A few posts ago, I answered a question about how to shoot tree lights. Well, since we just put up our tree, this weekend, I thought I demonstrate -- actually give you a few comparison shots. All where shot on a Nikon D-700.
The first few where shot, in Program Mode - full automatic - and the camera chose f2b.8 at 1/100. All where at ISO 6400, so you can see a lot of noise. In the first one, White Balance was set to Auto. In the second, WB was set to Tungsten, and in the third, I did a custom WB, by taking a reading off the Inverted Dome of a Gary Fong Lightsphere.
Auto White Balance
Now, none of the above where shot with a flash, and certainly aren't what I would want to show anyone. The next image was shot with a flash, synced at 1/250. ISO was lowered to 800. You will see a big improvement. The final image was shot the why I described in the article form a couple weeks ago. Notice how much more visible the tree lights are.
f:2.8, 1/250, SB-900 on TTL, Gary Fong Lightshpere-Universal
f:2.8. 1/30, SB-900 on TTL, Gary Fong Lightshpere-Universal
Dragging the shutter allows more ambient light to register -- especially the tree lights. The lights from the kitchen make the image very warm. In the last image, most of the room lights where turned off, to make the tree lights more noticeable.