You might have seen those holiday lights photos that ran in the paper prior to Christmas called the Christmas Countdown. Well, this year was my turn to take a majority of them at area homes, and it's not as easy as it looks.
It can be downright dangerous trying to find a spot to get a photo then making sure you stay out of the way of passing vehicles.
On one instance, I pulled away from the scene of a nice rural display then heard a sound on my roof. I thought I didn't see a tree branch and ran into it, then about 100 yards down the road I realized it wasn't a branch. It ended up being my empty camera bag I left on top of my car, sliding off the roof and onto the ground.
Luckily, no equipment was inside as it flew on Wallace Avenue south of Green Mountain. It was a tad dangerous walking around that dark rural road to find the bag, but I found it and made it back to my car unscathed. Don't tell my boss I was so hasty with company-owned property please.
On those occasions when I didn't leave my camera bag behind there were also times of a little danger. After all, people don't normally see darkened figures lurking outside their home with a camera. It can tend to throw a few people off. I got some looks from homeowners out of their windows but nobody yelled at me to go away. So I was safe there.
There have been some years when out taking holiday display photos that I've froze my hind end off, but not this year. The weather was ideal for being out snapping photos, until that storm dropped 13 inches of snow. That wasn't the best night to be out and about taking photos, so I quickly snapped a photo of my neighbor's display and deemed that was good enough for the night.
We used to have a reporter here who was notorious for snapping outdoor photos - holiday or otherwise from the driver's seat of his car. So I guess he would be unaffected by the weather in any situation. He just had to make sure you couldn't see his side view mirror in the photo.
All in all, it was a successful holiday for snapping pictures. I didn't get hit by any traffic and the police didn't show up to shoo me away. There were a few houses I meant to get to this year but didn't, so let's hope they bring the same holiday magic next year. Oh, and more than a foot of snow doesn't fall the night I want to take those pictures.
Reporter Andrew Potter is a Tuesday columnist for the Times-Republican. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Andrew Potter at 641-753-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org