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Christmas Trees


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#1 mmimmi

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 10:28 AM

Is there a trick I don't know about. I love my Christmas tree this year. WHent the lights are on the ornaments sparkle really pretty. I think I took 2 dozen pictures last night and none came out decent. Is there a way to photograph it in the dark with the lights on and get all the glittery ornaments to come out clear?

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#2 teecee

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 10:37 AM

I got fairly good results last night when I turned all the room lights off and also turned off my camera flash. I'm still experimenting though. I'll be curious to see what others have to say. :)

#3 bjc

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 10:40 AM

i dont have a christmas tree but i do remember there was a great post all about it last year...cant find it but others will come along to point the way...in the meantime i would do a google search, surely lots of photo sites this time of year have ideas... i would think you will need to have camera on tripod and set the exposure based on the exposure for the twinkly lights...but not sure...just a guess... love to learn...and will prob be at others homes with trees so i will follow along and learn with you here...
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#4 princessrunningfingers

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 11:09 AM

I agree with turning off the flash. I have had decent results with that. I didn't try it with all the room lights off, but I will definitely try that.

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#5 lorac

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 11:37 AM

I know that I saw that somewhere. Let me go check and see.

I always take my photos with all the lights, except one, turned off and I use a flash.

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#6 mmimmi

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 11:42 AM

If the lights are on in the room than you can't see the lights on the tree...the same if you use a flash. If I turn off the flash the pictures come out foggy and distorted like when you move the camera. Maybe I need a better camera.
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#7 bjc

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 11:48 AM

If the lights are on in the room than you can't see the lights on the tree...the same if you use a flash. If I turn off the flash the pictures come out foggy and distorted like when you move the camera. Maybe I need a better camera.



you need a tripod cause it is a very slow exposure.... which is fine but not if the camera moves... and i think it is fine to turn off the lights but you need to do this without the flash i think... have you googled this..i am sure there is some good advice on internet
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#8 Smiles

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 12:12 PM

I am no help but I have a suggestion for your experiment photos - I used one as a background paper last year and it was really cool. I blew it up and extracted so all you could see was tree and lights.
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#9 April Showers

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 02:26 PM

I was going to suggest the tri-pod too. It really is the answer. :D

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#10 B&K Mom

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 02:48 PM

I have to join the chant:

"TRIPOD, TRIPOD, TRIPOD....YEAH!"
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#11 tinkerbell11

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 03:29 PM

When ever you are shooting with low light (low iso) you have to use a tripod or stand because the shutter is slower which means that any movemnt will cause blur. I have found that white chirstmas lights are better to shoot that colored unless they are a very bright colored light, I had a muted colored set last year and pictures were very hard.
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#12 caprimom

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 03:29 PM

Yep, you'll need a tripod if you're going for glowing lights & details.

#13 sarabethp

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 05:07 PM

To get a good picture I would definitely use a tripod. Though I would shoot during the day. This way you get some natural, ambient light on the tree without having the room lights on. Then, on a tri-pod, I would set the aperture to f/16 or some small number. You can use aperture priority if you want, but I would adjust the shutter speed for a long one, say 1 second or so and a co-ordinating ISO. Then I would play around until I have a good exposure. The small f-stop will cause the lights to really twinkle, even during the day light. You'll have a good sharp focus on the tree also and the ambient light will show off the ornaments.
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#14 April Showers

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 05:24 PM

Now I just need to get ornaments on the tree. :D Thomas insists we need to do it as a family and Annette won't be home until later tonight.

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#15 SandiC.

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 05:29 PM

tripod, or beanbag, or setting camera on a table, use the auto timer, set it to night, try to take it either early in the morning or in the evening, when its not quite dark so there's a little ambient light. Also, you might have a light on in an adjacent room, or a small one on across the room. I've also had better luck when I'm closer to the tree, getting detail shots of the ornaments, then the tree lights seem to get enough light in without need for extra light. And definitely no flash. If your camera has ISO setting that you can adjust, set it up, but not too high.
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#16 mmimmi

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 09:23 PM

This is the best I could do, but I have no idea how I did it lol I played with it some last night. Today I didn't get any good ones, but I'm happy I even squeezed one of my son with the lit tree. I have no idea how to use the settings on my camera or what an aperture is lol ... I wish I did! Thanks all for your help!

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#17 countrydi

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 09:50 PM

I know this is a silly question but here goes. I would love to get some good tree photos. I have a Rebel XS and I'm not sure how to do this....if I turn off the flash, I can't put it on night mode too, I have to do one or the other. Any suggestions?
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#18 sarabethp

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 11:50 PM

I know this is a silly question but here goes. I would love to get some good tree photos. I have a Rebel XS and I'm not sure how to do this....if I turn off the flash, I can't put it on night mode too, I have to do one or the other. Any suggestions?

This is what I would do, I have a Rebel too. Set the dial to Av. This is aperture priority. Roll the dial to adjust your aperture until it reads F16. Push the button that says ISO and set it to 800. Turn on your timer for a 2 second delay (this prevents blur due to camera shake.) Set the camera on a tripod or table and center the tree in it. If you have some kind of small bean bag, or a sock filled with rice, you can use that to help adjust the camera angle on a table. Now press the shutter, remember there is a 2 second delay. The picture will last a long time, mine lasted 4 seconds. But you will get a lovely, sparkly picture.

This is what I got (please excuse my ugly tree. Some of the lights are burnt out and we can't find replacements. We are wanting a new tree next year.)
Attached File  10_12_10_ChristmasTree-4_web.jpg   653.01KB   15 downloads
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#19 countrydi

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 02:36 AM


I know this is a silly question but here goes. I would love to get some good tree photos. I have a Rebel XS and I'm not sure how to do this....if I turn off the flash, I can't put it on night mode too, I have to do one or the other. Any suggestions?

This is what I would do, I have a Rebel too. Set the dial to Av. This is aperture priority. Roll the dial to adjust your aperture until it reads F16. Push the button that says ISO and set it to 800. Turn on your timer for a 2 second delay (this prevents blur due to camera shake.) Set the camera on a tripod or table and center the tree in it. If you have some kind of small bean bag, or a sock filled with rice, you can use that to help adjust the camera angle on a table. Now press the shutter, remember there is a 2 second delay. The picture will last a long time, mine lasted 4 seconds. But you will get a lovely, sparkly picture.

This is what I got (please excuse my ugly tree. Some of the lights are burnt out and we can't find replacements. We are wanting a new tree next year.)
Attached File  10_12_10_ChristmasTree-4_web.jpg   653.01KB   15 downloads



Thank you Sara! I learned a new trick! I got my pictures of my trees! I still need practice but I think these are the best taken yet using your directions!
~Di~ Photographer @ Heart


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#20 sarabethp

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 12:12 PM

Di, I'm so glad it worked for you.
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#21 1access

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 08:43 PM

Tripod, no flash, long exposure and high fstop (f16+), if you shoot in manual. :rudolf:

#22 Sara Arell

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 05:58 AM

I got some great Christmas tree shots this year - probably just a fluck - even bounced off the glass window my tree is in front of and n=mine tured out great but it is tricky.
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