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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre People Talk 
Thread started 10 Nov 2008 (Monday) 15:56
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Shooting Christmas Trees with people

 
jfinke
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Nov 10, 2008 15:56 |  #1

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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Livinthalife
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Nov 10, 2008 15:58 |  #2

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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jfinke
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Nov 10, 2008 19:36 |  #3

Thanks for the tips!


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breathless
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Nov 10, 2008 20:06 as a reply to  @ jfinke's post |  #4

Move the subject closer to the camera or move closer to the subject.


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MagikTrik
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Nov 13, 2008 07:35 |  #5

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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Michael_Lambert
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Nov 13, 2008 07:54 |  #6

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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jfinke
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Nov 13, 2008 15:13 |  #7

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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Mike
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Nov 17, 2008 09:17 |  #8

Don't forget to include the front end of the cat, not just the rear end ;)


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jfinke
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Nov 17, 2008 12:39 |  #9

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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JubbaKing
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Nov 19, 2008 17:04 |  #10

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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jfinke
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Nov 20, 2008 14:37 |  #11

JubbaKing wrote in post #6720651 (external link)
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?


a6000, 5Dii, 40D, 350D, 430EX, 70-200 f/4L IS, 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS, EF-S 18-55 IS, nifty fifty, Sigma APO 70-300mm f4-5.6 DG Macro, Tokina 11-16, Sony E PZ 16-50mm
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Shooting Christmas Trees with people
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