Taking a typical scene from a holiday tree and taking it out of focus.
After grabbing daytime holiday photos two weeks earlier, we found ourselves back at the mall to take in some of the holiday lights in their full glory. And I managed to capture one nice, holiday light portrait…
…our son lost interest in posing for the camera. Hey, it happens.
So that’s when things turned a little creative…
Manual Focus Blur
As highlighted in the image at the top of this post, I captured a few images by switching to manual focus and intentionally blurring the holiday lights to create some nice big light circles. Certainly something you can use as a background or something else like that.
Here’s a quick before/after of the same scene both in-focus and then with manual blur:
Super easy and very fun.
Zoom Blur and Body Twist
Next, I put a little twist on things – namely, my camera.
My switching to a longer shutter speed (and dropping the ISO to compensate) I first did a zoom blur opening the shutter and then slowly zooming out while the shutter was open.
Next, I worked the opposite way and instead of zooming with the lens, I held it still and twisted the camera body for shots like this.
Finally, the oversized and reflective globe ornaments on the tree caught my eye. So I literally went around the entire tree looking for different sizes and colors to take shots of my reflection and the scenes behind me (loosely inspired by our shoot in Millennium Park). I then cropped them square and arranged them into a 2×2 collage using Diptic on the iPad.
If you’d like to see all the photos from this shoot, check out the Holiday Abstract Shoot gallery.