Christmas

‘Tis the Season

It’s the season to be jolly. The Christmas rush has officially started, Starbucks is using holiday decorated cups. I used the iPhone 4S and the Retro Camera app.

iPhone Photograph by Robert Lachman © 2011

 

Time 4 Holiday Lights

What a great time of year to take photos. Of course, who has time with all the Christmas shopping. Here are a few of my recent photographs taken of the lights at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, CA. –RL
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iPhone Photographs by Robert Lachman © 2010

SouthCoastLights

 

Cool Christmas Tree Rocket

 

If you ever wondered about launching your Christmas tree into space, check out this ingenious YouTube video. -RL

 

Serious Christmas Lights

Check out the video by Scott Harrison of harrysonpics.com. These are some serious Christmas light displays which involve computer generated light shows. They certainly blow away my string of bulbs and plastic snowman.

 

Need to Get in the Holiday Spirit

There’s nothing like a little Christmas music and a fuzzy cat to get you in the holiday spirit.

This YouTube video has over 30,000 views. None of my videos get that many. Maybe I need a cat.

Happy Holidays

christmastreepano1Best

wishes

for a very

Merry

Christmas

and a

Happy

New

Year


A two photo panorama with my iPhone from South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, CA. I used the AutoStitch app to combine the photographs. And, I did use Photoshop CS4 along with an assist from Topaz Adjust and FocalPoint from OnOne plug-in software to adjust the photo. -RL

More Christmas Tips

By Robert Lachman

When you’re shooting your holiday photographs or videos try to complete the circle. Think of your holiday celebration as a circle and you’re going to complete each part, from start of the season to finish, getting those photos cataloged with keywords, having prints made or even a small book from the holiday season.

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iPhone Photo by Robert Lachman © 2009

1. Charge your batteries. Nothing is worse than running out of power at the key moments.

2. Clear off your flash cards, move your old photographs to the computer.

3. Buy a new flash card for the camera for more photographs if you need it. They just keep getting cheaper, as the file size of the cameras keep going up.

4. Think about getting some detail shots this year to mix it up. Adding variety really makes for a nice slide show.

5. Close-up photos you might include: ornaments on a tree, candles on a table, the wreath on the door, exterior lights on the house, an overall of the Christmas tree, special holiday plates and settings, food preparation, a clock on the wall, stockings on the fireplace, gifts wrapped under the tree, opening the presents and social gathering.

6. Shoot people in groups. This one take the most work. Think of yourself as a wedding photographer moving around the room putting those groups together into two, three or four people. It’s important to shoot 3 or 4 pics of each group. Move everyone closer together and take another photo. You will increase your odds of getting a nice photo of everyone. You can remove the bad ones later when you edit. Most people only shoot one picture and move on. This is a major mistake. Increase your odds and people will give you credit for being a good photographer. Trust me, I’ve shot thousands of pics at parties or it just seems like it.

Photography with Canon G10 by Robert Lachman © 2009
Photography with Canon G10 by Robert Lachman © 2009

7. If you’re using a point-and-shoot camera indoors, a lot of photographers will tell you not to shoot with the strobe because it doesn’t look good. If you’re shooting in a well lit house during the day it may be fine. For the group photos, use the strobe in low light, especially indoors at night. Most point-and-shoots don’t work well in low-light situations. No reason why you can’t try both to see how it looks.

8. Most of the photo editing programs like iPhoto or Photoshop Elements do a nice job of removing red eyes. Learn this feature and your photo snapshots will improve.

9. Remember, you’re going to complete the circle, which includes doing something with the photos. It may just mean getting them into iPhoto with keywords included, making a nice slide show with a program like iMovie or Fotomagico. Don’t forget other options like a book from Apple or Blurb. Sending the photos to everyone on a photo service like Google’s Picasa is cheap and simple. They even have software to export the pics directly from iPhoto. I use it all the time and it’s a breeze. This definitely is a great option I use all the time.

10. And, the most important: BACK UP, BACK UP, BACK UP. You do not want lose your memories. Have a great holiday!

Holiday Photo Tips

holidaydetail750

christmastree09a

Here are a few of my photo tips for the Thanksgiving weekend.

  • Charge those batteries. Remember to take you charger to the holiday party especially if you only have one battery.
  • Make sure your flash cards are clear and you’ve moved your photos onto the computer.
  • Take lots of holiday photographs. Edit, edit, edit during the long weekend. No one wants to look at bad photos.
  • Remember to shoot preparation photos making the food or setting up the Christmas tree or outdoor lights.
  • Most important: Get that family group photo taken this weekend so you can send out holiday cards. Include yourself in the photographs not just your kids or pets.
  • You have a nice group photo, take three or four shots. It’s always tough to capture good expressions of multiple people in a photo.
  • Most people think you’re a great photographer if you capture nice expressions. It’s much tougher than it looks. Shoot plenty of pictures, edit later before posting to a service like Picassa.
  • After the edit, post your photos quickly so family members can enjoy them.
  • Remember these photographs can be turned into Christmas presents. Have some prints made and frame them. This is so easy, but it does take time. Get it done the first week of December and you’ll be ahead of the crowd.
  • Most important: Give someone else the camera and get in some photographs!

My Random Thoughts: No Magic

magicmouseBy Robert Lachman
I’m trying to figure out what the new Magic Mouse looks like. Any thoughts or suggestions? It sure is streamlined and at the $69 price point it sure is tempting…

I didn’t feel the magic yesterday at Best Buy when I tried out Apple’s new smooth, sleek, touch-top Magic Mouse. It just felt and looked flat. I guess I need a little more substance with my mouse and a scroll wheel. I’m still waiting for a scroll wheel Apple, not a tiny scroll ball like the last mouse, or a flat top-like the new one….

Apple score one point for their computers and Microsoft scores one point for their variety of mice.

I haven’t tried Windows 7 yet…

Just when I was all set to buy the Kindle ebook reader for my wife for Christmas, Barnes & Noble introduced Nook, their entry into the field. Kindle or Nook? I hate making decisions….

Back to work for me after being sick for four days and having my regular days off. Have a nice week…