Ever since I got my new camera I have made a serious effort to use it, learn about it and take nice(r) photos. This means that sometimes I come home and find a gem or two on my memory card, but it also means I delete a lot of photos. With Christmas decor & lights everywhere I’ve been attempting to teach myself to take good holiday shots, but a photo of our entire Christmas tree was eluding me. Try as I might, as much as I fiddled, it was wrong. Over exposed, blurry, only part of the tree, too zoomed in, bad lighting, under exposed. The list goes on and on and there are only so many sins you can conceal with photo editing. Nothing can really salvage a mediocre shot.
Enter my new favorite hobby, Pinterest. Sometimes Pinterest provides me with eye candy but this time it provided me with the obvious photo tutorial on how to take photos of the Christmas tree. The directions were painfully obvious: use a tripod you idiot. Slow your shutter speed down. DUH.
The “how to” on photographing your Christmas tree was laughably simple, but I’d gotten so caught up in other numbers (aperture, white balance, ISO, oh my!) I’d forgotten to go back to the basics. Hold the camera really still and let the shutter move slowly to really capture the light. So I set up my trusty old tripod and started. I had a few definite bombs….
…like when I bumped my tripod…
….or set the shutter a little too slow….
(Radioactive tree, ahoy!)
But then, after trial and error, I finally captured our 2011 tree for posterity:
Both shots taken with a 50mm lens and tripod. ISO 100, Aperture f2.2, Shutter 1/2, Exposure Compensation 0.
Yes, I can crop it and adjust it, and it would be better if I completely moved our couches out of the way, but I finally snapped a shot where the lights glowed the right way and the ornaments twinkled. If I was really being honest I would redecorate the tree and fix the dark spots where there are obviously not enough twinkle lights….and this weekend I might try to move some furniture and get a artsy shot but as far as remembering the 2011 family tree- I finally got it. Because lets face it, this was not going to be awesome:
I mean, I think you could get a sunburn from that.