Outdoor Christmas Trees

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by John McWilliams, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. Having little luck photographing a large outdoor tree, no matter how I
    expose the subject, the lights are blurred. Using a 20D and 1.4 50mm
    canon lens. All at ISO 400.

    Solutions?
     
    John McWilliams, Dec 19, 2005
    #1
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  2. John McWilliams

    Charles Guest


    blured due to camera motion, or to out-of focus? decide which first
     
    Charles, Dec 19, 2005
    #2
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  3. I guess by the other replies, that we don't know what you mean by "blurred".
    Other possibilities have been mentioned but I have another.
    Assuming you use a tripod and are gentle with the button when you press it
    then the another problem would be the brightness of the lights. Expose for
    them as if it were daylight. They are burning embers in a vacuum, after all.

    Here is what I would try. Set-up a half-hour before dark and shoot for the
    tree. Then let the sun set, leaving the camera and tripod as it was and
    shoot for the lights. Use Photoshop to combine them.
     
    Gene Palmiter, Dec 19, 2005
    #3
  4. Done that, but each and every light is halo'ed.
     
    John McWilliams, Dec 19, 2005
    #4
  5. Not camera motion unless mirror slap could do it. Now, come to think of
    it, it's not impossible it was focus. I used manual and it looked sharp,
    but I wear glasses and it's possible the focus was off.

    But could mirror movement cause sort of an even halo effect around each
    bulb?
     
    John McWilliams, Dec 19, 2005
    #5
  6. Twas very clean.

    j
     
    John McWilliams, Dec 19, 2005
    #6
  7. Blurred was perhaps a poor word, it is more like a halo, ie., a blur in
    360 degrees.

    I was shooting at dusk, got a very nice sky, and less, as I bracketed
    down to where only the lights shone.

    So I think I'm at rechecking the focus, or locking the mirror up unless
    there's something else that no one's put forward.
     
    John McWilliams, Dec 19, 2005
    #7
  8. First off drop the ISO to 100 - you don't want stray noise in the image.
    Are you using a tripod? Is your camera having difficulty locking focus
    in the low light, if so use manual focus.
    I find 30sec at F/16 at ISO 100 to be a good starting point for
    Christmas lights. Bracketing is your friend here too. I'd suggest stick
    to F8-F16 for aperture, and use different shutter speeds for altering
    the exposure.
     
    Graham Fountain, Dec 19, 2005
    #8
  9. John McWilliams

    Ray Fischer Guest

    Dirty UV filter? Cheap UV filter? Out of focus? Focused on the
    wrong part of the scene?
     
    Ray Fischer, Dec 19, 2005
    #9
  10. Bingo,,,, or so I hope. I bracketed down about 8 stops, got the
    Histogram to be practically a sliver on the left side, but apparently,
    didn't go far enough. But maybe what I am shooting for isn't doable, as
    the image above, the one exposed for the lights, shows almost the same
    blooming on the four large lights to the left (two enlargements of
    thumbnail are available)- that'd be lower left corner, that I can't seem
    to get away from. The bulbs are approximately the same size as shown in
    the example you posted.. How would aperture opening affect blooming? ie,
    is there a guideline as to best setting for this on a 50mm fixed lens -
    ƒ1.4-22?

    I'll start earlier tonight in any event and get my results onto a
    monitor sooner. I can't tell beans about this sort of thing on the
    review panel.

    And thanks to others, too.

    PS to review:

    Am using tripod. Manual exposure, manual focus. ISO was 400, will try
    200 and 100. Lens clean. Lots of bracketing. Pressing shutter, not
    punching it.
     
    John McWilliams, Dec 19, 2005
    #10
  11. Nossir, not a whisper. Got an acceptable combo last night, not great,
    but all right for the end use. Bummer is I got out before the sunrise
    this AM and the lights were off.
     
    John McWilliams, Dec 20, 2005
    #11
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