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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Challenge: Take a GOOD photo of your Christmas tree!

I've shared this tutorial on a couple other blogs...but I thought I'd post it here, as well! One of my favorite parts of Christmas is putting up the Christmas tree and enjoying it throughout the holidays. Paired with that, however, is my general dislike of all the photos I take of my Christmas tree!! They never seem to truly capture the beauty of my tree.

When I used the flash, it was just plain glimmering lights, too much overall light...a very harsh looking tree. It's a bad look all around...

Without the flash they were blurry, and man was my white balance off!! Here is a typical "no flash" shot.

I am definitely not a world-class photographer, but thanks to the wonders of the internet I found some great tips for photographing your tree! And as you will see at the end...they really do work! ;)

1. Use a tripod. This is probably obvious to most, but it wasn't to me! I often forget about my awesome tripod that lives in the front closet!!

2. Let the light of your tree be your only light. Don't use any overhead or table lighting.

3. Use Manual or Shutter-priority (Tv) mode on your camera.

4. Use a high f- stop and a low shutter speed. I will put the exact exposures under each photo. I messed around with the shutter speed. If it was too long, the lights were almost too bright...too short and they didn't sparkle enough for me!

5. I happened to use a high ISO on these...1600. I tried some with a lower ISO, but to be honest, I wasn't as happy with the results.

6. Be sure to listen to some good Christmas music and eat some cookies while photographing the tree. Okay, that's not really a rule...but I really think it makes the whole experience better!

(3.2", f/22, ISO 1600)

(2", f/22, ISO 1600)

I would LOVE to see your tree photos! Post them here, and have a great holiday!!


  1. What beautiful photos!! Thx for the tips...x

  2. gorgeous pics, em! thanks for sharing!

  3. ooooh thanks Em!! great tips! totally going to try to get at least 1 good pic!

  4. Really would love to be able to do this - I'm going to try with my camera with some manual features.... beautiful doesn't seem to cover your pictures here. They are amazing!