Sunday, November 27, 2011

Capturing the Glow of Christmas Lights-DIY

In between a few projects this evening, I decided to do a little research to see what exactly I need to do, to get a  beautiful picture of our Christmas tree. I've seen photographs that show how beautifully the tree is glowing. I wanted to be able to capture that but, all my experimental efforts were failing. The lights were out in our house so, I had to keep using my flash. The flash was lighting the tree up and taking away the "glow" effect. Then I tried holding my camera really still and adjusting the shutter speed. Blurry pictures were the result. 

To google I headed. Is it just me or does google usually have all the answers? I entered "manual camera setting Nikon for Christmas tree picture" into the magic little box. Within 3 seconds, I was reading the exact answer I needed. 

Turns out I was on the right track with turning my shutter speed all the way down. I just didn't know that when your shutter speed is at the lowest setting, you need to have your camera sitting on either a tri-pod or another completely still surface. 

I have a Nikon Camera so, I turned my camera's dial onto "S". Next, I adjusted the shutter speed to my lowest setting, 30". I kept the flash closed (off) I had all the lights off, and I set the camera on our dining room table, in full view of the Christmas tree. I held my breath, pushed the button to take the picture and then took my hands off. 30 seconds went by and then taaaa daaa!!! It worked!!!

I got excited and went outside to try my new little trick with Jeremiah's Christmas lights. This time I rested the camera on our deck. Again it worked! 
So, set your shutter speed on the lowest number, keep the flash off, steady the camera on a tri-pod or other completely still surface and capture the glow!


  1. Oooh, this is so pretty!! Thank you so much for the tutorial! I love the "glow", and also how your lights appear as "stars"... so beautiful!

  2. Ooooooh! this is absolutely stunning. Beautiful photos

  3. The pictures are perfect!! You captured the lights perfectly. What kind of Nikon do you have? I'm looking to buy another camera, either a Nikon or Canon DLSR.
    I agree... I go to Google for everything too. :)

  4. I love this trick! Your photos are absolutely beautiful. Is the second photo a zoomed-in cropped version of the first one, or did you take a second picture with the camera perched higher (and closer or more zoomed in)?

  5. Thanks, Angelasw! The second photo is a zoomed in, cropped version of the first. As I type this, I'm remembering that we have a tripod that I could have set up and used to take a closer picture. Next year!!!


Thank you for your comments. I read every single one of them and they always make me smile.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...