teekathepony 12:57pm, 2 November 2010
We did this one other year and it was a big hit.

Here is a place to post your tips and tricks for getting the best Christmas photos -- from white balance to filters, flash settings to shutter speeds, any tidbit you have would be appreciated!

Also, if you have questions about anything specific, ask them here and we'll try to get an answer!
teekathepony 6 years ago
I'll start with an easy one.

When taking photos of Christmas lights, to get the soft look and true brightness of the lights, it is always best not to use flash. But often this means taking pictures in the dark. A tripod is a key tool for Christmas light pictures as it allows one to slow down the shutter speed and allow the natural light to expose the picture.

One problem with this is the yellow/orange cast that we often get with old fashioned bulbs (I can't speak for LED lights as I have few!). One easy way to combat this is to set your white balance to "tungsten" setting which will keep most of the colours true but without the orange glow.

Hope that helps!
CraftyRebel74 6 years ago
What a fabulous idea!!! Although, I'm certain I'll be reading/using these tips more than offering them! LOL
Meg Hartley 6 years ago
Good tip. I have one that look brilliant but are sooo easy to do! Once your Christmas tree is lit up and running, point your camera towards it (take teekathepony's tip for the white balance) and put your camera to Auto Focus (AF). Turn it out of focus, so you get a tree shaped bokeh! It looks wonderful
teekathepony 6 years ago
Good one, Refeti, but I think you mean to put your camera on Manual Focus ;) turning the focus ring while on AF can strip your lens. I love tree-bokeh!
Meg Hartley 6 years ago
Oh yeah, OOPS! i mean Manual Focus (M)
Heheh, I always get mixed up..
jerry_springberg PRO 6 years ago
Hi, Some Tips, off course manual setting of the white balance, using tripod and verry long exposure (seconds) with high granularity (asa 64 or 100), the pleasure of taking the photos last longer in this way. Succes !
Chrisser PRO 6 years ago
I agree with not using the flash for Christmas lights - a photo of my Christmas tree with the lights turned on and my basket of lights and pine cones with the lights turned on I used Auto Without Flash, but had to use Auto Focus on the 18-55mm kit lens on my Canon EOS Rebel T1i.

Oh, and the M is Manual shooting mode that I will be using for outdoor photos of Christmas lights with the Bulb exposure - MF is Manual Focus, Refeti.
kcinfocus PRO 6 years ago

If you have any questions regarding this method please feel free to shoot me a flickr mail.

Now that I have your attention....

You will need a tripod and shutter release. (if your camera doesn't have a shutter release you can experiment with longer shutter times. However, I am trying to go with the easiest method and that takes a shutter release.)

Set your camera on the Manual setting then select the "BULB" setting and use f stop 11.

Now turn out all of the lights in the room expect the tree lights. While holding the shutter release open and counting one 1000 two 1000 etc. experiment with differing exposure lengths. Obviously, the longer you leave the shutter open the more light gets in.


This system works both inside and out, in addition to producing breath taking fireworks shots. (see my "sets").

Below are some examples using this exact method.

Again if you have any questions just send me a flickr mail.

Merry Christmas.

KCinfocus aka Tim

Dining Room Tree

Silent Night

Plaza Lights

This tree is on a rotating base.

Another Spin Cycle
nasti29 6 years ago
I like the photo of rotating tree :)
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