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Old Dec 14, 2005, 9:44 PM   #11
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Bernabeu - What a wonderful Christmas tree photo - very warm colors creating a psychological feeling of coziness and warmth around the tree. It's "picture perfect"!
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Old Dec 15, 2005, 12:58 PM   #12
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I shoot xmas lights in aperture prioity mode with a tripod and NO flash, if at all possible. That can result in very slow shutter speeds, but my camera can accomodate them so who cares? For a shot like you are talking about (and showing), I'd use an f22 or higher aperture, a tripod, no flash, which would result in some longer shutter speeds. How long, I really have no idea. Maybe longer than your camera will accomodate. You probably have an option to raise the ISO, which with the same f setting would allow you to shorten the shutter speeds. Not ideal, but an option.

That (the shooting method above)would eliminate the flash issue you are having that's creating the glare. Another way to minimize/eliminate it and still use flash is to get a little lower angle on your shot (get lower, shoot up a little)so the flash isn't reflecting off the window right back at the camera.

I'd also try to get a different angle for another reason. I think a better picture could be framed showing more tree and more of the window if you moved the cameraforwardand to the left...where the couch is. Then, move the tree a little to toward the door. Finally, consider shooting the shot with an up/down orientation (by rotating the camera in your hands...actually, on your tripod) 90 degrees.

Of course, it's your picture. I'm just spit-balling a shot that I think might look good. Who knows, once you get everything in position it may look terrible. But I could "see" a final product with a lighted and decorated tree taking up about 65% of the frame on the right side, with the remaining "1/3" on the left mostly filled by the contrasting image of a mostly white window scene.

Anyway, hope that has some value to someone. I'm no expert. I'm better at getting shots at the time than I am accurately diagnosing things without the ability to play around a little with the same conditions.
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Old Dec 16, 2005, 2:49 PM   #13
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Wannabe, thanks for the info.. We still need to finish decorating it yet. Also a little embarassed to post a picture of my messy living room.. Darn cat toys cluttering the picture.. <chuckle>
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Old Dec 22, 2005, 4:33 PM   #14
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Try as I might, I have never been able to get a real good xmas tree shot. The contrast range between the lights, and shadows is to great for the CCD sensor. This produces fuzzy out of focus photos. Because of the over saturation of the CCD.

I have focused with room lights on, and still had fuzzy shots. As well as trying to focus with lights off. I have an olderfixed focuscamera, same results. Tripod used in every case. I have had some passable shots, but never truly sharp.
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