Ken Papaleo: X Marks the Shot: Hudson Garden Photos - Littleton, Colorado

Hudson Garden Photos - Littleton, Colorado

“X Shot” Information

Camera - Canon EOS 5D
ISO - 800
Lens - Canon 24 -70 zoom
F/stop - 4.0
Shutter - 1/30 sec.

I headed to Littleton for a photo job at Hudson Gardens, that freelance writer Colleen Smith sent my way.  Hudson Holiday is an outdoor holiday lighting extravaganza that opened November 21 and would run through January 3rd, on selected evennings. The weather had improved to a balmy 16 degrees, up from the earlier single digit days. After arriving at the gardens around 4pm I checked in with Rodney Lontine the COO of the Museum of Outdoor Arts, for guidance on the shoot. Back at my Jeep I layered up due to the cold temps, plus a hat, a pair of gloves and good warm boots. I brought my Canon EOS 5D, some lenses, tripod and a cable release. Due to the cold, I brought along extra camera batteries and hand warmers in an inside pocket of my coat. Setting out before sunset I found locations I felt would look good at dusk. As the sun set a huge layer of clouds moved overhead but left an opening along the horizon to the west where blue ski could be seen. The extraordinary sky along with some tee pees lit from the inside made my “X Shot”.  I secured my camera on the tripod and used a cable release for the rest of the shoot.  I set the exposure with my macro lens, reading from the  colored lights. After that I moved around the large area taking the needed pictures with out any problems. Rodney wanted a shot of the horse-drawn carriage that took visitors on a tour of the lights. A couple of concerns popped into my mind. First, firing a strobe at night at a horse could be a problem, plus it wouldn’t light up the whole subject matter evenly. Second, it was a black horse, of course! Searching around I found a section where there was decent light coming from the side plus there was snow on the ground that would reflect more light onto my subject. I took a reading and waited for the carriage to come through and got my shot. On my way back to the parking lot, I decided to play around with a real slow shutter speed and no tripod. I fired the camera and moved it around during the long exposure. I got a couple of more nice shots. It was a magical place to shoot and I had fun being there.

“X Shot” Location Information

1. Drive time from Denver - 30 minutes
2. Address is 6115 South Santa Fe - Littleton
3. The gardens are just south of the Bowles
4. Dress warm for viewing is at night!

Ken Papaleo
Colorado Photographer


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About Me

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Evergreen, Colorado, United States
I worked for the Rocky Mountain News for 28 years, until they went out of business. I now do freelance work, post this weekly blog, ski and play with my four grand children. I still have the love to get out and take photographs, which brings me great peace and comfort.

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