Dear London - All of the festive lights.

Dear London,

It's here! December is here! Which means that I can don my Christmas jumper (sadly not my festive pj's as I left them in the UK in a moment of absent-minded stupidity), play Christmas music, and drink festive beverages 'til my heart is content. Needless to say, I'm a very happy lady at this time of year, which is why I thought that I would have no trouble whatsoever with your challenge of 1.8 at night!

I fastened on my 'nifty fifty' lens (50mm 1.8) and Ed and I wandered on to the streets of Manhattan looking for festive lights to get some good old bokeh going on. Now, despite all my festive feelings, I didn't know what I wanted from this week's picture, so, each time I saw something that gave me the warm and fuzzies, I took out my camera and snapped away and when I looked down at the screen I was never all that impressed (this seems to be a theme with me). But, I have a theory as to why... I think that my lack of enthusiasm is that I could feel the festive magic and cheer around me as I took those pictures, but I didn't see the same enchantment in the moments I had captured. Do you ever get that?

But here is a little festive cheer from Rockefeller Plaza with all the bokeh you could want in a holiday shot. We weren't there to see the tree lighting as the surrounding area was filled with thousands of soggy tourists there to witness the moment and, now this may be controversial, it's not my favorite tree as I'm not massively keen on the multi-colored lights, I'm much more of a warm, golden glow kinda girl. However, its size is very impressive and it is crowned with a giant, glittering Swarovski star... let's just say, it's worth a visit, even if you do need to dodge through the crowds absorbed in the Christmas window displays.

I'm hoping to delve into festive content a lot more over the next 3 weeks, I'm all about the build up to Christmas and cannot wait to decorate our tree with our awesome new copper, firefly type, lights (that are currently strung all over the floor because we want them out despite the absence of a tree to adorn with them). Point – keep an eye out if you want to see more of Christmas in New York!

I wasn't sure if I wanted to post this next picture because it isn't a unique perspective. You'll have seen plenty of pictures like this before, but I must say, I'm particularly proud of my version of it. We caught the view just as the light was fading – as you'll probably know by now, my favorite time of day. I haven't seen the sun rise for an extremely long time, but I'm willing to say that sunset beats it hands down, even if it is only because there are no painfully early mornings involved in catching it.

So, your challenge this week is Near and Far. Do with it what you will and I look forward to seeing your pics next week!

Happy snapping.

New York.