Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – You Choose

Seasons Greetings!

This week, Tina gave us a holiday present, the choice of our own theme for the week. She writes, “So here we are in December – already! As 2021 draws closer to a close, many of us are busy with things like shopping, wrapping, holiday preparations, or perhaps (hopefully) with traveling and visiting or hosting family. As such, the Lens-Artists team is inviting you to post on a subject of your own choosing.” You can read her entire challenge post here.

Zoolights 2021-6

I was planning on creating a separate holiday post on Zoolights 2021, the Phoenix Zoo’s holiday light show. Instead, I will incorporate some of those images from my Flickr gallery into a theme that I call “Holiday Magic.” The image above features the lake in the Phoenix Zoo that each year takes on a holiday glow with lights changing in time to holiday-themed music.

Glow on Monroe-1

In addition to the new Zoolights images, I’ve also included a few photos from the Buckeye Arizona annual parade of lights called “Glow on Monroe” (Monroe is Buckeye’s downtown main street.) Of course, I had to include this well-decorated classic automobile, but you’ll find more in this extra-large holiday gallery on my Flickr site.

River of Light-8

Albuquerque New Mexico has its own holiday light show. River of Lights, like many other holiday activities around the country, is back for 2021 after last year’s pandemic cancellations.

Holiday Magic-1

I included this shot for no other reason than I like it. This image was captured on a Galaxy S7 Cellphone. That was the first cellphone I had that allowed the ability to change the depth of field in an image.

Gate City-1

Every year, homes and businesses put on their own “Holiday Magic” displays. One of my favorites is a local bank in Fargo, North Dakota where every year they “go blue” and the lights stay that way until the snow is gone in the spring. The light reflecting off the white snow is certainly magic.


For this holiday challenge, I posted many more images on my Flickr site for you, dear reader. You can click on any of the images above to take a closer look at the image in 2K HD, or you can click here to navigate to the album page where they are all housed.

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, and happy holidays to all of my readers. May the new year bring health and happiness, and a lessening of the tragedy of the pandemic that still is among us.

John Steiner


  1. You certainly have seen many holiday lights in various states. I should emulate you and get out to try and capture similar scenes in our area.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you!

    • I am hoping in the next few evenings to go out and photograph some of the homes around our neighborhood that are lighted spectacularly.
      Thanks for stopping by and back at you on the holiday greetings!!

  2. Beautiful post John – loved all of the images and of course your closing message. I wondered about the Albuquerque photo. Was it a light display in that shape or did you do something to create the shape with your camera? Either way it’s stunning! Happiest of holidays to you and yours John.

    • I neglected to mention that image was of a simple spider web of lights. I chose a slightly long exposure and quickly zoomed the lens manually during the exposure.
      I was surprised how well it turned out.

  3. Such a beautiful post John! Was great to see other people’s decorations for Christmas. It is not a big deal here in South Africa. Only a few houses might decorate the house. Mostly decorations are done indoors here. Merry Christmas to you and your family 🎄

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