Friday, December 8, 2017

Perfect Your Christmas Light Photography With Great Tips from Expert Resources

Photo of a Christmas tree in the corner of a room from
It happens that I am one of those people. As the year winds down, as the final months flip away, I can barely contain my eagerness. Christmas is on its way and in the weeks leading up to it I'm keen every year to begin celebrating this wonderful season of peace, joy and goodwill.

Though I have disciplined myself to (when it comes to many aspects of the holiday) hold off until after the solemn observance of Remembrance Day,  the shopping is usually well under way by November.

And the rest, of course, follows soon after.

It is to me, such a beautiful celebration, from its message and music,  to its food and adornments, that it seems a shame to not get a good start on all of it. And I really do love to decorate for this festive season. A project that began with a tree in a cozy corner and a few garlands over doorways in my first year of marriage, has grown to encompass most of the house. There's something about the twinkling lights, the holly, the greenery and candles that makes a home so warm. 

Now my den is dedicated to snowmen, while a variety of Santas hold their place of honour in the living room. Both of these come together in the kitchen and bathroom, with a few favourites hanging out in the hallways. Welcoming guests as they enter my front door is an adorable elf. Finally, this year too, a long-awaited renovation has given me the 'cardinal' room, an homage to my late parents.

These decorations, to my mind, create a welcoming atmosphere in my home. Yet what appeals most to me are the garlands with strings of light that adorn the top of the hutch, kitchen and down the staircase.

There is something awfully peaceful about sitting in a room lit simply by a few shimmering lights snuggled amongst some greenery.  It begs for hot chocolate and a good book, quiet conversation over a glass of wine, or the closest of snuggles with a sweetie.

After a long day, my guy and I enjoy nothing more than to be greeted by the tree lights as we make our way up the street towards home.   Set to a timer they are the perfect welcome as we transition from work mode to our time.

Often I have tried to capture the beauty of Christmas lights in a photograph,  but it never quite lives up to the reality. Over the years I have been helped by some expert advice and continue to work towards a perfect photo memory we can draw on some winter night to brighten the cold dark season. If only for a brief moment.

If you too have struggled to get a picture of your Christmas tree or of sparkling lights throughout your house during the holidays here are some helpful hints:

Lightstalking shares some helpful tips on how to capture the magic of a beautifully sparkling Christmas tree.

Picture Correct takes it outside with these great tips for photographing Christmas lights.

wikiHow tackles the tricky obstacles one can face in getting great Christmas light photographs.

Shooting Christmas lights with your DSLR advice from the New York Institute of Photography.

Digital Photography School offers advice and examples to ramp up your bokeh Christmas light photography skills. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Christmas Tree Images to Put the Festive in Your Seasonal Projects

Clipart image of children decorating a Christmas tree
It’s tragedy, drama and comedy rolled into one.  It’s the Agony and the Ecstasy. It’s War and Peace. What begins every year as A Fine Mess ends always, with certainty, as It’s a Wonderful Life.

Thus describes my annual tree trimming escapades.

Please forgive the literary and film references above, but when it comes to this seasonal ritual I've often felt that the trials and tribulations are too bizarre to be reality. Year in and year out  no matter how organized I might be, no matter how much time I allow,  decorating the tree is a painfully frustrating exercise.  A problem arises and I hopefully address it the next year, only to find another problem arising.

Yet, always, always, the end result is worth every miserable moment. There is such warmth to be found in the glow of a Christmas tree.  It's the beckoning light for family to gather around, for friends to be entertained by.

But first, the agony, the war and the mess. We've always had an artificial tree. For convenience I guess,  though that suggestion is rather laughable. The early ones were ridiculous imitations and a lot of work. Branches were stuck in individually by hand. The holes would split, the branches droop as a result.  Our modern version has far greater aesthetic appeal, but is cumbersome to put in place. Also, it came with pinecones and clumps of 'snow', that are the bane of my existence.  Not only do they fall and make a mess, but they're difficult to decorate around.

The real challenge, though, is the lighting. First it's the tangled strings, an issue we believe now to have resolved with improved storage.  Then it's the dead strings, which work fine when you check them but for unexplained reasons quit on the tree.  Progress is thus delayed until we can purchase new ones.

Over the decades the task has resulted in toppled trees, broken ornaments, mismatched lights and strings of off-colour words.

I took on this year's project early since I found myself with a Saturday to myself. Various, sadly- anticipated woes cropped up so that it took over four hours to complete.

The requisite useless strings of lights resulted in no less than three dismantles which occupied a fairly significant amount of time.  Each of these meant more weaving in and out along the branches, in my obsessive compulsive need to get them spaced nicely. This involved the requisite gnashing of teeth, tugging of cords and stomping of feet. Of course, none of this would be normal without, I'm ashamed to admit,  the accompaniment of some profanity to spice things up.
Clipart image of a Christmas tree

Finally,  just in time for a much-needed cocktail, the job was complete and my efforts had resulted in a vision of twinkling splendour. All the frustration eased away as I appreciated the beauty of this festive tradition.  Images of snuggling beside the tree on chilly winter nights, gently falling snow and  a room full of laughter and love soothed and comforted.  I had reached the joyful part of this seasonal tradition — the time to relax and enjoy the peace and pleasure of my wonderful life.

With just a few weeks left until Dec. 25, trimming the tree will be happening in homes everywhere, at various times, with varying degrees of success. But regardless of how smooth, or not so smooth, the process goes the end result is a welcome addition to our holidays. We celebrate here with delightful collections of Christmas tree clipart: Christmas Tree Illustrations Christmas Tree Illustrations