Shooting Challenge: Christmas Ornaments

Illustration for article titled Shooting Challenge: Christmas Ornaments

Hanging ornaments is a silly tradition. We kill a tree, wrap it in lights, then fishhook it with glass balls. But every ornament is more than its glitter and paint. It's a memory.


The Challenge

Take a photo of one of your Christmas ornaments (or any other festive holiday token). And share its story.

The Technique

So you'll probably be photographing your ornament on a tree, which means lighting is probably a bit shadowy. If you're using a DSLR, consider pumping your ISO as high as 800. Or, do what you really should do, which is get your camera on a stable surface and lengthen the exposure as necessary to get a bright and clear photo.

You might also consider adding some bokeh Christmas lights to the background. Nikon has a superb explanation as to how do do that.

The Example

Our lead image is by flickr's JD Hancock. What's fantastic is how much detail he got out of the ornament within its limited depth of field, which makes you really focus on Batman's plastic cape blowing in the wind.


The Rules

1. Submissions need to be your own.
2. Photos must be taken since this contest was announced (read more on that above).
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 2560x1600 sized in email. I know that your photo may not fall into those exact high rez dimensions, so whatever native resolution you're using is fine.
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 23rd at 9AM Eastern to with "Ornament" in the subject line. Save your files as JPGs, and use a FirstnameLastnameOrnament.jpg (970px wide) and FirstnameLastnameOrnamntWallpaper.jpg (2560px wide) naming conventions. Include a recipe along with a story of your tradition in a few sentences.