It appears that this Christmas the challenge that every photographer is enjoying is getting the lights on their trees to look star like and twinkly. Pure Actions initially got me interested in this and then my friend Elissa captured her tree so beautifully that I was sold - I had to try it too! It's really easy and if you haven't already done it you should give it a whirl. It's a rewarding challenge!
Kick your aperture up to f22 (think of a tiny, tiny, tiny hole), bump your ISO up to appox. 800 (it will vary a little depending on the light in your home etc.) and then lastly my shutter speed was 5 seconds long...which is really really slow. Because it was dark in my home and because I had my aperture so high, I needed to have a really slow shutter speed to get a correct exposure. The super slow shutter speed, combined with the tiny aperture hole creates the star like effect with the lights. You must use a tripod as any hand shake will blur your image a great deal with a shutter speed that slow. Also a remote or a timer is also essential so that your hand doesn't bump the camera when you click the shot. I used a timer and it worked great. I also added a simple boost action just to bring a little more life to the image and whalah....twinkly lights. Now it's your turn. Go for it! I wanna see yours!