Thursday, December 13, 2012

oh tannenbaum

Everyday when I get home from work I turn on our Christmas tree lights. I love how the little lights sparkle against the colorful bulbs. We don’t have a working fireplace, but the lit Christmas tree warms our living room in a similar way. It  makes our little house feel so cozy. Somehow the dark evenings don’t feel as depressing when those lights come on.

But have you ever tried to take a picture of your tree? Wow is it hard to capture the warmth of the twinkling light on film (I know no one uses film, but you know what I mean).

I literally spent an hour tonight googling how to use my camera to take a picture of a Christmas tree. Jeff bought me a nice camera a few years ago and I have been so brutal about learning how to use it to its full potential. Tonight was my first time trying the manual mode. From what I learned online the key is to adjust the ISO (I have no idea what that is, but I adjusted mine to 400 – fancy huh?), and make sure the aperture is wide open (that might be the same thing as ISO, not sure). There was something in there about shutter speed too. I'm not very detail oriented, so you might not want to quote me on this technique.

The end result is not an award winning photo, but it is a lot better than what I could have done this morning. 

I learned two things tonight. First, there really is a lot I can do with my camera that I am not currently doing. I would like to change that. There are a million and three youtube tutorials and websites out there teaching amateurs the basics about photography. There really is no excuse. Second, I need a tripod. It seems like an intense piece of equipment for a novice, but I really found it hard to stabilize my camera with such a slow shutter speed. I had to rearrange my coffee table and use a pile of books -- it worked, but I don't think the photo is totally in focus, plus I made a pretty big mess.

If you really want to experience the warmth of my tree you'll have to pop over. I made cookies tonight so it is a good time to come and visit, although you have about 15 minutes before I am in bed. You can't say you weren't warned.



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