Scrapbook Ideas

Tips & Tricks. Ideas & Inspiration. Resources for Scrapbookers.

Tag Archives: photography

Photography Tips and 50% Off Photo Books

Happy Monday! Just wanted to pop in and let you know about some GREAT sales going on – then I need to get back to “work” I am trying to finish a bunch of photo projects and get them all ordered before these sales end! This is especially hard to do when my only chance to work on them is when the kids are asleep :).

Firstly: I answered some photography and photo editing questions today and linked to some other related posts I wrote on my blog Lovely, Lovely Things.

Plus: My favorite photo gift site, Shutterfly is having an awesome sale right now – up to 50% off on photo books, free shipping on orders of $30 or more and 20%-30% off on lots of other photo gifts! I’m planning on getting at least $30 worth of the 50% off photo books so I can get the free shipping (and get a head start on Christmas gift making too)! Sale ends 11/03/10.

Finally: Snapfish has a couple of great sales going on too – 50% off several of their photo gifts, and 100 free 4×6 prints with the purchase of two 8x10s. I am making a 12×12 calendar for 50% off and I plan on getting the free prints too – since we just got back from a vacation in Hawaii and I have lots of scrapbooking to do :)! Sale ends 11/02/10.

Oh, and there is another way to get free prints at Snapfish too – if you sign up for their Merry Deal Reveal newsletter you will get 20 free prints plus extra coupon codes in your email starting Nov 15th. I took advantage of a lot of these deals last year – photo gifts for all Ho Ho Ho ;).

Have fun – I’m off to work on my little projects before the kiddos wake up :)!

Photography Tips for Christmas Lights

Kim HillTips from Photographer Kim Hill: Ideas for taking great pictures of Christmas lights
Interview by Jess Gordon

While looking at some of my photos of last year’s Christmas tree, I remembered that I had read a really helpful article by Kim Hill in the December 2006 issue of DST Insider (newsletter of Actually, there were lots of great tips from several photographers in that issue, but my favorite part was this section about how to photograph your Christmas tree. Here are the tips from Kim as they appeared in that article:

Photo by Kim HillI like to use a tripod for the camera, but you could also just set the camera on a stable surface if you don’t have a tripod. Once you find the angle of the tree that you like the best, turn off all other lights in that room and any adjoining rooms where household lights may interfere. Then I set the camera to the bulb or manual setting and adjust for a long exposure – bracketing in increments of a 5 seconds. Last year, I took several shots of my tree until I had one where the lights appeared to have a star-like look to them. The setting I found that created this appearance was ISO 100 at F22 for 30 seconds.

I tried these tips last year and I’m so happy with the results  – click here to see a page I made with my photo of last year’s tree. I recently contacted Kim, and she was nice enough to answer some more questions I had about how to take photos of Christmas lights, I think you’ll appreciate what she shared…

Firstly, could you tell us a bit about your photography background and experience?

Photography has been a love of mine for over 20 years.  My parents gave me my first 35mm camera, a Pentax K1000, on my 16th birthday.  I went on to college at Fashion Institute of Technology and then started assisting a wedding photographer for a couple of years.  After moving across the State, I started up my own wedding photography business which kept me busy for about 8 years.  Hubby and I moved again, and started a family, so my photography business was put on hold for a number of years.  Then in 2005, I got the itch to start up again.  At that time, I made the decision to switch to all digital format and set up a home studio where I have been working ever since.
Photo by Kim HillWhat are your top three favorite ideas for photos of Christmas lights?

(1) Set up a small display of your favorite ornaments.  Try nestling them in a base of pine branches wrapped in lights.

(2) Using a tripod, set up your camera fairly close to the tree and zoom in on just one ornament.  Have a couple of the tree lights pointing toward it so you can get some glow and look for interesting reflections of other ornaments on the tree.

(3) Outdoor lighting displays can look really nice if you photograph them right around sunset.  You’ll still get the glow of the tree lights, but will also get a beautiful color to the surrounding sky.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when taking photos of Christmas lights?  Any other ideas or pointers for us?

I think a lot of people want to get a picture of their tree with the lights glowing, but don’t want the yellow color cast.  If you have a DSLR, you can set the white balance to Tungsten which will help a bit. After you’ve captured the image, you could address any additional color cast concerns by using software such as Photoshop or Lightroom to make some adjustments.

A tripod or other stable surface is really an invaluable tool to capturing that beautiful glow. If you try handholding the camera, your image will be blurred.

Photo by Kim HillUsing a flash will give you a crisp look, but the glow from the tree lights will be lost.  So remember to turn off the flash.

If you have a built-in timer, use it.  This will keep your camera from capturing that little bit of shake when you would normally press the shutter release.

Keep in mind that there is not one perfect setting for your camera.  Each situation will have a unique lighting situation which you will need to experiment with to find the exposure that works best for your desired result.

I got great results following your instructions for photographing Christmas tree lights, even though I have a simple point and shoot digital camera. Do you have any other good tips for those of us who don’t have digital SLRs?

Since each camera is different, you’ll need to read your instruction manual to see if you can turn off the flash or change the ISO, shutter speed, etc.  Even with a point and shoot camera, some of the tips I posted above can be applied.  If you can, turn off the flash.  Set the camera on a stable surface or tripod and use the timer so there is no shake from pressing the shutter release button.

Thanks so much Kim!! I think I’m ready to go take some photos :).

If you’d like to know more about Kim Hill, her photography, and her digital scrapbooking sites, please be sure to check out the links below!

Owner and Designer, CG Essentials
Owner, DigiScrapping Tutorials
Designer, A Cherry on Top
Blog, A Day in the Life of Kim
Photos by Kim Hill

Challenges at the Meadow!

Just a quick post to let you know that there are TWO fun challenges going on right now at The Meadow (Weeds and Wildflowers Creative Team Blog)! The first one (posted on Monday) is a scraplift challenge  – you get to look through ikscrap’s gallery and choose a layout to “lift” ideas and inspiration from! Here’s the page I did, which is a scraplift of ikscraps’ “Twins“:

*Click here for Credits*

The second one (posted today) is a photography challenge, to share your favorite fall photos – I can’t wait to join in on that one and see everyone’s photos – I LOVE fall photos :).

I hope you get involved in these and future challenges at The Meadow, they will get your creative juices flowing and who knows, you might win a little something from W&W  too :)!


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