+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Challenge Team
    cwgrizz's Avatar

    How do you................................

    OK, I know this is one of those things that are not easily accomplished unless probably some trickery is used. Taking a photo of a lighted Christmas Tree to get the nice glow of the lights along with the decorations requires using the light that the Christmas lights are putting out for the exposure. That is the easy part. Now let's put a human next to the tree. They are only a shadow with the available light from the tree so we add flash to the mix. The flash makes the human exposure good, but the tree lights are muted by the bright light.

    Some of you have a trick or two up your sleeve I'm sure to get both the lights exposed and the human exposed together in a pleasing form. Bounce flash, softbox, composite picture using layers, a snoot on the flash...

    TIA for any hints.


    › See More: How do you................................
    Walt

    D750; D7100; D5300;
    18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 G II VR; AF-S VR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G IF-ED; AF-S 85mm f1.8; Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 (IF) DX II; 200-500mm f5.6E ED VR; AF-S VR 24-120mm f/4G ED; TC14E II





  2. #2
    Senior Member
    mikew's Avatar

    Re: How do you................................

    Forget it and have a cup of Coffee ,will watch this for an answer,my first thoughts are two images stacked ?
    Thanks/Like cwgrizz Thanks/liked this post
     
    Mike

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/7239177@N07/

    Nikon D500, Sigma 100-400, Sigma 105 macro, Nikon 18-200

    Nikon 1 V2,FT-1,10-30mm 30-110mm Viltrox extension tubes










  3. #3
    Senior Member
    FredKingston's Avatar

    Re: How do you................................

    Pretty easy... First, meter and set your camera for the Christmas tree and its lights... on manual mode... and then set your camera's flash for manual mode and set it for the lowest light output setting... increase the flash power 1/3 stop at a time until you get the exposure on the faces to where you want it... Start with your camera on 1/60 ISO-100 and its widest aperture... and your flash on 1/128th power... decrease the camera's speed to get the ambient light right, and increase the flash power until you get the fill light right.
    Thanks/Like cwgrizz Thanks/liked this post
    Best Answers Blade Canyon voted best answer for this post
     

  4. #4
    Staff
    Super Mod
    hark's Avatar

    Re: How do you................................

    I don't have an answer for you but am interested in seeing suggestions. I'm guessing it *might* have something to do with the inverse square law (light fall-off). Maybe either @Moab Man or @Horoscope Fish can offer some suggestions.
    Thanks/Like cwgrizz Thanks/liked this post
     
    Cindy
    Flickr
    and
    My 2018 Thread
    Where the Spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art
    -- Leonardo da Vinci



  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Horoscope Fish's Avatar

    Re: How do you................................

    Quote Originally Posted by cwgrizz View Post
    OK, I know this is one of those things that are not easily accomplished unless probably some trickery is used. Taking a photo of a lighted Christmas Tree to get the nice glow of the lights along with the decorations requires using the light that the Christmas lights are putting out for the exposure. That is the easy part. Now let's put a human next to the tree. They are only a shadow with the available light from the tree so we add flash to the mix. The flash makes the human exposure good, but the tree lights are muted by the bright light.

    Some of you have a trick or two up your sleeve I'm sure to get both the lights exposed and the human exposed together in a pleasing form. Bounce flash, softbox, composite picture using layers, a snoot on the flash...

    TIA for any hints.
    Well a lot depends on what you want the final shot to look like. Is there ambient light in the room, or are the tree-lights your sole source of light for these shots? That's a big consideration.

    Turning off all the ambient light and doing tight shots of faces peeking out from, or through, the tree's branches with tree lights illuminating the face could be fun and interesting... Lots of ways you could take this, artistically.

    But assuming what you want is a shot with a pleasing, balanced overall exposure, and further assuming there is ambient light to work with, I'd say fill-flash via the Flash Exposure Compensation function (not to be confused with plain vanilla Exposure Compensation) would be your best starting point. FEC is awesome. I'd dial in (-1.5) stops of FEC (my usual starting point for FEC when doing Fill Flash) and see what that gets you. Do that by pressing the Flash button on the camera body and turning the Sub-Command Wheel.

    Some Dodging and Burning in post would be easy to do in just about any post-processing app and could be used to lighten the faces in the shot and/or tone down the exposure on the tree lights to add some drama. Snooting the flash would be another simple approach if you want to keep the flash exposure on the tree lights to a minimum while keeping faces well illuminated.
    Last edited by Horoscope Fish; 11-29-2018 at 09:55 PM. Reason: Critical Clarifications...
    Thanks/Like cwgrizz, hark Thanks/liked this post
     
    ~ Paul
    ....
    ....
    Primary Kit :: D750 (OLPF Removed), MB-D10; Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2, Sigma 135mm f/1.8 Art, Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art,
    Godox Flashes & Triggers, Manfrotto X055PROB, 3-Legged Thing Airhed II... All Stuffed into a Manfrotto Pro Backpack 50
    ....
    ....
    ● ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ ๑۩۩๑ ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ ●

  6. #6
    Senior Member

    Re: How do you................................

    I can't help with the question, but be aware that led Christmas lights can be hard to shoot. Depending on how they convert the 60hz AC to DC (half wave rectifier vs full wave), the lights will flicker briefly at 120 times a second or they could be totally off for half of the AC cycle. With the cheaper half wave lights it is easy to catch a shot with the lights totally dark. That is because 60 times a second, they turn off for 1/120 of a second. Some higher quality light sets might have less flicker. You can usually spot the cheaper ones, if you scan your eyes across them quickly, you can see a very noticeable strobe effect.
    As a side note, led house lights flicker too, but usually at a higher frequency. They have a more sophisticated power supply but you can still catch them dim or at strange colors.
    Thanks/Like cwgrizz Thanks/liked this post
     
    I must have a really good camera.

  7. #7
    Senior Member

    Re: How do you................................

    How do you................................
    I found this regarding the flickering. He explains it pretty well but I don't agree that the presence of a 3rd wire is a way to identify the lower flicker lights.


    Thanks/Like cwgrizz Thanks/liked this post
     
    I must have a really good camera.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Moab Man's Avatar

    Re: How do you................................

    How do you................................
    I do a combination of a slow shutter for the Christmas lights to burn in and then a pop of flash(s) to bring up the subject matter.

    Shot of the parents.

    How do you................................-christmaslights.jpg
    Last edited by Moab Man; 12-03-2018 at 02:27 AM.
    Thanks/Like Dawg Pics, Roy1961, M.J., hark, cwgrizz, Marilynne Thanks/liked this post
     
    D5100, D7100, D600, D750, Df
    Lenses: Nikon DX 18-55mm, 55-200mm, 55-300mm, Tamron SP 70-300mm F4-5.6 Di VC USD & 200-500mm
    Prime: Nikon 35mm, 50mm, & 85mm f/1.8G, 300mm f/4
    Wide Angle: Tokina AT-X116 Pro DX-II 11-16mm f/2.8, Rokinon f/2.8 14mm (chipped)
    Macro: Nikon 40mm, Tamron 90mm
    ​Flash: Nissin MARK II Di622
    Stuff: Expodisc Neutral & Portrait
    ​Editing: CS6, CC, Nik Tools, Portrait Pro 12, Topaz
    Spyder4Pro
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/122672034@N04/

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Challenge Team
    cwgrizz's Avatar

    Re: How do you................................

    How do you................................
    Quote Originally Posted by Moab Man View Post
    I do a combination of a slow shutter for the Christmas lights to burn in and then a pop of flash(s) to bring up the subject matter.

    Shot of the parents.

    How do you................................-christmaslights.jpg

    This worked good in your situation. Thanks. My problem was that the close proximity of my wife to the tree (as far as I could figure out) to avoid wash out of the lights when setting the flashes to get decent exposure of her. I'm still thinking that in my place a snoot of some sort may have worked to do a better job of directing the flash without spill over to the tree lights.
    Walt

    D750; D7100; D5300;
    18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 G II VR; AF-S VR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G IF-ED; AF-S 85mm f1.8; Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 (IF) DX II; 200-500mm f5.6E ED VR; AF-S VR 24-120mm f/4G ED; TC14E II



  10. #10
    Staff
    Super Mod
    hark's Avatar

    Re: How do you................................

    How do you................................
    If I were to try this myself, I'd consider using rear-curtain sync which allows a slower shutter speed. The problem is when using rear-curtain flash, if your subject moves, their movement may create a ghosting effect.

    So I watched several videos and found this one. One reason why I like this particular video is he explains about opening the aperture and how that affects the bokeh of the lights. Another reason I like it is because he uses string lights (the tungsten ones, not the LED for the reason Nick posted above). You can set up the string lights on any background. Unless you particularly want your tree as the background, you can set up string lights to be the background. Keep your people far enough in front of the lights so you don't see the actual wires. Then play with your aperture to change the size of the bokeh. Using a slow enough shutter speed is also important to allow enough of the light from the string lights to be captured.

    If you are using a Christmas tree, I'd suggest keeping the people far enough away from it which will allow more bokeh from the string lights coupled with your aperture setting. The problem with capturing tree lights is you probably won't get a lot of detail from non-lit ornaments. The tree lights will be visible and bright while the ornaments are dark. Or if you want to see the ornaments, then the tree lights will either be blown or the tree itself will be overexposed.

    This first link is the written tutorial for the embedded video.

    https://www.picturecorrect.com/tips/...istmas-lights/

    Thanks/Like cwgrizz Thanks/liked this post
     
    Cindy
    Flickr
    and
    My 2018 Thread
    Where the Spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art
    -- Leonardo da Vinci







Quick Reply Quick Reply

If you are already a member, please login above before posting.

Posting Permissions

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •