I’ll be away from my usual nature haunts until the New Year, so I’m going to wrap up the year with a few Bay Area holiday lights . . . and an exploration of Itten’s contrasts, inspired by a reading of a Michael Freeman book (The Photographer’s Eye). If any shots grab my attention in between, I’ll squeeze them in.

Wishing you all a beautiful wrap of 2009 . . . and a healthful, happy start to 2010. I don’t issue either of those wishes lightly. I have genuine hope that 2010 is an Itten’s Contrast to the chaos of 2009.

Be well, everyone! Happy Christmas.

Christmas Planets

Christmas Planets - 4th Street Berkeley - ©ingridtaylar

In the first photo, I used spot-metering to darken the background and give these orbs their planetary effect. The second photo below was shot at dusk with some remaining ambient light in the sky for background.

Christmas Orbs at Twilight

Christmas Orb - 4th Street Berkeley - ©ingridtaylar

Hugh and I both photographed this scene a couple of years ago, but his version below — with a Panasonic point-and-shoot (LX1) was the best of our shots.

San Francisco City Hall - Holiday Lights

City Hall Christmas Tree - San Francisco - ©hughgrew

This is probably the most photographed angle of the Pier 39 Christmas tree — from the adjacent overpass. But it works. Next year I’ll put some effort into alternative poses.

Pier 39 Holiday Tree

Pier 39 Christmas Tree - San Francisco - ©ingridtaylar

Union Square Window

Union Square Window Display - San Francisco - ©ingridtaylar

Union Square Macy's Christmas Tree - San Francisco - ©ingridtaylar

Union Square Macy's Christmas Tree - San Francisco - ©ingridtaylar

I photographed the Macy’s and SF/SPCA holiday windows last year for About.com. There’s also a corresponding piece on the SPCA’s holiday adoption tradition.

SF/SPCA Adoptable Kitty - ©ingridtaylar

SF/SPCA Adoptable Kitty - ©ingridtaylar

Part of a vast Christmas display at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco — waterfalls of lights falling against the exposed elevators.

Waterfall of Lights - Hyatt Regency SF - ©ingridtaylar

Waterfall of Lights - Hyatt Regency SF - ©ingridtaylar