It's Christmas time, and even if you're not a big "picture taker" any other time of the year, something about the beauty, lights, excitement, and wonder of this time of year just make us want to capture it all! And likely you want some pictures of your kids by the Christmas tree. If you have little kids, you worked hard to get those ornaments safely to their spots on the branches. So far, we've only had 1 major casualty this year--moment of silence, please, for the Space Needle Ornament. (That trip to Seattle was pre-kids, which was practically a different lifetime anyway. Bring on some more handprint reindeer.)
Anyway . . .
It can be tricky to capture that lit-up tree on camera! Here's what I did to catch this shot of C:
- It was nighttime, and I turned off all the lights in the room and adjacent rooms. Make it DARK so that the only lights are the lights from the tree.
- Cranked up the ISO. Mine was 6400 here. Don't worry about grain--you need the lighting help from a high ISO.
- Metered off the light on his face. I wanted to be sure a good deal of his face was properly exposed.
- Checked my white balance--I use Kelvin and had to lower it to somewhere around 2500.
- I told him to stand really close to the tree and look at it. (I didn't tell him to look up, but I loved that he did!) If you try this with kids, tell them to stand VERY still. I don't often tell my kids to be still in pictures, but because your shutter speed will likely be slower due to the darkness, they'll need to be still to avoid motion blur. I shot this one at a much slower SS than I ever normally work with but was able to make it work since he was still for that second. (You can always work to get your exposure settings correct first and THEN have them be still when you're ready!)
Now to decide if I like it better in color or black and white!! What's your vote? Leave it in the comments! And come back and let me know if you get some good shots of your kids in front of your tree!