Pic of the Month: January ’10

Nope, I haven’t forgotten about posting the Pics of the Month! I just figured it would be better to post them on the last day of the month instead of the first; that way, each picture will actually have something in common with the month it’s supposed to represent. When December rolls around, how can I post a picture of the spectacular fall foliage I shot in November? In March, are we are not slightly tired of seeing the glistening snow of February? It can now just as well be the Pic from the Month as it is a Pic of the Month.

Moonlit Midnight

Moonlit Midnight - Canon 40D, 17mm, f/2.8, 10.0 sec, ISO 400

Every year, it has been a goal for me to get a new, cozy picture of our house nestled in the Appalachian foothills of West Virginia at wintertime. You know, it’s like getting a family picture. Sometimes there is never a good snowfall, so you have to get creative. But this year, there was the most phenomenal combination of environmental elements I had heretofore experienced: a full moon hanging in a partly cloudy sky spread out over a charming landscape blanketed in deep snow. Completely enchanted. The last time I ever remember a similar combination (that met my standard of perfection) was seven years ago. Seven years ago! The fact that the temperature was in the teens that night didn’t deter me from venturing out into the dreamy wonderland.

Using a tripod was essential. Turning on all the lights inside the house helped it to look extra cozy. A wide angle lens reached into the sky to lasso in the moon. And a little processing in Photoshop developed the sky, making it look exactly as it did on that glorious, enchanted, moonlit midnight.


  1. Michael January 31, 2010 at 11:59 am #

    James! That is a beautiful picture! It reminds me of Heb. 11:10 and 16.

  2. Emily January 31, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    This is beautiful!! The warmth the lights from the house provide is so inviting, and I love the steam-like swirl of the clouds above. God bless!

  3. Photography students in NC January 31, 2010 at 3:26 pm #

    Wow! What a great picture! Just like you said, it really does look enchanted! Maybe we’ll get to behold this enchanted dwelling in person. 🙂
    We’re still thinking about all the photography stuff you taught us. We’ve enjoyed looking at the pictures on lenspiration.com! How inspirational! 🙂

  4. Jamie Parfitt February 1, 2010 at 7:50 am #

    Very nice. I’ll bet the cold temps actually helped the picture turn out as beautifully as it did. Isn’t God the greatest artist of all time?

  5. Mom February 2, 2010 at 6:14 pm #

    We’ve had more snow continuously this year than any other year since we’ve moved here. The changing of the seasons is very rewarding as far as beauty goes here in the West Virginia hills! God paints us a new picture every day.

  6. Everett February 2, 2010 at 7:50 pm #

    The clouds in that picture are amazing.

  7. Martin Family February 3, 2010 at 6:57 pm #

    Just love how beautiful God is!!! He didn’t have to be, but He is!!!! Amazing

  8. James February 4, 2010 at 12:59 pm #

    Your comments are so inspirational: “God is the greatest artist of all time,” “God paints us a new picture every day,” “How beautiful God is!” This is so true!

    For a minute there, I wasn’t sure who the “Photography students” were. Then it dawned on me! I would say “photography enthusiasts” to be more accurate. 🙂

  9. Donald February 4, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

    OK, I guess I’ll be bold and suggest a tweek 🙂 If the picture was cropped slightly on the right it might enhance the focus in two ways: by centering the moon just exactly and cutting out the light in the garage so that attention would stay with the house. But that’s all. What a scene. It was interesting to know you used the wide angle lens and that the editing with Photoshop could actually make it more natural. My favorite part was thinking of the way you must have walked the long way around to avoid getting footprints in the picture. Way to go James. It really causes us to praise the Lord. And yes, we must miss a lot if God paints us a new picture every day and night!

  10. James February 15, 2010 at 6:35 pm #

    Hey Donald! Thanks for the advice! I really do agree. I kinda thought it looked cool, but it really does look distracting now that you mention it. I am really grateful for your critique!

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