Our family, since moving to Colorado, has made a tradition of heading into the woods to cut down a ‘Charlie Brown’ Christmas tree. This year was a little different. With both boys otherwise engaged with work and school, Jan Baby (the wife) and I made a solo trip. The downside was not having the boys there for our annual christmas photo.

When the boys finally made it home for the holidays, we packed them up, grabbed the camera and dog – not necessarily in that order, and headed over near Boxelder ditch. My plan was to get that family photo for the Christmas card and hopefully, explore HDR photography with the snowy cabin as a subject.

Trekking to Boxelder Cabin

The weather was perfect, cold, windy with a light snow coming down. Max, being the generous and helpful man he is, grabbed the tripod. When I saw the sun tryin to break through the clouds I raced ahead to get a shot of my Christmas compatriats trudging through the snow; following their fearless leader <ahem>.

This year, Molly the dog actually looked somewhere near the camera. She was more likely looking to where she knew something dead may be waiting to be rolled in, or something live was begging to be chased. She has never caught anything yet and as she grows older and slower it is doubtful she ever will.

Digital images captured, it was time to head back to our warm Fort Collins home, get the decorations up inside and outside the house and Photoshop our selected image into a Christmas card. Our card would be going out late this year given the proximity to December 25th, Shutterfly and postal holiday schedules.

Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year

Christmas 2014 Family Portrait for Card

Max Helping Setup the Shot

Max at Boxelder Cabin Winter 2014

Snow Masked Cabin

With the Nikon D5000 on my sturdy Bogen tripod, I framed up the angle that looked best to me at the time and grabbed a series of bracketed images. The result I found to be pretty interesting, but I can never leave well enough alone and after a round in Adobe Lightroom, then a bout in Adobe Photoshop, I was finally satisfied. It just needed more snowfall in the image to give it the vibe I was getting while standing in the snow at eighteen degrees. The light flurries didn’t come across in the images so I added my own.