Midwest Photo Safari
Midwest Photo Safari Newsletter December 2009 - Vol 1 Issue 12

Click HERE to view as a web page

In this issue:

what's new at MPS
photo tip of the month ...
Holiday Lights Photography Tips
safarian "image gallery"
our current safaris
history tidbits


We have partnered with Hopkins, Minnesota Community Education to provide special photo safaris. residents of the Hopkins / Minnetonka area will be receiving a catalog in the mail in late December offering Midwest Photo Safaris as a community Education Class.  These classes are open to anyone, regardless of residency... follow this link to the Hopkins Adult Community Education page.  Details of the special Midwest photo Safari offerings will be posted soon.


All of these safaris, except those that include the Skyways, run Tuesdays thru Saturdays. The Skyway Tours run Tuesdays thru Fridays

for complete schedules, visit our Web Site


The best time to shoot is before total darkness. Arrive a little before sunset ... this  gives you time to plan your shot before the good light ... or "magic hour" occurs. You may have to ask your subject to turn the lights on early - most people don't turn  them on until the good light is already gone. During our night Safaris in season we advise you to include as much sky as possible in the background. Shooting from a low position can help.  If possible, position your shot  into the afterglow of the evening sky.

Your camera's white balance should be manually set on  "tungsten"  Most little lights are tungsten balanced. The tungsten setting also has a tendency to  turn your afterglow sky deep blue. Your  sky will look stunning,  - even on a  cloudy evening. And your lights will pop with color

Look for a  light foreground, like snow, this can add  nice foreground interest

Make SURE you use a tripod or beanbag to steady your camera. You'll be shooting some fairly long exposures, in the range of 1/4 to 1 second.

Keep shooting and viewing your results as the twilight changes... the lights will soon begin to "pop" as your ambient light changes. You do not have much time. You can delete the bad or out of focus shots  later. Happy Holiday Shooting!


Our December image of the month is from Bill S. of Golden Valley, MN This image was taken on the broadway level at Mall of America, during our "mini" safari there.

There are countless abstract & architectural photo ops  at this mall.  This safari also is great for practicing lower light photography without a tripod.

 Nice image  Bill!  Thanks for your submission


Roots of the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota...

  Groundbreaking for the Mall of America took place in June 1989, a windy, cold day. Skeptics in the press commented on the probability of failure building such a large tourist attraction in this arctic climate!

  Construction continued till 1992. Opening day was August 11, 1992... nearly 10,000 employees reported for work.

  The Mall of America was 70 % leased at opening ... 330 stores. Major Tenants were (and still are) Bloomingdales, Macys, Sears, Nordstrom.

  The mall was (and still is) 2nd largest enclosed mall in terms of retail space behind the West Edmunton Mall in Canada... but is largest in terms of total enclosed floor area.

  Mall of America has several "pet" names coined by the locals... among them are "The Megamall" (or "The Megamess" during construction), "Sprawl of America", "Hugedale" (in reference to the four major "Dale" shopping malls in the metro area..., Rosedale, Southdale, Ridgedale and Brookdale), or simply, "The Mall"  

We cover more extensive history and facts during our Safaris 4, 5, and 7 where we walk and photograph the sights of the Mall of America.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS from your friends at


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