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!

5 comments:

  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!

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  2. Ooooooh! this is absolutely stunning. Beautiful photos
    thanks...

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  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. :)

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  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)?

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  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!!!

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

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