Photos from Winterfamilytime 2009

Coffee Dad is Happy Dad

I visited my family in December and it was great seeing all of them. I hadn’t seen my brother over Thanksgiving (as he’s been living in South Africa) and it was especially good seeing him again since it had been a while since he and I last had a chance to hang out.

I grew up in Pittsburgh and it’s been several years since my parents moved to Charlotte, but I'm still getting used to the weather there (in a good way). Usually when I’d visit them in December it'd be pretty cold in Pittsburgh, with snow more often than not. In Charlotte—at least for this most recent trip—we had a few days with highs in the 50s. Rather pleasant, that.

Photo-wise, I’ve posted a baker’s dozen shots (not that I was aiming for that number—it just worked out that way). (Bonus trivia: Apparently, a baker’s dozen is also known as a Roughrider’s dozen. Who knew?) I brought along one of my new flash toys for the trip, Lumiquest's Quik Bounce reflector. What’s nice about the Quik Bounce is that it can either be configured to send all light forward or it can be configured to send 80% upward (for bouncing off the ceiling) and 20% forward.

As it would happen, my parents’ family room has vaulted ceilings (while the kitchen has normal-height ceilings) and so a flash reflector/diffuser that relied upon one or the other wouldn't have really worked for me. (For instance, if I hypothetically had a Lumiquest 80-20—which is hard-coded to always send 80% upward and 80% forward—I would have been up a creek in the family room since the upward-sent light would dissipate before having a chance to bounce off the ceiling.)

With the exception of the on-the-trolley shots (like this one) and the ice-skating shots (like this one) I used a flash—predominantly fill-flash—on all the other shots in the set. Overall, I’m fairly pleased with how the Quik Bounce performed. I can see myself using the Quik Bounce again, and if anything, the one thing I’d consider changing—and this doesn’t really have anything to do with Lumiquest—might be to try setting up off-camera strobes for some of the shots. Maybe next time.

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