Christmas Tree with Dog photos

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by JacksonsMom, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    Any advice for a newbie to photography?

    I have the Canon Rebel t1i with the 18-55 kit lens.

    I really wanna get a decent shot of Jackson with the Christmas tree in the background that looks good (in stupid terms, with the lights in the background kind of blurred, and him as the focus). Is this even possible with my lens? I'm wanting a 50mm but won't get it until after xmas.

    I messed with some manual settings and googled some things, but I still can't seem to get it right. Luckily, Jackson sits pretty still though, so at least I have a patient client! :D


    But any tips put into simple terms... what is the best lighting? should I have a light on in the room (we have lights with shades) and the room also has windows, with the option of heavy duty blinds. No lights and just use natural light coming thru window? Tree is not in front of a window, so the sunlight would be directed towards the tree.

    Any help is appreciated!
     
  2. Snark

    Snark Mutts to you

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    It's not the lens, it's your settings. I'm not real good at this (always have to ask Sis) but I believe you'll want to play with your aperture setting - the smaller the number (F4), the shorter your depth of field (background blurs), the larger (F11 for example), the longer your depth of field (background in focus). Experiment with lights on, natural lighting, flash, etc. (use a stuffed animal or similar size object as a Jackson stand-in until you're happy with your settings.) At least with a digital camera you can check your results right away! :)

    Do you have a tripod? If not, I would invest in a good one - totally worth it for indoor shots when your exposure tends to be a bit longer. Do you have an external flash? That's another good investment. I have one where the flash part pivots so I can bounce the light off the ceiling or wall for a more natural look.
     
  3. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    Ah, crap! Jessie and.... crap someone elses post got lost :( I totally forget lol.
     
  4. ~Jessie~

    ~Jessie~ Chihuahua Power!

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    I'm so sad that Chaz ate my post!

    Do you have an external flash?

    For Christmas photos, I turn off any lights that are in the room directly. Obviously the tree is left on! Hall light was on (which faced my back), and I bounced my flash from the ceiling to illuminate faces.

    If you don't have an external flash, I recommend upping the ISO as high as you can get without grain. Also, a tripod would really help you, as you can lower the shutter speed.

    I shoot in AP (aperature priority). The lower the f stop, the more blurred the background will be (lights will look like starbursts).

    I'll use this photo of Tucker as my example for settings.

    [​IMG]
    DSC_9483.jpg by Chihuahuaesque, on Flickr

    Settings: 1/60, ƒ/2.2, ISO 320 35mm
     
  5. joce

    joce Active Member

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    Love! You people and your photo skills!

    I say all the time I am going to steal my moms nice camera and get good pics and all I end up with are badly posed spur of the moment iPhone ones.
     
  6. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    Thanks so much! I do not have an external flash, but I've been meaning to buy one so I may just order one tonight on amazon.

    Do you mind telling me which one you have? I definitely want fairly inexpensive. I was looking at this: http://www.amazon.com/Vivitar-VIV-285HV-Thrister-Flash-Black/dp/B00004TVSP/ref=pd_cp_p_1
     
  7. ~Jessie~

    ~Jessie~ Chihuahua Power!

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    I don't have a Canon (Nikon shooter here), so I'm not sure what your Canon flash options are.

    This is the flash I have:

    http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-SB-700-...=1355775141&sr=1-1&keywords=nikon+flash+sb700

    I'm not sure how the less expensive 3rd party flashes are, but I really like my flash.
     

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