Do you feel that? That...cheer? That...mirth? That...egg nog spilling down your bare skin, channeling through the hairs and goosebumps? Oh yes, friends. It's Christmas time. So for this week's Shooting Challenge, let's celebrate it. In ornaments.

The Challenge

Take a photo of the Christmas ornament(s) most important to you—or an artefact of any faith that's seasonal—and share why.


The Technique

Everyone has their own traditions. But I'm guessing that most of us, hanging ornaments, have one or two that mean something more. They're the important ones, the ones we give a special spot on the tree.

I want you to photograph this ornament (or that small group of ornaments) and share it with everyone. In Shooting Challenge style, how you photograph it is up to you. It can be a tight macro. It can be hanging from a tree. It can be surrounded in bokeh. Take the photo however you'd like and share the story behind it. (And if you'd like a technical tutorial, try this one. For tree photographers, steadying the camera on a surface is a good idea. And remember to turn off your image stabilization if you do for a crisper shot.)


The Example

Our lead shot is by flickr's Candie_N. It uses flash, which probably won't work very well for most shots, but in this case, given the flatness of the scene and limited color, it creates a sparkly contrast with the otherwise flat, American Apparel Christmas that I dig.

The Rules

0. No watermarks. They're so ugly.
1. Submissions need to be your own.
2. Photos must be taken since this contest was announced.
3. Explain, briefly, the equipment, settings, technique and story behind shot.
4. Email submissions to, not me.
5. Include 970px wide image (200KB or less) AND a native resolution sized shot in email.
6. One submission per person.
7. Use the proper SUBJECT line in your email (more info on that below)
8. You agree to the Standard Contest Rules - though we DO accept non-US resident submissions.
9. If the image contains any material or elements that are not owned by you and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, and/or if any persons appear in the image, you are responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the photograph, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the exhibition and use of the image in the manner set forth in these rules without additional compensation. If any person appearing in any image is under the age of majority in their state/province/territory of residence the signature of a parent or legal guardian is required on each release.


Send your best photo by Monday, December 17th at 10AM Eastern to with "Ornament" in the subject line. Save your files as JPGs, and use a FirstnameLastnameOrnament.jpg (970px wide) and FirstnameLastnameOrnamentWallpaper.jpg (2560px wide) naming conventions. Include your shooting summary (camera, lens, ISO, etc) in the body of the email along with a story of the shot in a few sentences. And don't skip this story part because it's often the most enjoyable part for us all beyond the shot itself!