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Christmas Bokeh Experiment

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  • Christmas Bokeh Experiment


    I did a little experimenting with my new lens and I was hoping for some critique on the composition and lighting - I was going for an low light look for a holiday pic.

    Taken with a Nikon d3100
    1/2 sec
    ISO 100


  • #2
    Nice start on a fun and festive subject! I like where you've started and (of course, because I'm a different person) would have taken this a little different direction. Here's how...

    I think that the Santa box being in sharp focus and the tree and its lights being out of focus is a good balance. I think that the striped box is "in theme" but not needed. It's also in focus which competes with Santa without adding anything. It might be seen as leading lines to the tree, but I don't see that for two reasons. First, leading lines should bring our eyes to a point of interest. But the tree is not the focal point; Santa is. Second, it doesn't naturally point at the tree anyway.

    So, I would have done three things: (1) eliminate the striped box; (2) slide Santa toward the back edge of the table (because now you'd have lots of dead space with the table), and (3) changed the exposure. This third point is a bit more involved.

    I would have lowered the ambient exposure just a little bit to slightly darken the back wall and tree; not much, just a tad. Second, I would have popped a very tiny bit of flash into the Santa box to bring its light level back up and put just a bit of sparkle into the lighter and more reflective parts.

    Regarding flash, if you shot flash from on-board the camera then the flash is probably going to spill into the background. Personally, I would have the flash off to the side wrapped in a snoot to keep the light on Santa (only). I have the Honl snoot (and strap), but the Rogue Flashbender is just as good (if not better) for something like this.
    Some pictures... (500px)


    • #3
      Great feedback! It's good to see a different perspective - thanks Dave.