Monday, December 12, 2011

How to get "starry" lights in your Christmas Tree photos

I always love taking a photo of my Christmas tree each year, but want to keep that warm, glowy, starry effect that you just cant get with the lights on....and certainly not with a flash.

You will need an SLR and a tripod (or very stable surface, with no chance of camera movement) for this one, but it is really easy. It also works best if you have nice bright lights. You will notice in this photo that the bottom half of the tree has brighter, sparklier lights than the top. This is because my 2nd set decided to stop working between last Christmas and this one....typicial! It must be so tough hanging out in the cupboard all year!! The last minute ring-ins are just not doing it for me, but they'll do for now.

Usually in low light conditions you would open you fstop right up to allow as much light into your camera as possible, however the only way to get the starry look on your lights is to close it right down. This is why you need a tripod to hold the camera steady. It was evening when I took this. I turned off my lights and I put my ISO on 500. You could go much higher though, but as I was using a tripod I didn't bother going faster. I set my fstop at 22 and shutter speed was then at 10.0 sec...slow, I know! I carefully squeezed the shutter release to avoid any camera movement, and sat back and waited. 

The resulting pic is so lovely and warm and'd never guess it was 34 degrees outside!

I'd love to hear how your pics go if you give it a try. Merry Christmas! :)

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