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Tips for Photographing around the Christmas Tree

Tips for Photographing around the Christmas Tree

With the holiday season in full swing, it’s time to look at the best ways to take photographs around the Christmas Tree. This is a time of year that families gather around for the festivities and memorable moments. For example taking family photos in front of the tree, is a great way to create long lasting cherished memories. Christmas tree photos of your loved ones make for a great Christmas Card for your family, friends and possibly co-workers.

Having a great DSLR camera from Manufacturers like Canon, Sigma, Sony, Nikon and others is wonderful, and we will be reviewing several options in this arena. But you also will need some photography tips and tutorials which will enhance the experience, whether you are a photography beginner or an enthusiast.

Bear in mind, that when dealing with Christmas Tree photos, you will be encountering different harsh lighting conditions, such as a large amount of ambient light. These situations may make you feel overwhelmed, so with the right equipment and tutorials taking Christmas tree photos should not be a burden.


Set up and Tips

As we mentioned, taking photos around the Christmas Tree have certain challenges that a photographer needs to know how to overcome. Below we will provide some great tips to assist you in making the photos you take this Holiday Season, high quality images that will evoke cherished family memories.

  1. Try turning down all the lights in the room where your Christmas Tree is located. That way when you shoot your images, the focus will be on the Christmas Tree lights and ornaments. Removing some of this ambient lighting allows for the enough light of the Christmas Tree to shine through.

  2. Use a lower ISO setting on your camera to for daytime shooting of your Christmas Tree or a high ISO up to 6000-8000 for evening shots. This all depends on available light sources, as you will probably be shooting in low light. When referencing ISO, a low ISO, the better. A high ISO may allow for some graininess may appear in your images.

  3. Use an wide aperture setting of f/1.4 (f-stop) with a slow shutter speed of 1/200. This will allow for the long exposure to bring in more natural light to the image frame.

  4. Use Autofocus. This is especially great for beginners because the camera will automatically adjust the settings for you.

  5. Try using Manual Mode. Shooting in manual mode gives you a tremendous amount of control over the in camera settings such as aperture, white balance, shutter speeds.

  6. Use a tripod to help avoid camera shake which is a common issue with handheld photography.

  7. Watch your camera flash appropriately. If you have the flash set when shooting the Christmas Tree lights, you have too much distortion of the image.

  8. Taking holiday photos with a great Bokeh effect is awesome. Having the camera hone in on your subject with a beautifully blurred background, will get you a gorgeous exposure focused in on every detail of your subjects. Shooting with a shallow depth of field will get you that Bokeh effect.

  9. Use post processing software like Lightroom or others to make any DIY changes to your image exposure.

  10. Try taking some photos with your smartphone like an iPhone such as selfies with your family members next to and around the Christmas Tree.

  11. Use different holiday themes such as having your subjects wearing matching Holiday sweaters or even getting the Yule log into your exposure. Variety is great.


Cameras and Lens

Without question, you can have all the knowledge and tutorials you need to take good photos around the Christmas Tree is a great starting point, but without the right equipment than you won’t get the most out of your images. Below are some suggestions for cameras and lenses to make this most out of your photography this holiday season.

  • Our first choice for a great camera is the Nikon Z5 Full Frame Mirrorless Camera Body FX 4K + 24-200mm F4-6.3 VR Lens Kit. This is a full frame mirrorless camera with some fantastic specs.

    • A large CMOS sensor with 24.3 effective megapixels for detailed images and video.

    • Nikon’s EXPEED 6 image processor makes for great autofocus capabilities and low light shooting situations.

    • With a 5 axis VR stabilization system, this is one of the world’s foremost advanced stabilization systems helping make camera shake a thing of the past.

    • The ISO sensitivity on the Z5 can go all the way up to ISO 51,200 (expandable to ISO 102,400) without loss of sharpness and clarity. This will help tremendously with the low light situations of shooting a Christmas Tree in the evening.

    • With 273 focus points on the Z5, your subject should appear in one every time you take a still or video. Not only that, but the attention to detail on your subject is phenomenal.

    • Shoot 4K HDR video in up to 30FPS and FHD video in up to 60FPS.

    • There is a EVF (Electronic View Finder) to help you focus on the image and area you want to shoot and allow you get a glare free idea of what your final exposure may look like.

    • Included Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for connectivity. Attach the camera to the Snapbidge App for additional post processing capabilities.

    • Built on Nikon’s Z mount system, the Z 5 is compatible with every cutting-edge NIKKOR Z lens. This can be the included 24-200 lens kit to the praised NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S walkaround prime lens or a super telephoto lens like the NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S.

    • This camera can be used with F-Mount lenses as well with an FTZ adapter.

  • A cool gadget camera that should appeal to you and your family for interesting and fun usage while providing great photos is the DJI Pocket 2 Touchscreen Handheld 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer Camera.

    • This pocket sized ergonomic and lightweight camera gives single handed photography new and awesome meaning.

    • With a 180° panorama everyone in a group selfie with a 3×3 panorama will be in your exposure of the photo around the Christmas Tree.

    • Modes: Story mode, a setting on the camera uses video and music templates to make exciting mini-movies. Think like iMovie or an app like that just this is the camera doing it. Several other available time related modes are Timelapse which turns hours into seconds, Motionlapse adding smooth camera movement and Hyperlapse lets you travel through time in your photos.

    • A 3 axis gimbal makes for great image stabilization.

    • Four microphones provide stereo recording so the voices of your family and wonderful holiday cheer will come through loud and clear.

    • The phone clip gives a tight secure hold between the DJI Pocket 2 and a connected smartphone like an iPhone.

    • A built-in tripod mount and cold shoe for lighting make this a sturdy vlog camera as well.

    • The charging case will get you approximately 1.5 charges for the Pocket 2, while providing ample storage space for microSD cards and ND filters

  • A really cool retro camera that you will love to show off to your family at holiday time is the Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 Instant Film Camera.

    • This is a classic deluxe designed retro camera giving you the look and feel of the old style instant cameras.

    • An included selfie mirror makes this camera great for taking selfies around the Christmas Tree with your family.

    • Instant automatic exposures will allow for the right photo with the good quality.

    • Produces photos on Instax Mini Film sheets in a 2’ x 3’ size.

    • Includes the required 2 AA batteries for usage.

  • For a good lens for this Holiday Season when photographing around the Christmas Tree is the Sony FE 35mm F1.4 GM G Master Full Frame Wide Angle Lens.

    • This is a G Master lens (Gold Standard) from Sony Cameras of the highest build quality at a great price point.

    • Two Extreme Aspherical lens elements correct distortion found in photography, so that high resolution is found all the way to the image edges.

    • Comes with Sony’s Nano AR Coating II which produces a layer of on the lens to reduce reflections which may cause ghosting.

    • Autofocus and and Manual Focus (linear response) are present and can be controlled by the focus ring. There are focus hold buttons to ensure the exact focal length you need and an instant autofocus/manual focus choice by using the AF/MF switch.

    • Lightweight and easy to carry at just 524 grams, this should not add additional pressure to your arms and hands when using the lens.

    • Amazing beautiful pixel count with detailed crisp stills and videos creating unique, beautiful image quality.

    • Great for shooting in low light conditions around the Christmas Tree.

    • This full frame wide angle lens can capture jaw dropping image quality. The f/1.4 aperture will help you to keep your ISO low, meaning you'll have higher quality images with less noise.


Final Thoughts

With the photography tips and tutorials provided coupled with our list of awesome cameras, photographing around the Christmas Tree with your loved ones should be a joy and a breeze. With just a couple weeks to go until Christmas, it’s never too soon to start making the preparations for the photos and videos you will want.

So hop online and grab one or more of the cameras and lenses we recommended and your cherished Christmas moments are just a click away!

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