Well, fair enough, Christmas is a time of jolly cliches, and with this theme what can you do?

 

So among the Christmas trees, wrapped presents, snow and general Hallmark card stuff, I’ve chosen three particularly good shots that I want to talk about in detail because they are all particularly good:

Sue sent this one in after asking last month about changing the “Black and White Mix” in Lightroom. This enables you to change the relative brightness of the different colours, which can make a huge difference to you monochrome shots. It’s the digital equivalent of putting coloured filters on your camera when you were using black and white film. So we can reduce the brightness of the greens, or up the brightness of the orange building to improve the composition. Our eyes see colours very differently to the camera (we’re oversensitive to red, for example, which the camera sees as much darker), and besides you may just want to get an effect. Done subtly, as here, it can be very effective.

It’s also a lovely composition (albeit at a slightly weird aspect ratio). It’s quite thirdsy, with a house as a desination and a nice duck in the river. The bush int he bottom left corner doesn’t block our progress along the path, and the trees are nicely separated. Good stuff!

Sue’s next composition is also nicely considered and thought through. The important thing here is that there are no tiny slivers of unexplained baubles sticking in – everything feels intentional and not at all snappy, as these can often be. I like the fruit in there too!  Great colours (not auto white balance here) and exposure too.

And lastly:

Dave took this with his rather lovely 70-200mm 2.8 lens, but he shot it at f5.6 so we can all do it with our kit lenses! Shooting it slightly deeper like this give us a little gentle context, which is a nice touch. Nice exposure too, and we have catchlight in the robin’s eye, without which it can look like a zombie robin, or a stuffed one.  There’s just enough feeder to explain itself.  Spot on!