Inside the Frame: Christmas Tree in Crystal Cove

I rarely shoot a full-length Christmas tree because a shot of a lone, tall Christmas tree is a snapshot (a photo a non-photographer takes). Most Christmas trees are alike as such, introducing another element in the frame will separate your photo from the rest.

The wooden reindeer makes a perfect strong foreground because they’re the most interesting element in this frame–you can’t easily find these wooden reindeer anywhere else.

I chopped off the Christmas tree; including a full-length Christmas tree would have created bad balance of the photo. I did place the Christmas tree in the top left intersection of rule-of-third guide lines.

It’s noteworthy that the horizon is far off from any of the rule-of-third lines. The reason is because this is not the usual shot of a beach landscape. I focused on placing the reindeer and the Christmas tree on the strongest spots in the frame.

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Photo taken with
Camera Body: Nikon D750
Lens: NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR
Focal Length: 16mm
Aperture: f/11
Shutter Speed: 3 sec
ISO: 200

Inside the Frame series dissects how a photo incorporates composition patterns. Every photo is annotated to clearly reveal each photo composition technique used when framing the scene. Studying these photos will help you take better pictures yourself.

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