Yesterday, the City of Dallas and/or Downtown Dallas, Inc. hosted its annual City Lights opening night festival,* and the North Texas Photography Explorers MeetUp Group was there in full effect.

Yesterday was November 17th. Thanksgiving is November 22nd. Christmas is December 25th.

The City shut down Main Street, between Griffin and Harwood, and there were craft and food booths, the Neiman Marcus ‘crawl tubes,’ buskers of various varieties, street karaoke, photo booths, photos with Santa, Darth Vadar and an entourage consisting of Storm Troopers and TIE Fighter Pilots and Bounty Hunters and Sand People, and lots and lots of family-type groups, couples, and packs of friends milling about.**

Insofar as I would very much like to get over my fears of shooting random strangers in the street*** I went and tried my best. I didn’t have a panic attack, or worry very much, but I also didn’t shoot many people, and felt creepy when I did, even though there were thousands of cameras of various sizes pointed in every direction and snapping away pretty much constantly.

I bought a pretzel, looking forward to that hot, salty, chewy, yumminess, but it was cold, doughy, and rather yuck.

There was a lengthy countdown to Santa’s arrival, seemingly patterned off of Felix Baumgartner’s parachute jump from the edge of space for Red Bull,**** an opening speech by the CEO of Downtown Dallas, a strange flying Santa with some sort of jet pack thing, a tree lighting, and fireworks.

I’m not quite sure what any of this had to do with Christmas, but have a fairly good idea of what it had to do with commerce.

This is not to say that it wasn’t nice to see all the smiling children and happy families and cheerful couples and laughing packs of friends.

Anyways. I have little practice with shooting street-type or people photos, let alone in the dark, so I experimented a bit, and ended up shooting in Shutter Priority most of the night., since I can comfortably hand-hold about 1/15th with the Sigma 30mm. Needless to say, I didn’t get much that I was happy with, and the pictures I’m sharing here were all taken in AP mode at f/2…

Everything was shot with the D7000 and Sigma 30mm f/1.4, ISO100, a variety of shutter speeds, f/2, -1EV, and most received several minutes of slider play in Aperture.

*yes, the City of Dallas, Texas has its own corporate entity. Thankfully, it appears to be a nonprofit concern…

**I didn’t see many single males in their late 20s or 30s, and the only older single men appeared to be homeless. This may have something to do with my trepidation, but I don’t really know.

***with a camera.

****whoever came up with that idea needs to find a new job.

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