I love the warmth a Christmas tree brings to a home. It's been mentioned, however, in a previous blog how much I abhor the task of decorating the tree each year. It's a comedy of errors each and every time, with tangled lights, unlit strings and broken ornaments.
At 5'2" I'm always trying to find the best approach to the top, without exercising the common sense that should come with age. The most entertaining was when I recruited a young friend to hold on to the one end of the lights while I deftly climbed atop a swivelling bar stool. No need to go into any further details. Suffice it to say, the landing wasn't pretty.
Little wonder then, given the trials and tribulations, that I long to get that perfect picture when the job is done. For some time this proved to be as challenging as the job that preceded it. The impact was lost if the lights were on, while trying to get a decent picture in darkness proved extremely challenging since I didn't't own a tripod. My beautiful tree and its softly glowing lights were not surprisingly transformed into a blurry mass of blah and white.
Again, my common sense seemed to have taken a walk, as I was only too well aware that holding the camera steady enough given the slow shutter speed was almost a guarantee of failure, yet my rebellious streak continued to try.
Then, one Christmas a few years ago, I realized that if I set the camera on the high top eating counter at the kitchen island I could shoot the tree through the doorway. The end result was a vast improvement, though that tripod definitely remains on that wish list for retirement when I intend to pursue my love of photography with full commitment.
And thanks to the internet there is no end to the helpful resources to help me improve, including these terrific ones for photographing your Christmas tree:
Five simple but effective suggestions, as well as some more creative ideas to help you preserve this year's Christmas tree for posterity.
More of the above with a few new tips, including the concept of what including people in the shot can do for your picture.
This offers a more detailed description and advice for taking photos of a subject with the Christmas tree in the background.