Basic Photography Tips: Photographing Your Christmas Tree

It is one of the most photographed subjects this time of year. Visit Instagram and search the hashtag #Christmastree and you will find over two million images.  How do you get a good photo?

The title really should read "Very Basic Photography Tips," as this is very easy.

If you are unfamiliar with camera settings and use Auto or a pre-set, then the best method is to use a tripod. If you do not have a tripod, set the camera on a steady surface and use a delay timer to avoid shaking of the camera. Most phone cameras do not have a timer, but there are several free apps that you can use.

Hand-Held iPhone
If you are a little more familiar with your camera and shoot on manual, once again, you need a tripod. I use a very small f-stop. This will give the lights a "star burst" effect which is caused from the blades of the aperture.  Obviously, you will need a longer shutter speed with a small aperture.

The first image was taken with a hand-held iPhone.  The second was taken with a DSLR camera on a tripod. See the image for the camera settings. Same tree, same time, same place. A little bit of prep can greatly improve your image.
Tripod Used -Camera settings - Aperture-f/22, Shutter speed 10 sec ,  ISO 200, White Balance -3300K