This was shot with a Canon 7D with a 24mm f/2.8, 100ISO, Speedlite 430 EX, and is 4 images layered in Photoshop.

The AppleTV was a gift for my buddy, and we wrapped it once, then put it in a larger box(the red box), wrapped that, then placed it in a box I had and wrapped that.


-Will Cocks

Dry Sack

Because we couldn't make it home for Christmas, my boyfriend and I decided to spend the holiday in Death Valley. The hallucinatory quality of the desert there, combined with the idea of an "X-ray" gift, gave me the idea for this double-vision photograph. I took a few photos in the highest heat of the day and overlapped them, revealing the dry sack my boyfriend had bought me, bizarre seeming in this driest of landscapes. I imagined this present falling out of Saint Nick's sack as he stumbled around, lost in the desert.


Nikon D70, manual 50mm, 1/8000, ISO 800, f/1600

-Lindsay Trudeau


I got my boyfriend the Steve Jobs biography for Christmas. I thought it might look creepy to have Steve Jobs peering out at us from beneath the wrapping paper. I started out taking the photo of the wrapped gift. I set up my tripod and arranged the wrapped book on top of another wrapped gift. Then I unwrapped the book and placed in the same spot on and shot that. I overlayed them in Photoshop and played with the opacity settings. I took these with a Canon EOS Digital Rebel, EF-S 18-55mm lens, 1/8 and 1/6 exposure, both f5.

-Jamie Babbitt


Well, two months ago, just 4 days after I praised my shiny new iPhone 4s, I went to the beach and forgot I had it in my pocket, the iPhone didn't died because of drowning, but of a heart attack out of fear, or so was I told, so when I saw this contest I found an actual use to it, now, raised among the dead as a photo subject.

I disassembled it in as many layers as photogenically possible, I took several pictures to get the most depth in the x-ray, in the background is the Christmas village under the Christmas tree, then with the lights out (as it must be inside a closed gift box) i took a picture of the contents of the box, as the wall charger(that's the white square to the right of the iPhone camera) the instructions manual (half yellow circle in the middle of the iPhone), then with lights on, the disassembled iPhone screen, the motherboard, the back of the iPhone with the Apple logo on top of the battery, the actual iPhone box, then the wrap, and the bow, basically this is the kind of superhuman vision TSA agents asked from Santa this year.

All the pictures taken with a Canon 20d, 18mm lens, f 4.5, ISO 100 and exposure of 2.5 seconds, using a tripod and remote shutter to avoid camera movement, I drew with a pencil the shadows the box was casting on the floor to make sure every time I added a layer it would be in the same position.


-Pancho Mejia

Here is my submission for this weeks shooting challenge. It was a nutcracker christmas. I set a wrapped box in its place, took a few shots, and replaced it with an unwrapped nut cracker. Overlaid the images in photoshop, drew out a soft oval and decreased some opacity. Thanks!


Canon 60d, 1/80th, f4.0, ISO320, 26mm.

- Tyler Bedgood


Cubebot was a big hit this holiday. I think he is off to great things!

Happy Holidays.

Canon T2i, ISO 3200, 42mm, f/2.8

-Diego Jimenez


As I was reading the challenge this week, I thought I wasn't going to attempt it since I don't use photoshop. I then figured that I could at least try the long exposure technique. After some shots on Christmas morning, I realized it needed to be darker so I waited until evening. I shot in black and white because it looked more like an x-ray and my color shots looked too washed out. I used an 8 second exposure and simply shot the wrapped present and then moved it out of the way and replaced it with the electronic weather station. I like the effect and I hope you do to.

Tech info:
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens
ISO 400
0 EV


-Matthew Johnson



This our new family member, Leopold. We are fortunate to house many of his cousins. He comes from Bungled Jungle, who are at the Armadillo Bazaar in Austin every Christmas Season. We love to adopt from them whenever we can. We adopted Leopold this year. Merry Christmas!

-Karen Tarlow


This one was a team effort.

I took the photos. When I saw what this week's challenge was, I immediately thought how perfect the snow globe I had just bought for my daughter would look peaking through a gift box. I used a reading light to illuminate the globe from behind so that it would glow and show through the box. — Georgina Lawrence

And I did the post-processing in Pixelmator. I used three layers. The box - with no transparency - was in the background. The snow globe was in the next layer with most of its background erased. Then I added a copy of the background layer with the transparency at 30% so the globe would show through. Santa's lantern caught a little flare which I exaggerated with the smudge tool.


- Kevin Lawrence

The Cat

My girlfriend got a very beautifully wrapped gift from her sister. I decided to use this one for the shot because it was significantly better wrapped than any of my wrap jobs. I put the gift on a table in front of our tree and took a before and after shot of the "held hostage gift." I just used a simple overlay in photoshop and the result came out better than I expected.


Shot with Nikon D7000
Lens Nikon DX nikkor 35mm
Aperture f/1.8
Shutter Speed 1/6s
ISO 100

-Chris Riggleman


This year Christmas Eve fell on the fifth night of Hannukah. For Hannukah my mother often gives presents of things like dreidels, gelt, or even menorahs. Reflected in the shiny tabletop, the menorah is twice as bright! For the layering, I created an extra layer of just the candle flames, and gave is higher opacity so that the candles would burn through the wrapping paper just a little brighter. Photo taken with my Sony DSC-H20 on automatic settings. Happy Holidays!

-Leah Nicolich-Henkin


This was not an easy task. I did not want the gift to look as if it were stuck on the box or that the side of the box looked like a frame. So the colors and angles of the gift as well as the wrapping paper colors, patterns and shapes all added to the interesting result.

If you look very, very closely and know what you are looking for, you will see a yellow bendable smiley guy and 2 small led flashlights. Did you miss it?

I took 2 photos in the same location - one of the wrapped box and one of the guy with a flashlight on either side.
I then went into Photoshop to create 2 layers. I used the mask tool to change the opacity of the box.


Canon EOS T2i 1/50s Focal length 39.00m f/13

-Berta Finkelstein


Nikon D5100 on a crappy old tripod.

Focal Length: 24
F Number: 4
Exposure Time: 1/13

These enamel mugs have been on my wife's list for quite a while and have been out-of-stock for almost as long. Last Sunday evening, I even told her how disappointed I was for not being able to get them for her. This, of course, was followed by a Monday afternoon email alerting me that they were back in stock. Despite being otherwise finished shopping (and having already spent beyond my plans), I couldn't pass up the guaranteed pre-Christmas delivery for this high-on-her-list item.


So, as the wife was a work this evening, I took the opportunity to wrap them up and knew that this would be the perfect present from this challenge. My Nikon D5100 was set-up on an old cheap camcorder tripod over an old wooden chair in front of our tree. First shot taking the straw-like cushioning and mugs out of the box, then repackaged, wrapped, and shot as a finished present. I then layered the wrapped image over the open image, adjusted opacity, and used some Photoshop magic to give it an HDR-feel that gave it a lot more pop and a bit more of an x-ray vibe.

-Ryan Yepsen


Sony Alpha A55 30mm F10 shutter 1/60

Here's a shot of my 5-year old's new doll house. Marked the floor with tape on the back edges of the doll house in case it got moved during wrapping. Somehow I forgot to turn on the christmas tree, so the lights on it are from a old pic of last year's tree masked over this year's tree.. took the unwrapped shot first, wrapped it, took another shot and photoshopped away.

-Marvin Francois


In my family we celebrate both Hanakkah and Christmas since my wife is Jewish and I'm Christian. So because of that we open gifts on several different days. When I saw this contest I immediately thought of how excited my step daughter was when she got her Innotab a few days ago. I decided to use her in taking the picture. We re-wrapped the Innotab for picture 1 and she got to re-open it for picture 2. She was just as excited about the picture as she was about the Innotab. She sat in my lap the whole time I was merging the pictures in Photoshop.

Camera: Nikon D7000
Lens: Tamron 10 - 24mm f/3.5-4.5
Flash: Nikon SB-700
Aperture: f/4
Exposure: 1/60
ISO: 800
Focal Length: 10mm

-Michael Berman


Canon 5D Mark II
ISO 100

I was sitting in my office wrapping some Christmas gifts and I thought about this contest. It seemed like a fun idea. So, I picked the gift for my niece, which happened to be a box of plus Angry Birds. I hope she likes them. Sincerely,

- Michael Durr


I took 6 shots (3 wrapped, 3 unwrapped) in the morning sun so I could get a feel of "Christmas Morning" just before opening the gifts. I used a Canon 7D with a Tokina 16-50 lens, ISO 100, f8, exposures from 1/6-1/25 and then used photoshop elements to combine the shots into two separate HDR images to recapture some of the details due to the uneven lighting. I used PSE to use cutouts to take a peak in the waiting gifts. I knew right away I wanted to try to reposition multiple gifts and keep the same alignment. That's a Philadelphia Flyer's jersey on the left, Go FLYERS!

Thanks, this was a lot of fun. This is my first time submitting and hope to send to more contests in the future.

-Jason Mest


I love old fashioned pocket watches. The subtle opulence that suggests a time of elegance. The idea of seeing one through the wrapping of a christmas gift interested me greatly, a contrast of cheap novelty materials with a symbol of intricate mechanisms and resilience through the passage of time. I shot using a wide aperture to enhance the bright Christmas colours and give the image a soft aesthetic, and placed our Christmas tree in the background for some bokeh to complement the shape of the watch. The hard part of the image was in post-production, deciding on how to balance the opacity of the wrapping while retaining the shape. Simply overlaying the two images was okay but by limiting the transparency to the box and more around the watch left the bow solid, etc.

Camera: Canon EOS 60D
Lens: EF50mm f/1.4 USM
ISO: 100
Shutter Speed: 1/8
Aperture: f/1.6

-Ben Hartley


Easy enough, even thought I had no tri-pod. Took a few pictures of each then overlaid with 47% opacity

-Paul Valerio