I trust you had a wonderful Christmas and the photographers among the readers of my blog had a chance to make a few clicks. Perhaps for some good memories, or maybe for the best photo you ever made. I hope you did!

We spent the holidays in northwest Iowa with family again. Any time when I’m on the family farm near Remsen, Iowa, I look for light, clouds, or anything that puts some drama in the scene. One of my favorite backdrops is one of the neighboring farms. This time the sunset was right at this location, on a hill across the road. No, we didn’t have a white Christmas, but the remaining old snow and ice on the ground reflected the warm sunlight and gave the scene some depth. It’s often tricky to have the full sun in the frame. Blowing out the highlights is easy and without the snow, the foreground would have been just a dark and muddy mess.

The photo was made after we celebrated the 99th birthday of Joan’s dad Joe Kass, a humble and hard working farmer, who worked the family farm for many years. Joe lives now nearby, in an assisted living complex, but I’m sure he has seen this sunset many times before on his birthday, the day before Christmas Eve.