time, waiting in a souvenir shop one evening and I had the point-and-click in this mode where it tries to simulate a tilt-shift lens effect. It focuses a horizontal strip across the frame and over-saturates the pic. I like the effect for lots of things, but in New York, in that cheezy souvenir shop, I was taking close-up shots of racks of cheap souvenirs… and they turned out awesome.
And then I started doing the same thing one day later… but in the holiday department of Bloomingdales while Karin was shopping.
The result was very much like the pics I ended up taking at Festival of Trees following as the evening pressed on: close up pics of colourful decorations with a selective focus.
We had a nice time. And the blur of the season rushed into our lives for yet another year.
Claire got extra-grumpy and ended the evening a bit earlier than anticipated, and the excitement of an evening downtown took a bit of a toll on us all.
But the trees were colourful and festive. The party was sleek and holiday-esque. And ’tis that time of year again… and despite my own apparent grumblings wandering through a Christmas tree forest with a grumpy kid and a camera wasn’t the worst way to kick it off.