Have Yourself a Slow and Macro Little Christmas

Merry Christmas to one and all.  The bright lights of the tree look so inviting, but are often difficult to photograph.  Flash makes the tree look washed out and hides the colors of the lights.  Hand holding your camera makes all the colors blur together.  So what is the secret to capturing good tree photos?  As with so much in photography, the answer is a good tripod, slow shutter speeds and a remote trigger.  Even with the very nice low light capabilities of the D800 and the 50mm 1.8 lens, putting the camera onto a stable platform makes all the difference.   From the LR histogram you can see that I pushed the ISO all the way up to 640, and it still took a 4.0 sec exposure.  By using a remote cable trigger, it removes the shaking caused by my ham-handed fingers, pressing the buttons. The other way to catch the warmth and depth of colors from the tree is to go in close.  A good macro lens can get more detail and usually needs less light.  We have quite a few lighted ornaments which offer their own set of challenges.  The bright inside lights can blow out the rest of the image, leaving the background too dark.  With a macro, you can be very precise in selecting your focal point.  I used the darkness of the tower clock, and then applied the LR development brush to reduce the exposure and highlights of the lights. 

Our house also maintains a fair and balanced approach between the forces of good and others for the holidays.    Well, we didn’t have much of a white Christmas; and that is ok with me.  I hope you got whatever you were wishing for.  The joy of spending time with friends and family is what makes this season special.  We hope that all our readers enjoy the holidays.