Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Capturing Christmas Lights

I was so excited when I saw that one of the photography blogs I follow did a post about getting Christmas tree photos.  My excitement was quickly turned to disappointment when I discovered that the tutorial was all about DSLR cameras and techniques that were way over my head.  I decided to simply try some things for myself.  Here's my unprofessional try at getting Christmas tree light photos. 

Above is two photos with my camera just set to auto mode.  The first is with flash, the second without.  Obvious that the one with flash looks horrible.  Do NOT use flash if you want to capture the lights of the Christmas tree.  The auto mode without flash is actually not bad at all and is actually probably the best of all the photos I took!
My camera was not on complete manual mode for these pictures because I was just too overwhelmed.  I put it on portrait mode (don't ask me why cause I really don't know, it's just what I chose).  In doing that, when I manually changed some settings, it automatically changed others (I think).  I played with the shutter speed and exposure (another tutorial for later).  In the portrait mode the ISO was automatically 200 and when I changed it to 400 my pictures were WAY over exposed!  Portrait mode also automatically put my F-stop (aperture) at 2.8 so I left that the same too because it wouldn't let me change it.  Here's the best of what I got:

Shutter Speed 1/40, F-stop 2.8, ISO 200, exposure -1

Shutter Speed 1/10, F-stop 2.8, ISO 200, exposure +1

Shutter Speed 1/20, F-stop 2.8, ISO 200, exposure 0

Constructive criticism from people who know more than I do is ALWAYS welcome and GREATLY appreciated!  I'm trying to learn!

Just an FYI to my loyal blog readers and my fellow blogging buddies.  I will be offline for at least the next 2 days, possibly even up to 4 days (how am I going to survive?) because of Christmas.  Actually it's really because I work a 12 hour day shift at the hospital tomorrow (Christmas Eve) and a 12 hour day shift on Christmas Day.  I then have Christmas with Hubby's family (I'm missing Christmas with mine) on the 26th and then it's back to work for a 12 hour shift on the 27th!!  UGH!

Merry Christmas!

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BoufMom9 said...

I'd LOVE to know what kind of camera you are using. I have a Kodak that has a lot of great settings, but obviously not DSL.
Your photos look great! I have been trying to take light photos as well and will try your ideas . thanks :)

Anonymous said...

Jamie - Stopping by to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

Terri (aka "the jelly lady")

Ashley said...

No wonder all my Christmas tree photos didn't turn out this year! I was using the flash!

How did the mulled wine turn out???

Lisa Curcio said...

I like the photos without the flash. I love the silver, but the ones without the flash look so magical. I think I like the first one, on the right side the best. That looks very much like the last photo. Good job!

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