But I was still in time to relax and go up to the newly built platform to view the last sunset of 2011 with my sister and her family and friends.
And as we sat around the campfire, telling stories and making good things to eat, I looked up at the towering trees, the majesty of which caused my father to call our cabin and its surroundings "Chartres".
After the sun set, thousands of stars appeared that I hadn't seen in years. The light smog in Stuttgart doesn't allow for such wonderful night skies.
Three of us were playing with our cameras in the dark, so I decided to show the others about painting with light, using the flashlights that are so important to us out there in the dark (if you need to find something or go to the outhouse between 8 pm and 6:30 am). Jane held nice and still, so her facial features - especially her eyes - came out fairly sharp in this 35-second exposure.
|35 sec., f13, ISO 400, 50mm|
|50 sec., f13, ISO 100, 100mm|
Now it is up to you to guess how we made this next picture. Kate's flashlight shadow reminds me of Friedrich Schiller's profile.
Now we've got a very dramatic looking scene. It reminds me very much of a scene from an expressionistic drama. Wanna guess how we made that?
Finally, we did the type of light painting that some of you may have also played with. Kate stood still while her friend traced around her with a flashlight pointed at the camera.
Even in the dark it is possible to take pictures, ones that you can't take during the day!
The first day of the year we walked over our tree farm. Pictures from that hike will follow.