My favorite childhood memory of Chanukah was lighting our family’s menorah. All four of us kids had to share those lighting duties, which meant we cherished our chance to kindle those candles twice.
My sons are lucky, because they have their own menorahs to light. And I’m fortunate, because that makes twice as many candles for me to photograph each Chanukah (well, except for last year when my older son was at college for the entire holiday). A recap of our 2009 Chanukah is here, here, here, here, and here. Last year’s illuminating experience is here, here, and here.
As always, I tried to document this year’s holiday with unique photos every night. Which can be hard to do when you consider there are only a few variables to manipulate: My two sons, menorahs, and candles.
Fortunately for me, the candles burn for a long time and at different rates on both menorahs. That gave me more opportunities to change things up.
Having the menorahs on the dining room table where my older son set up his MacBook Pro made for some interesting photos, too (although I think he got tired of me turning off the overhead light so often).
It also helped that he was home for the entire holiday. The more candles, the better photo ops!
The last two nights of the holiday were the easiest to capture via my Nikon D700 and Nikon 50mm lens.
More candles mean better lighting, although I still often used a +.03 or +.07 exposure compensation.
The action usually was fast and furious as I snapped away while the boys lit their menorahs.
Once you reach the eighth night, there aren’t an opportunities for retakes. You’ve just got to hope you’ve done your best in photographing eight wonderfully illuminating evenings.
And now it’s over!