Lots of people wonder why they can't take nice photos of their Christmas ornaments. They walk into a dark room with only the Christmas tree providing light, and they think, "This would make a great photo!" So, they pull out their digital camera, probably a small pocketable digicam, and begin snapping away only to find later that their photos look like crap. Most likely, the camera was on an automatic setting, and the flash was used for each shot. The photos often capture nothing of the warm glow of the tree in the dark room. They appear too bright and washed out. This article will provide some tips for capturing better Christmas ornament and decoration photos.
Things You Will Need1. Digital Camera
2. Christmas Ornaments
3. Camera support (tripod, bean bag, chair or some other method of support)
4. Your camera's user manual might come in handy.
Now your photos should capture the warm glow of the lights and ornaments without being blown out by the flash! A couple of great books to help you improve your macro (close-up) photography work:
Understanding Close-up Photography: Creative Close Encounters with or without a Macro Lens
Digital Macro Photography
Tips & WarningsTip 1: What if you don't have a tripod or any other support, and you'll be shooting with the camera in your hands? All is not lost! You'll have to find a balance between a shutter speed that you can hand-hold adequately without getting a blurry image and an ISO/aperture combination that will give you the exposure you need. The first thing I'd try is setting the camera on shutter priority and use a 1/25 second shutter speed. That's about as slow as you can set it and still hand-hold it for most cameras and lenses. Shutter priority will let the camera choose an appropriate aperture. Depending on your other settings, the camera may also choose the ISO. If it doesn't, you'll want to set it to something fairly high. Try 400 or 800. The higher the ISO number you use, the noisier (grainier) the image will be. Ignore any warnings from your camera about the image being underexposed. Then take a few shots and see how they look. If they're blurry, use a shorter shutter speed. Try 1/40 second and so on. If they're too dark, try increasing the ISO. If all else fails, find something to support that camera so you can use a slower shutter!
Tip 2: If you have trouble getting your camera to focus in the dark, set it to manual focus if you can. Then just manually focus and shoot. Another option is to turn on the overhead lights, focus using the autofocus with the extra light, set the camera to manual focus being careful not to move the camera or disturb the lens, then turn off the overhead lights and snap the shot.