Christmas Lights at Temple Square: Salt Lake City


The top winter attraction in Salt Lake City is definitely the Christmas lights at Temple Square.  The LDS Temple in Salt Lake City is an impressive and beautiful site any time of the year, but it takes on a whole new level during Christmas season.

18 mm: ISO 200: f/3.5: 1.3 secs.

The reflection pool on the East side of the Temple is one of the premier photography locations in Temple Square.  Unfortunately, Temple Square was so incredibly crowded, it was tough to get to a spot to actually work on a composition.  I would recommend never going to Temple Square during the Thanksgiving weekend.  It was pretty horrible and impossible to photograph.  I did the best I could in the little area I was able to quickly squeeze into.  To fit the whole reflection in the frame, I had to take a vertical panorama and stitch the images together.  The distortion came our horribly.  I spent a little time in Lightroom to get rid of the distortion, but the image was not worth taking into Photoshop to really attack the distortion.

During the Christmas Light season, the beautiful golden globes are added to the reflection pool.  They add a great little tough of interest that I really think elevates the composition, but I would of course go during a non-holiday week, later in the night when you are not going to be stuck trying to deal with the crowds.  In addition to the golden light, the beautiful statue below is also in the reflection pool.

44 mm: ISO 200: f/6.4: 1/2 sec.

With so many people (seriously I cannot explain how many people there were at Temple Square during Thanksgiving weekend), It was impossible to get a decent image of the Temple with the lights, especially when I was with a big group who was not in the mood to make stops with the hordes moving at a snails pace.  I gave up on getting a good shot of the Temple with lights and, instead, opted for a shot of the Assembly Hall.

18 mm: ISO 200: f/7.1: 6.5 secs.

I had a few minutes to kill as the rest of my group had gone inside the Tabernacle so I messed around a little shooting the Assembly Hall.  I chose the composition above mainly because the grass area was roped off, which allowed me to get a foreground that was something other than people.  I also like the yellow leaves that blanketed the ground.  The shot is actually two images as I had to expose the foreground a few stops brighter than the background to get enough light to show off the leaves without blowing out the Christmas lights.

gear used

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