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Old 10th of November 2008 (Mon)   #1
jfinke
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Default Shooting Christmas Trees with people

So, this year, the wife and I want to send out xmas cards with us in front of the tree. So, I have been doing a little testing. The look I am going for has the Christmas tree "glowing" for lack of a better word.

Here is my best result so far. Any suggestions? It was shot with a 350d on a tripod with the nifty fifty. Manual mode, 1.8 aperture, and .5 seconds shutter length. 430EX flash angled away and up in a large living room. I am not terribly happy with the bokeh. I do have a 70-200mm f/4L IS coming in the mail on Thursday. However, I am not sure how much further away I can get the tripod.

Thanks!


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Old 10th of November 2008 (Mon)   #2
Livinthalife
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Default Re: Shooting Christmas Trees with people

If you want "more bokeh" There should be more distance between your subject and BG. OR you could get the 50 1.2 jk
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Old 10th of November 2008 (Mon)   #3
jfinke
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Default Re: Shooting Christmas Trees with people

Thanks for the tips!
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Old 10th of November 2008 (Mon)   #4
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Default Re: Shooting Christmas Trees with people

Move the subject closer to the camera or move closer to the subject.
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Old 13th of November 2008 (Thu)   #5
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Default Re: Shooting Christmas Trees with people

Ya definitely try to move your subject further away from the tree. Is there any way to dim the power of the lights? If not, your best bet is probably stopping down the aperture as far as you can while still getting a pleasing blur of the background, then just bump up your flash power to match the light on the subject in this image.
Short of any of that I think your only other possible option is working it in post, either compositing 2 separate images in post. Take one with no subject & adjust your shutter speed to get a dimmed, blurred out background so you get that "glow" & then take a second exposure with your subject with whatever settings you prefer or just using a layer mask to blur back & darken down the BG while leaving your subject exposed properly.
Hop[e something in there helps. Excuse me if it isn't written in a way that makes total sense, I'm going on the start of my 3rd day without any sleep & my brain doesn't seem to wanna get out of "slow speed" mode.
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Old 13th of November 2008 (Thu)   #6
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Default Re: Shooting Christmas Trees with people

Are you looking to bring the background in focus or do you want it blurred out?

Ideally you are on the right track you want the fill flash just enough to ligthen your subject but not take away the ambiant lighting.

Maybe try pulling your subject further away if you want the blurring and then move your flash closer to your subject and use some sort difuser on your flash.
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Old 13th of November 2008 (Thu)   #7
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Default Re: Shooting Christmas Trees with people

I am going to try and push the tree as far as back as possible.

I am not sure if I am photoshop literate enough to merge two images and having it look real.

Thanks!
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Old 17th of November 2008 (Mon)   #8
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Default Re: Shooting Christmas Trees with people

Don't forget to include the front end of the cat, not just the rear end
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Old 17th of November 2008 (Mon)   #9
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Default Re: Shooting Christmas Trees with people

lol..

Practice shots... I would love to get the cats in the picture, but there is no way I can coral 4 of them for a portrait!
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Old 19th of November 2008 (Wed)   #10
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Default Re: Shooting Christmas Trees with people

Dragging your shutter will pick up the light from the tree after the f stop captures what your flash freezes. Dragging it for too long will give ghosting to your subject though and give the skin tone a color cast. You can do it right in camera though. No PS needed.
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Old 20th of November 2008 (Thu)   #11
jfinke
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Default Re: Shooting Christmas Trees with people

Quote:
Originally Posted by JubbaKing View Post
Dragging your shutter will pick up the light from the tree after the f stop captures what your flash freezes. Dragging it for too long will give ghosting to your subject though and give the skin tone a color cast. You can do it right in camera though. No PS needed.
Maybe, I am misunderstanding "dragging the shutter", but I thought that that is what I did. I put the camera in manual mode and left the shutter open for a longer amount than what shooting in P mode would have provided.

Am I misunderstanding it?
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