Christmas lights are beautiful, but it can be very hard to get nice photos of a lit tree or decorations. On Tuesday night I went down to partake in an Austin tradition...the Zilker Christmas tree. Which isn't so much a tree but lights strung from a large radio tower to make a tree of lights. If you are not from Austin you are probably thinking..."hmmm, that's odd". Hence the city's slogan, "Keep Austin Weird". Actually, it is a lot of fun, people go every year to spin under the lights, get dizzy, eat some kettle corn and drink hot chocolate. So, I was just playing around with my camera and was thinking of some interesting ways to capture the Zilker Tree and the experience of being there...plus make some cool art that later I might put on our walls. One thing that is fairly easy to do with your DSLR camera (or any camera you can manually focus the lens with) is to take photos of the lights out of focus. By taking them out of focus the little lights become large balls of light. Kind of a cool abstract color study. Another trick is camera movement. Especially in a dark setting when your shutter speed is going to be really slow you can do a form of "light writing" or making designs with the available light. In this case the available light is the Christmas lights and by moving the camera (spinning, zooming, panning) you can create very interesting patterns with your photo. Here are some examples of what I came up with. Try some of these tricks with your own Christmas tree and presto you have some new art to hang next Christmas. Remember you can always count on us to put those art photos on canvas for you!