Monday, November 26, 2012

Christmas Photo Tutorial

 Canon Rebel T3,  18-55mm lens, 4.0 f-stop, 50 shutter speed, Auto ISO
Natural light from window (Light fabric curtain)
Distance from tree: ~3 feet
Canon Rebel T3, 50 mm lens, 1.8 f-stop, 15 shutter speed, Auto ISO
Natural light from window (light, sheer white curtain).
Distance from tree: ~6 feet.
(No tripod, though I'd recommend one.)

So this is a super quick tutorial:
Note: Most of these I used a Canon 50mm fixed lens.
Fixed meaning you can't adjust the zoom.

The 50mm lens is a great lens, gets clear images and can get a low f-stop, 
you just have to move back and adjust your self to fill your frame rather than zoom in and out with the lens. 
 Canon Rebel T3, 50mm lens, 1.8 f-stop, 50 shutter speed, Auto ISO
Natural light from window with light curtains.
Distance from tree: ~4 feet.

Closer vs. Farther:
Canon Rebel T3, 50mm lens, 1.8 f-stop,  60 shutter speed, Auto ISO
Again natural light from window.
Distance from tree: ~5ft.

For the white background:
I positioned the chair just inches from the window and a few feet from the tree.
The light weight fabric allowed light in without it casting harsh shadows. 
 How far away/close your subject is to the lights will make your Light Blur different. 
You can see the size of halos the light gives off changes.
the bigger the blur!
(Like the one above.)
(Make sure your f-stop is set at the lowest.)

the smaller the blur!
(Like the one below.) 

Canon Rebel T3, 50mm lens, 1.8 f-stop,  60 shutter speed,, Auto ISO
Again natural light from window.
Distance from tree: ~6 inches.

Remember the basics:
Low shutter speed=more light

Low f-stop=more blur in back/foreground and light.

A lower shutter speed can be tricky when it gets below 30.
A tripod can help keep it steady and try to have your subject hold still.
If you aren't familiar with your manual settings:
I suggest looking here.
She has some great explanations and tutorials!

(The two above where without curtains, hence the harsh light.)

These are easy, quick photos to capture at home.
You can see the difference the dark vs. white tree makes in the over all appearance, as well as the distance.  
It is so fun to play with and figure out the distance and blur. 

To save your sanity, practice with an object before going for it with the kiddos!   

Part 2: Christmas Tree Photos

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  1. This is awesome!
    I have such a hard time explaining what I do with my photos or how I get a certain look... this is fantastic!
    Would you consider guest posting on my photo blog? This is a great tutorial for beginners! :)

  2. Superb!!! I ordered a Canon Rebel T3 on Black Friday.....just waiting for it to show up on my doorstep. And I know I won't know the first thing to do with it. Thanks for this! I'm pinning it so I can refer back!!!

  3. These photos are gorgeous! Thank you so much for the tips. I got a Canon T3i last Christmas. I'm still learning how to use the manual settings. Half the time I feel like I have no clue what I'm doing and I have to fuss with my camera forever until I magically get good photos. Again beautiful photos, and kids!

  4. I have a T2i with that same lens, you've inspired me!! just joined as a follower

  5. these are super helpful tips
    especially because
    i have a t3 too

    thanks so much
    for sharing
    at Fridays Unfolded!


    1. Thanks for the tips. I like the idea of trying it on an object before you try it with your kids! Love the quickness of the tutorial 2!
      Would love a visit from you at my blog! Found you on Fridays Unfolded!

  6. Beautiful photos! I love the 50mm lens too. (I have the Nikon equivalent to the Canon T3.) I found you at Fridays Unfolded. I love your blog and I'm a new follower.

  7. Those are stunning! I definitely need that kind of tutorial- especially since I host Photo Friday! Thank you for linking up! Happy weekend!

  8. Beautiful photos!!! You're making me want a new camera! ;-)

  9. Very nice. I don't have an adjustable camera, I don't think. I just point and shoot. Lens I have is not great. It distorts things badly. CanonSX 120. Beautiful, beautiful pictures. Linda

  10. Oh. My. Goodness. Those photos are just out of this world. And the children are just darling! Wow!
    The light and color are really amazing. Thank you for the tips.

    <3 Christina at I Gotta Create!
    Wildly Original link part is open.

  11. what a beaautiful little girl
    come see me over at

  12. These are such great tips! I wish I had known this when my kiddos were small. Thanks for sharing on the homemade holiday party.


  13. Great tutorial and gorgeous little models you have! Thanks for sharing on "I Gotta Try That" Have a great week!

  14. I had to pin this! Thank you for taking the time to link up to Whimsy Wednesday! We LOVE your company☺

    Kelly at Smart! School {House}

  15. This is fabulous! Thanks! I am working on this all December!

  16. Oh my in that first image she looks like a porcelain doll. Amazing image


  17. Awesome photographs. Really awesome and after week of people telling me via LinkedIn that I get way too close with my portraits and I should back it up a little, it is a wonderful relief to see someone talking about getting really close.

    Lou :-)

  18. Magnificent photography ~ Your children are so beautiful! ~ Thanx for the tutorial ~ (A Creative Harbor) ~ aka (ArtMuse Dog^_^)

  19. Oh Wow! How stunning! Very gorgeous ! Thanks for the tips.

    Thanks for sharing with Foto Friday,

  20. i have found you via fridays unfolded and am captivated by this glorious shot you took! it is def my favorite image of the season!

    following you and hope you will follow back. looking forward to catching up on your blog.

    hope you will find a moment to stop by and enter a giveaway i am hosting for followers (i hope you win!):

    happy weekend to you!


  21. Great shots & tips. I can't wait to get a new camera. Visiting from

  22. what beauties you have there! STUNNING shots!!!! Love the tutorial!

  23. This is a fabulous tutorial! I can't wait to put these tips to use. That reaching for the cookie picture is by far my favorite :-)

    Thanks for linking up with the Winter Wonders & Holiday Happenings!

    Darby @

  24. Thank you! Especially the tip of practicing with a non wiggly subject--Genius!