Recently, I received an email asking me if I had the chance to photograph the tree in front of St. Michael’s Church decorated in holiday lights.  While I had captured the trees at Abbot Hall and National Grand Bank in past Decembers, I had never noticed the tree at St. Michael’s lit up for the season.  On Tuesday, I headed out before sunset hoping the clouds would break in time for me to capture a beautiful tree against an equally stunning sky.  I set up and waited, and waited but the tree never lit.  I captured a number of images of the great sky but left for home wondering if I would get the chance to shoot the tree this year.

The following day, I started investigating the issue with the tree – was it a timing problem?  Electrical?  I texted a contact from my time spent shooting Hooper to the Harbor from scaffolding surrounding St. Michael’s new steeple.  With the help of some high level folks at the church, the problem was fixed and the tree was all set for its lighting.  I returned on Wednesday night and found the tree beautifully lit but the sky was incredibly boring.  I kept hoping for a single cloud to break up the monotony but none would come.  I made a quick decision to set up the shot as close to the one from the day before as I could and captured the lights with similar settings to the night before.  At home, I combined my favorite two images from the two nights – blending in the lights on the tree (strand by strand) with the rest of the scene from the day before.  The result is a beautiful display of lights – both on the tree and atop St. Michael’s new steeple.

This is my last image to be shared on Wednesdays in Marblehead in 2015.  Starting Monday, I’ll share my Top 10 images of 2015 with a new image posted daily.  On New Years Day, I’ll post my annual slideshow with a recap of every one of the 243 images shared in the past year put together in a 10 minute video.

Thanks for a great year!

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