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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    2,304
    Don, perhaps greater powers are trying to tell you that hockey is you true calling :-)

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554
    Quote Originally Posted by kgosden View Post
    Don, perhaps greater powers are trying to tell you that hockey is your true calling :-)
    Well, maybe so... but last winter, December was so warm... no ice to speak of.

    Now, here's Christmas Eve... lights a blazin'

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    Another angle... from the kitchen

    Name:  Tree-looking-east_HDR2abc(sm).jpg
Views: 65
Size:  768.9 KB
    EXIF: SONY a850 w TAMRON SP AF 14mm f/2.8 IF Aspherical
    Tripod Height: 5ft - 7-layer HDR @ f/2.8 - Shutter-speeds of 4", 2", 1", 0.5", 1/4", 1/8" & 1/15" - ISO-100 - WB=Fluorescent. P/S Manipulation on border (Guassian blur)

    Christmas at my place is more like a trip to a disco!


    I am stripping and completely relighting the tree in January. Half the incandescent lights are dead... it's weird.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 12-25-2013 at 12:50 AM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Derbyshire, UK
    Posts
    2,466
    Excellent light show Don, Merry Christmas.
    Around every picture there's a corner & round every corner there's a picture
    - the fun's in finding them

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554
    Thank you, Phil.

    The northern part of the US has really been frozen, so far, this winter. Most daily temperature have been around 16-degrees F, on average. Heck, it's warmer on the Red Planet! We just got above freezing for a couple days, this weekend. Half the lights on my Christmas Tree have bitten the dust. It looks weird. Come February, it's going to be a total strip out of all the old tungsten lamps, then a 1000 new LED lights go in.

    Everyone that comes to the house seems to like the tree, as it does look the most realistic of any we've seen in the past few years, so replacing it does not seem to be a practical option. We will reload and keep it.

    I am hoping I can create some swirly magic with the various lights I add. It will be difficult to photograph and as much as I hate video... I may be stuck.

    Happy New Year to everyone. Let's hope 2014 provides some fun stuff to photograph.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554
    Okay, so it's February and the Olympics are the rage. I finally got the tree broken back down, after the "SO" had her late season party. My fingers and hands are bloodied and hurtin' after stripping out what seems to be a thousand incandescent lights.

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    The new LED ones go in... starting tomorrow. This could take a week's worth of labor, as each light is clipped in place.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554
    Well, I found out that the "SO" only had 630 replacement lights and when I got to the end of them, I only was able to get through 2/3rds of the bottom half of the tree.

    Name:  working-tree-b.jpg
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    Yikes... severe shortage! We're trying to get 5 more boxes... of the same kind, totaling the light count to 1680 LED lamps. Fingers crossed... and sore. Those little plastic clips are brutal. I can use the break!
    Last edited by DonSchap; 02-14-2014 at 07:35 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554
    Okay, was able to locate six (6) identical 210-count LED light sets, down in Naperville, IL, so my poor fingers are under torture, once again. Ouch!

    Upon recalculation, I may only get three or four more sets into the tree. I have a total of 840 (4 sets) lights incorporated into the bottom half, That portion is finished and bagged.

    Currently working on the middle third of the tree... but, it's rough.

    On we go... as I am guessing there will be a full 630 more lights in it, making for a total of 1470 lights to comprise the bulk of the tree. I may need to run back down to Naperville to get a 105-count light set to properly finish the top. 210 in the upper bush is just too many. The darn thing would look like the Luxor Hotel, in Vegas!
    Last edited by DonSchap; 02-20-2014 at 10:42 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554
    Well, the lighting count problem seems to be solving itself... as I already, unbelievably, have 840-lights in the middle third of the tree.

    Name:  Stage-two---840(sm).jpg
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Size:  1.37 MB

    As you might notice, there is, currently, an unfinished portion at the top of this section... so, I am adding an unnatural break to the final set of 210-count LED lights, allowing the set to separate, because it is "dedicated" to this tree, alone. I am opting to cutting the light set apart and using a dedicated, screw-together plug, so no one will be tempted to plug just the upper portion into 120VAC. I'm not really sure if you can do that or that there is some kind of built-in load balancing for the light set, so just to play it safe... I am employing the dedicated plug and keeping the electricity uniform.

    So, it'll be the entire 9 sets of 210-count LED lights (1890). Awesome.

    Edit: Okay, I was able to finish up the tree to the point of separation.

    Name:  Stage-two-complete(sm).jpg
Views: 23
Size:  1.28 MB

    The top needs some shaping, due to the stripping of the old lights, but you can clearly see the impact of light density with this shot. Anyway, tomorrow is getting the connector installed... then decorating the top with the 120-lights that are left on the last set.

    When I'm done, I may just take the tree outside and check to see if they can spot it from the ISS!

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    Last edited by DonSchap; 02-22-2014 at 02:35 AM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    2,304
    Don, perhaps you should petition to make tree light stringing into an Olympic sport. Certainly driving to Naperville in winter might qualify:-)

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554
    I'm just too anxious to wait. I really wanted to get this done. Most of the snow in Chicago is gone... due to the Wednesday-Thursday melt and all we have left is a return of the cold, now.

    In the image below, taken a short while ago, I did not add the full bottom... because this tree weighs a ton to try and stack. You do not want to have to do it more than once a season.

    Name:  _DSC0102working1crop(sm).jpg
Views: 18
Size:  1.13 MB
    EXIF: SONY a850 w/ SIGMA 24-70mm f/2.8 IF
    Tripod - 24mm - f/2.8 - 1/8 sec - ISO-400 - WB=Fluorescent - P/S layering of defocused image

    I am hoping you all kind of get where I am going with this. I did get the special plug connector for the top portion put in, without too much trouble... and the lighting is so much simpler compared to the stuff I yanked out of the tree. One plug into the wall and the whole thing is lit, fiber-optic angel-topper included. I used to have to find all the light set plugs, layer by layer, buried in the tree and run one of those special tree extension cords up through the core to get it all lit. It still took three extra triple-connectors to do the job. Now, the light set is effectively one continuous run through the tree, start to finish. The only active plug points are where the tree separates.

    Anyway, it goes back into the tree-bag it goes, tomorrow, and that's it for another ten months. Okay, stop your cheering.

    It's been a labor of... well, just laborious. My fingers will not miss it, that's for darn sure. I mean, without all the ornaments... it's missing some real punch, but it seems a heck of a seven-foot tall "starting point" for nearly 2000 lights. I guess the weirdest part is realizing that even with this enormous number of lights involved, it uses less than 50% of the power the original lights sets did. Go Green, right?

    It's still kind of freaking the "SO" out that all the lights were used.

    Seasons Greetings! May the glow be with you.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 02-23-2014 at 12:43 AM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

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