Reindeer Games

Apologies for the lack of in-depth posts lately. I’ve been meaning to follow-up as promised on the Lightroom/Aperture post-processing workflow but frankly, I’ve been too busy using Lightroom to write about it. And these articles do take quite a bit of time to produce. Hopefully I’ll manage to get something done before the Holidays. Speaking of which…

The festivities are now in full swing in the La Roque household. With booked weekends coming up we figured this was THE one to get the Christmas Decor 2012 show on the road. So out came the boxes, the trimmings and the lights, complete with Santa hats and antlers. Soon, we had a house full of elves and tiny reindeers competing for ornaments to hang.

I had to take pictures, of course. But here’s the thing: our home is pretty much a photographer’s nightmare. When we purchased it we were very much into bold colours — bright green, yellow, blue, red, orange… The stuff that splatters complex colour casts all over your images. Eventually, we’ll sit down and figure out a more subtle palette. And remodel the kitchen and bathroom and… Yeah, eventually. Hopefully before we’re grandparents. But I digress.

My point is that shooting Christmas at home has always been an exercise in frustration. Very little light to begin with and anything added coming off as red or orange.

Enter the X-Pro1.

I shot the images below in natural light, on Auto ISO 6400 and shutter-priority (in order to get a workable 1/125 shutter speed). I knew, given the conditions, that the camera would choose to stay pretty much wide open — and I could always affect its decisions with exp. compensation.

Well, I’ve never managed to get results like this, in this room, with my Nikons. Ever. This is the room where images usually come to die their dull, weirdly garish and noisy death. And shooting in jpeg? Forget it.

I’m now very close to committing fully. The Nikon kit comes with me as a backup on shoots but never gets used. The last commercial gig I did with the X-Pro1 made me realize I didn’t need the DSLR rig anymore. And if I ever do I can always rent. What’s the point of having equipment gathering dust?

Maybe I can ask these little reindeers for advice…