Saturday, January 10, 2015

Christmas Decorations 2014

Last year I posted up quite a few Christmas-related photos, including bokeh, portraits, ornaments, and lights. This year, I didn't take quite as many photos of these holiday-related items this year, but I did spend some time during the week before Christmas practicing a couple of techniques. The first was something that I saw on a photography site and thought I'd give a try. 

With this first one, the idea is to start zoomed in on the object, and during a long exposure s-l-o-w-l-y zoom out to the maximum distance. That creates this cool light trail effect!


It actually took quite a few tries to get a shot where the light trails were this straight; even with a tripod, moving the lens smoothly and slowly out is hard work! So many of the photos came out very blurred. 

Next I thought I'd try this on our mantel lights. In addition to making the light paths, it also resulted in this duplication of some of the decorations! Kind of a cool effect, I think.
 And for comparison, here's the lights without the effect.
 And, my tree without zooming out, just to capture the colors and room.
 I also wanted to get some bokeh shots. Henry had made this gingerbread house at daycare, and I thought it would  be fun to photograph in front of the tree lights. I opened up my 85mm lens to the widest aperture (f/1.8) to get the nice bokeh effect with the lights.
 My daughter received this nutcracker as a gift after performing in The Nutcracker this year, and I thought it would be fun to use it as my subject with some shaped bokeh too.
 And in this one, I created a magical feeling under the tree.
I'm a bit sad now because all of these lights and sparkle are gone from our house, so it's nice to have these photos to look back at!