How to shoot Christmas ornaments?

December 16, 2016

I am so blessed to have an office located at a beautiful commercial building.


Last week when I came back to my office after a month's vacation, the management office has already started decorating the lobby for Christmas. We have an awesome Christmas tree that filled my heart with joy and inspirations. 

Seeing all those decorations in the city, I am inspired to write a tutorial on Christmas photography.


Christmas decorations are excellent themes for photographers for a reason. 


It's because they can play around with the light.


See the tiny light bulbs hanging around the tree? They can create amazing bokehs around the subject if you shoot with a telephoto lens with wide apertures. 



Testing the photos with a rose ornament on the tree, the effect wasn't intriguing because the distance between the light source (the light bulbs on the tree) and the ornament was too close that it wouldn't be able to create shallow depth of field, or bokehs. 


I was thinking how I could possibly to find a nice object to demonstrate this tutorial and then I saw this:



Am I lucky? Someone just happened to donate a barrel of toys and I discovered this treasure, yeah!


Things just fall into place at the right moment when I need them; the toy, plus a bonus glass table just right in front of the Christmas Tree. I placed the toy on the glass to create a nice reflection. I maximized the aperture of my 75-300 F4-5.6 lens (the one that we provided for students in the workshop) and since there was distance between the light source and the subject (the toy), a shallow depth of field was created. 



Just opposite to starburst effect which needs a small aperture, shooting with wide aperture makes the light source appears to be rounder and softer.



Look for reflections on glass, water surface or mirrors, you can produce stunning photos when you are making use of these optical characteristics!


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