Happy Holidays from Smyrna!

City  of Smyrna Christmas Tree
Downtown City of Smyrna Christmas Tree
Last year, I went to downtown Smyrna—the Village Green—to photograph the tree. But I didn't spend a lot of time shooting the tree. You see, I got distracted by all of the cars and spent most of my time shooting long exposures to get the traffic light trails.

I hadn't really planned to shoot there this year, but a friend and I went up there this last week, after dinner, just to walk around and enjoy the lights. I was so surprised by the increased quantity of lights that I decided I'd have to go back the next night with my camera.

Soldier with red white & blue trees
Twice as many little trees, and this year they are red, white, & blue.
I knew I needed to get that long-awaited shot of the tree, so that was first on my list. And the other thing that caught my eye was all of the lighted items that were next to the little lake. I like to call it a lake, you see, but it's really a pond—a retention pond in fact. I was very quickly corrected about that years ago by one of Smyrna's park professionals.

Lights reflecting in pond
Pond with reflection at 1/3 second.
All of the lights were pretty, but what I knew I'd want to focus on would be the colors reflected in the water. There is a fountain in the pond and although that's very pretty, the water has movement in it, so the reflections are very broken up. But, I had a trick up my sleeve that I decided to employee.

I shot that pond from several vantage points until I got just the right amount of water, background lights, and the fountain. But I shot it with long exposures that made the water of the pond and the fountain smooth and silky. So pretty!

Pond & fountain with reflection at 30 seconds.
I really wish I had had time to shoot some photos of the roundabout because there were so many more cars this year. Of course, the increased traffic isn't much fun, but the light trails would have been great!

Bench surrounded by lights
A lovely spot to sit and enjoy the lights.
Smyrna does such a great job with everything they do to beautify the area, and I had such a fun time. As I was walking back to my car, I said to myself, "I love Smyrna." If you've never visited, take this opportunity to ride through the Village Green and enjoy the holidays lights. And the pond is quite nice all year because it's got ducks and fish and turtles, oh my.

Do you have a place you like to photograph holiday lights?
Have you seen the lights at the Village Green?


  1. Beautiful talent Judy-thank you for sharing.