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Christmas Baubles - Christmas trees are crammed full of ornaments so why not photograph them?
- Macro lens or if you're not using a DSLR use your compact camera's macro mode.
- Tripod - Vanguard's Alta Pro 264AT has a Multi-Angle Central Column which means you can tilt the centre column to get your camera close to the ornaments without having to fight the bottom branches with your tripod legs.
Before you start taking your shots check your white balance as you can end up with shots that have an orange tint if it's not right. Try using the Tungsten setting or shoot in RAW and adjust your shots later in post production. Put your camera's self-timer on while you're in the menu system so there's a few seconds for any shake to stop before the photo is taken.
Often people try to take a photo of a section of their tree rather than focusing on one ornament. This means your photo doesn't have any focus and the viewer's eyes will end up darting around your image. To stop this, get in close and fill the frame with just one of your tree ornaments. If your tree's so full you can't get away from groups of baubles then throw the background out of focus. You can get some interesting bokeh from the Christmas lights but you'll need a fairly small f number to do this. The lights can create interesting patterns and leave subtle spots of colour on the ornaments adding another level of interest to your image in the process. Try to stand so your reflection doesn't bounce back off the ornaments though.
Around the house
While you have your macro lens out take your eyes away from the tree and look for table decorations, ornaments on the mantelpiece or even tins and bowls of colourful chocolates/sweets to photograph.
Find the tripod and camera bag to suit your needs at www.vanguardworld.com