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Best settings for indoor Christmas Tree Pictures

edited December 2013 Posted in » Nikon D3200 Forum
I just got my D3200, and love it but I have a lot to learn! I'm trying to take pictures of my Christmas tree with kids in front, and they are either tot bright or tot dark and yellow looking. Does anyone have simple settings that I can use to take some great pictures I can use for my Christmas cards this year?


  • Hey @Laura - This is a tricky setup, especially without the help of an external flash. Here's what I would do...

    1. Try to shoot during the day, when you can let some natural light fill the room. The Christmas lights should still be visible.

    2. Turn on as many lights as possible, both in the room and in nearby rooms.

    3. If you have a couple work lights, add a couple 'daylight' bulbs and aim them towards the Christmas tree and your family.

    4. Mount your camera to a tripod.

    5. Set the zoom to 24mm

    6. Enable aperture priority (A on the mode dial) and set the aperture to f/4

    7. Enable Auto ISO and set the max ISO to 3200

    8. Set the Metering mode to Center-weighted

    9. Pop the flash up and set the flash mode to 'Slow'

    With these settings in place, half-press the shutter button to lock focus and fully press to take the photo.

    If you want to include yourself in the shot, just set the Release Mode to 'Self-timer'. When you press the shutter button, the self-timer will count down and then fire off a shot.

    If the images are coming out too yellow, you'll need to adjust your White Balance. Set it to incandescent and try another couple test shots. If the color still isn't right, you'll need to set a custom white balance.

    That should get you going in the right direction. All the best and Merry Christmas!
  • Thank You! I will be trying this tonight!
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