Here comes Santa Claus (and the Green Island Power Authority)

I received this notice from my community Facebook page.

Green Island still treats the holidays with joy and amazement. You can’t tell me Santa Claus doesn’t exist, especially when you can see his travel route printed right in the Facebook community page.

Essentially old Saint Nick will travel along the major thoroughfares in our illustrious Town and Village – George Street, Tibbits Avenue, all of those – and then his journey snakes along all the side streets.

In past years, Father Christmas makes his presence known NOT by the sound of jingle bells or Christmas trumpets, but by the dulcet, nascent tones of sirens from the Green Island Police. Then, a Green Island Fire Department truck tows the sleigh – which carries Santa and Mrs. Claus – with a Green Island police cruiser acting as the Christmas convoy’s back door.

I blogged about Santa’s arrival last year, here’s the blog post about it. So now … what can I do to top last year’s capture? Well, besides NOT posting the video on Facebook and getting a copyright strike because Barry Manilow’s version of “White Christmas” came over the loudspeakers?

You know … I’ve got this stereoscopic setup … two Nikon Df cameras and a synchronized shutter …

And I have this directional map. If I set my gear up at a street corner, and aim the cameras in such a way so that Santa and his sleigh are turning directly across my field of 3D stereoscopy …

Ooh. I could make this work.

And there’s five chances to capture this.

So let’s see how I do.

As I examined the parade route, I noticed that Santa has to cross Swan Street five times – and all I need to do is just go from corner to corner and wait for Santa and Mrs. Santa to cross.

4:00 p.m. I’m at my spot. Here comes the cop car. Then the fire truck. And looky here …

There they are, passing the de-consecrated St. Joseph’s Church. You know, the one I photographed last year as part of a project involving old postcards on existing locations. This blog post.

Okay. Now let’s move across the street to Hudson Avenue. The parade has to travel down George Street, circle the cul-de-sac in Lafayette Park, then travel back up Hudson Avenue towards Heatly High School. So if I stand behind St. Joseph’s Church, I’ll catch Santa on the return trip.

Some kids were tossing a football behind the old church. They were waiting for Santa as well. And as the police siren tweeted Santa’s arrival … I noticed two of the kids reaching to the ground for some quick-to-make snowballs.

Yeah, that’s not good. You clock Santa with a snowball, you’re getting underwear for the next 20 Christmases. I glared at the kids. They saw me. One of them flinched like he was going to toss a snowball at me. Then he threw it at the church wall instead.

And here comes Santa Claus.

Okay. Two for two.

Santa now has to travel down Hudson Avenue, turn around on Bleecker and cross Swan at Paine Street. Two block walk for me. And I arrived just as Santa and Green Island’s finest were on their way.

Can you tell I’m having fun with this?

My next plan was to get to the corner of Arch Street and James Streets, and hopefully photograph the parade as it passes the old McGowan Hose fire station. But Santa’s moving quickly – you would think he was delivering presents with his travel speed – and at the last moment, I decided to just capture the image as St. Nick passed Swan and James Streets.

Can you tell I’m having fun with this?

Okay. One more shot. Santa now has to travel down High Street, come back down Swan Street and turn on West Street. And this time, this bearded old fat guy is going to photograph that bearded old fat guy as the parade turns the corner from Swan to West Streets.

Let’s see if I can make this work.

You tell me if I made this work.

By the way … I did say that I had my dual Nikon Df setup for stereoscopic photos. So let’s see if I was successful in this endeavor.

You know what? It’s pretty good. I could tell one camera fired a millisecond out of sync with the other only because of the fire truck strobe light. But I’ll take it as it is.

Now do I wish there was more snow on the ground? Yeah, I kinda do. Do I wish there were more people outside watching the parade? Yeah, I kinda do.

But am I happy that I got these photos?

Yeah, I kinda am. 😀