December: Highlight Reel, 1

It's mind blowing to me that this is the final month of this year's 52 week project, and to see so many people still going strong. December has traditionally been a month where we focus on bokeh, so having "Artificial Light" for the first time has been a welcomed change. I am loving seeing all the creative ways people are using artificial light, and eager to see what the rest of the month has in store for the photo dumps!



Erin Jackson

Gear: Canon 6D Mark ii, Sigma 35mm

Settings: ISO 6400, f/4.5, 1/200

The Shot: While we were out for a walk in the snow (and watching for cars throughout), I asked my son to stand in the light on the street and look up at the lamppost. I composed the shot to include him and the full streetlight in the photo, focused on him, and shot it quickly so that my camera wouldn't get too wet in the heavy snow.

Post Processing: I edited this in Lightroom using a Tribe Archipelago preset, increased exposure, warmth, and highlights, deepened shadows, played with the blues in the HSL panel, and dehazed around the light. In Photoshop, I enhanced the light ray shining down on my son and added a fine snow overlay to add to increase the visibility of the snow falling in the photo




Erika Sorensen Iurcovich

Gear: Nikon d810, 20mm/1.8,

Settings: iso 200, f9, 1/250

The Shot: Dancing in the garage with the strobe directly behind her.

Post Processing: Edited in LR with replichrome b/w presets and additional tweaks



Kasia Markocka

Gear: Nikon d750, sigma art 35mm

Settings: ISO 1000, f1.4, 1/125

The Shot: day 4 of our December 2021 story & our visitor

Post Processing: Lightroom SMAL presents, lots of tweaks, added warmth, PS, dodge & burn




Joy Zhang

Gear: Sony a R iii + 24mm + Godox V1S flash

Settings: ISO 80, f5.6, 1/250

The Shot: I love to use flash light to create the silhouette. And bokeh on the tree made this image more festive. (The flash is standing behind of my daughter.)

Post Processing: I edited in PS, basically added clarity to the silhouette, and converted to bnw.




Lauren Spahr Johnson

Gear: Sony A7iii with Sony 24 lens.

Settings: ISO 6400 f1.8 1/125

The Shot: We were at the Atlanta Botanical Garden light exhibit. The light strands were cycling to music in many colors. I took many of these that were fails. This particular one was my best because her skin wasn't as color cast. A bonus because this child had been having a major meltdown for the previous 30 minutes



Angie Mahlke

Gear: Canon 6D 35mm

Settings: Snowglobe image: ISO 6400 f/1.8 1/320 Tree image: ISO 400 f/1.8 1/125

The Shot: I composited two images together to make this. First I turned off all the lights except the ones on the tree and the snowglobe. For the snowglobe image I only focused on the snowglobe and my daughter since I knew I’d be doing a separate image for the tree. I wanted to make sure both the snowglobe and my daughter’s face were exposed properly. For the tree image, I set my camera to manual focus and live view. I experimented with the focus to get the bokeh I was going for.

Post Processing: I edited the snowglobe image in Lightroom, only focusing on the snowglobe and my daughter, ignoring the tree completely. I used brushes to tweak exposure, white balance, shadows, etc. Then in Photoshop I selected only the snowglobe, my daughter and the reflection on the floor and pasted it onto the tree image. With a layer mask, I blended the layers together.





Michael Schmitt

Gear: Fuji X-T10, 18-55mm zoomed to 21mm

Settings: F8, 8 second exposure, ISO 200

The Shot: Camera on tripod. Subject lighted from behind with a homemade light tube. Location: on the beach just after sunset.



Beckie Kegel

Gear: Nikon d3400, sigma 17-50mm f2.8

Settings: F2.8, ISO 1600, SS 1"

The Shot: I turned off all the other lights in the house to isolate the light from the tree. I knew from the year before that I would need to draw upside down because I don't have a mirrorless and lots of trial and error.

Post Processing: Edited in snapseed. It was rather over exposed and blue so I lowered shadows and upped warmth to counteract that and sharpened it a bit.



Morgan Wallace

Gear: Pixel 5 phone

Settings: Standard 'camera' setting.

The Shot: I walked through the local Christmas Market and I absolutely loved all the lights and how they reflected in the perfectly still water feature which was ahead of me.

Post Processing: Edited in LR mobile decreased the blackslider and increased the highlights, clarity and dehaze. Gave it a straighten and cloned out some small distractions in the bottom right of the image.



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