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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Learning Tool for the Holiday Season

I alway like to recommend photographers take pictures of Christmas tree ornaments on the tree this time of year.  There are several reasons for this recommendation.  The obvious is the colorful shots are fun to see, but for photographers, we get to practice several different aspects of photography.

1.  Lighting and color control
2.  Scene manipulation (precursor to model posing)
3.  Control of depth of field (aperture  and shutter speed practice)
3.  Composition
4.  Close-up photography
5.  Post capture manipulation 

All that and more when you put your mind to it.  This time of year you can have a variety of Christmas trees to work with.  As mentioned in previous post, Cracker Barrel has many trees set up.  There are many places of business that would appreciate the attention given to their decorating efforts.  Your friends will not mind you using their tree as long as you don't invade during dinner or step on the packages.  Expect to get roped into taking some family photos for free but hey tis the season for giving after all.  And of course you own tree gives you complete control of all aspects to work with.   Be sure to look the tree over from top to bottom and explore many angles and depth options.  Warning, you may find yourself looking for some unusual ornaments next time you are out shopping.

Afterwards experiment with post production manipulation - boost color, increase drama with ambiance and contrast controls, adjust composition with cropping tools,  tryout different picture edge controls by light or dark vignetting or stylish
framing, play with focus control, the list of ideas to try go on and on.

Don't over look the porcelain figurines this time of year either.  You will learn a lot from this exercise.  It just may be the gift you give yourself that keeps on giving.

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