From Raggedy To Artistic (Experimentation With Light And Depth Of Field)

These images may disturb those of you that feel that a Christmas tree must be immaculate . The purpose of this experiment was to see if I could take a sad looking Christmas tree and use it to help me make an artistic photograph. This is right in line with the phrase “When life gives you lemons make lemonade”.

Here is the background. The children put up the Christmas tree (if you want to call it that). Let’s just say that the Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree looks better than ours. By the looks of it my youngest kids put this up with NO help from their older brother. I think that my 6 year old did the lights because all of them are bunched and grouped towards the LOWER part of the tree.

Some of you may wonder… why don’t I fix the tree and make it look “purty”? It is because I don’t care. After all, its just a tree.

Moving on……

My experiment was to see if I could take this poorly dressed tree and turn it into an artistic photograph.


For this task I drafted my buddy Christian. Here is an inbetween shot that was used to check the exposure on my camera.


Here is the final picture that I had in mind. This is the same poorly dressed tree but it is used in conjunction with tight composition and shallow depth of field to create an artistic feel. In a nutshell, I had to balance the intensity of the lights on the Christmas tree with the light on Christian so that the light on Christian would be twice as bright. A shallow enough depth of field had to be used to blur the lights on the tree into blobs of light.


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