Season of lights

I’m currently working nights and this is a great time of year to be on that shift. There are many Christmas displays all across the Stockton and San Joaquin County that are quite spectacular and a treat to see. I know that everyone has their favorite but the best use of lights that I’ve come across is Jim Galindo’s home at 122 East Gibson Street in Stockton.

Nearly every tree in his yard and some of the house is covered with what he estimates as around 400,000 lights. He says that it takes him a about 4 months to put them all up and had to put a second fuse box in his home to handle the load.

There are a couple of different ways of photographing holiday lights. The first is to increase your camera’s ISO (light sensitivity) enough so that you can shoot at a fast enough shutter speed to avoid camera shake. The downside is that bumping up the ISO brings with it an increase in noise in the photo. The solution to that is to use a tripod to steady the camera. Doing that, you shoot at lower ISOs and keep the camera still at the same time. Also, if you have a DSLR camera, try putting it on manual. The bright lights and dark backgrounds may throw the automatic settings off and give you incorrect exposure (many point-and-shoot cameras have a “night” setting, try using that). If you operate both shutter speeds and apertures yourself you’ll have greater control of the outcome in your pictures (while every scene is different, try something like 5 or 10 seconds at around f/8 or f/11 and an ISO of 200 and, of course, the camera on the aforementioned tripod). Nowadays it’s easy to check your work by review the images on your camera’s monitor and adjust your exposures accordingly.

Along with Galindo’s home there are many other great holiday lights across the county. 3909 Estate Drive in Stockton has a very festive combination of lights and Christmas props in the yard. Sam Reid’s home on the 800 block of Banbury Drive in Stockton is an impressive sight. The best neighborhood display has to be the 1500 to 1700 blocks of Meadow Drive in Stockton. Nearly every house on those 3 blocks is decorated with enough lights for each to be a showstopper in any other neighborhood. The most impressive single tree is the one at Barbara Mata’s house at 5 E. Cleveland Street in Stockton. Mata eschews light son her house and concentrates all of her efforts on that one tree in her front yard, covering it from head to toe with lights. But it’s not your typical conical-shaped Christmas pine tree but rather a weeping cherry tree. It’s that umbrella-shape that helps it to stand out along with the fact that there are very few other Christmas lights on her street. She’s had some people name it “Tiffany” in reference to the classic Tiffany lamp that it also resembles. The best display that doesn’t involve lights is one at Miner Avenue and E Street in Stockton. Every inflatable decoration, from Grinch to Snoopy, fills the yard.

There are these displays and many more across the city and county that are worth taking pictures of. Dress warmly and bring your camera to capture the festive beauty of the holiday season. And oh, did I mention to make sure and use a tripod?

This entry was posted in Night and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form.
  • Categories

  • Archives