Christmas Village, Spokane’s South Hill

As promised, I am going “back to the future” with seasonal shots, mostly from the record snowfall season of 2008-2009. The fact that snow actually fell on June 10, 2009 shows you why environmentalist types had to change the term Global Warming to Climate Change!

Most of these images were created from RAW files and some are tweaked a bit over-the-top, but I think it ads some White Christmas nostalgia to them.


The Rockwood Bakery, just off of Grand Avenue on 17th.


A snowbound car, in the Garfield neighborhood.


Another home in the Garfield neighborhood.


I believe these homes are on 25th Avenue, not far from Garfield.


I used this image of a Cannon Hill Park home for a Christmas card. There were people moving by the windows so I set up the tripod and acted like I was looking somewhere else while making the exposure. It was shot on a Sunday afternoon so everyone was home and all the lights were on.


A renovated home on Highland Boulevard, near Rockwood Boulevard.


A home at the west end of Sumner Avenue.


Another one of the grand, Sumner Avenue homes. A color temperature shift to make the lights white caused the sky to go cobalt blue, but like I mentioned, it’s all about the nostalgia of a white Christmas.


Another home at the western end of Sumner Avenue.


One last shot from Sumner Avenue. There was a fire at this home in 2012 and it has been repaired. The grounds have undergone a transformation as well and most of the trees in the back yard have been removed.


Here is an example of a RAW shot which has not yet been tweaked. The home is near Rockwood Boulevard. I drove by the home in late 2012 and this is about how it would appear to the naked eye.


Crank up the sliders in Photoshop and it becomes the home of Santa Claus. OK, not really, but you can see the advantage of starting with a RAW format file. RAW is an uncompressed file so it contains more information. In order to create a JPEG, information has to be left out of the file to make it smaller, or to compress it.


Here is the front side of Santa’s house. The plume of smoke was not added. Some photographers use a process called HDR, or High Dynamic Range, which involves shooting more than one shot at different settings, then using software to blend the images into one. If done right it can create a breathtaking images. If overdone, it ends up looking flat or artificial.

By the way, we had a snowstorm overnight which made everything look this way, but the temperature went above freezing, the wind came up, and took the snow out of the trees.


This home is located in the Grapetree development. The image was an experiment in bringing up shadow detail in a RAW file. The JPEG image makes the roof look black.


The same home in the Grapetree development, with less RAW file tinkering.


To finish the Christmas village, I’ll add the Cathedral of St. John, on Grand Boulevard. It was completed in the 1950’s and is also an excellent venue for music. So far I have attended performances of a pianist, a boy’s choir, a brass ensemble, and guest pipe organ players within the grand, no pun intended, building. It is also one of the venues for the Northwest Bach Festival.

I haven’t been doing much winter shooting in town since the big snow season of 2008-2009. Getting around was tricky back then and shots of Christmas lights have limited applications. It would be more interesting to try to take mood shots in the snow, perhaps when  the fog has moved in. But then again, it will be cold and dark and the confines of a warm home seem so much more appealing, in comparison.


~ by mikespixels on January 7, 2013.

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