Wednesday Q&A Series | How to take great photos of your Christmas Tree!

im really excited to write this weeks Wednesday Q&A post. how to take great photos of your christmas tree!

i remember before i understood anything about camera settings or photography, trying to take an appealing photo of a christmas tree is hard!! the flash takes the ambiance out of your beautiful lights, makes everything look harsh and it just never does it justice. low apertures often focus on the closest branch, making the rest of the tree look slightly out of focus, and using the presets on my camera never seemed to work as well as i hoped they would. that is before i learned a few easy tricks that can capture the magic that your christmas tree has in your home!

you will need….

1. a christmas tree 🙂
2. a camera that can be set on M {manual mode}. A DSLR camera is great, and even just a point a shoot camera that has manual mode can work just as good!
3. a tripod (if you have it)

ready?? for best results, try doing this at night when you don’t have a lot of other light in the house. turn off the main lights, and try the following…

1. set you camera on to M for manual mode
2. set your ISO at about 400. (for canons, there is an ISO adjustment button on the top of your camera, if you cant find yours, try googling “how to change the ISO on the _____camera model____”)
3. set your aperture to f/16 to get the “star burst” from your lights
4. lower your shutterspeed so it is VERY slow. i took the photos below with a 4second shutter speed. {it is essential to use a tripod or to set your camera on a non-moving surface for this slow of shutter speed or your photo will be blurry}
5. place your camera on the tripod and get it focused (if you don’t have a tripod, try setting it on a table chair to avoid any movement. at this slow of a shutterspeed, even the slightest movement can make things blurry).
6. turn off your lights and take your photo!
whalla!! star-burst-christmas-tree-magic!

some people also love the effect of blurring out the tree to get the full effect of the lights or a more 3D feel… am i the only one who loves blurring my eyes when i look at the tree? HA! anyways, these shots of our dog tucker were taken with an aperture setting of F/1.2 – I focused on Tucker, made him stay extremely still by holding a dog treat above my camera, and used the settings 1/10second shutter speed (much faster than before), F/1.2, ISO 400.See the difference in the image with a F16 aperature (left) and F1.2 aperture (right)? (i couldn’t have tucker in the photo on the left, because there is no way he could stay that still for 4 seconds ha ha) but notice the change in depth of field, and the starbursts. both are a unique effect!

hope that helps you all out, and i would love to see some photos of your trees!! feel free to send them to me through facebook, posting on my page or to my email (meg.courtney@hotmail.com) and please let me know if you have any questions!!

if this post helped you out and was what you were looking for, i would love it if you clicked that “like” button on the bottom, shared it with your friends or left a comment below! thanks so much everyone and see you back here next wednesday for the 3rd Wednesday Q&A post!
xox ~

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