Maldre Christmas card

Our 2021 Christmas card features an abstract image of lights. What is this image? Where did it come from?

The image is Christmas tree lights reflecting in my Nikon camera lens.

My Nikon camera was on a tripod next to our Christmas tree. I was photographing my brother’s Christmas card (his card was really cool, so I was taking photos of it). While photographing his card, I noticed the reflection of the Christmas tree lights in my Nikon lens.

This effect was really cool. I got out my iPhone and recorded the cool reflections. Watch this 2-minute video to see the incredible effects.

Images captured from the video

From the recorded video of the lens, I made a handful of screenshots. Here are some of the outtakes:

Now, the un-cropped version of the photo used in our card:

Uncropped camera lens reflecting Christmas lights
Un-cropped version of our 2021 Christmas card

If you missed that link to watch the video, here’s a nice big fat button. Click the button to watch the two-minute video.

My brother’s Christmas card lead to the reflection discovery

As I mentioned earlier, I originally discovered these reflections as I was photographing my brother’s Christmas card. He captured his card on Polaroid film, which has an incredible gloss to it. I must have had his card laying next to the Christmas tree where I noticed the lights reflecting in his card, and thus got my camera out.

Bottom of Erik's Christmas card
Bottom of Erik’s Christmas card
The Polaroid print in Erik's Christmas card
The Polaroid print in Erik’s Christmas card
Lights from my Christmas tree reflecting in the Polaroid
Lights from my Christmas tree reflecting in the Polaroid

Our honeymoon also had magical lights in a lens

This wasn’t the first time I noticed amazing reflections in my Nikon lens. In 2015 Sarah and I were on our honeymoon. The Eiffel Tower at night has a spectacular light show every hour. The whole tower is covered in blinking lights. It’s so totally cool.

Eiffel Tower blinking light show

I had my camera set up on a tripod capturing these lights. I noticed in the lens, the magical look of the blinking lights. This photo totally does not do it justice. Please watch the video.

Reflections of Eiffel Tower blinking lights in my camera lens.

On our honeymoon was the first time I noticed reflections in my lens like this.

Six years later I notice lights in my camera again—this time in our Christmas tree. This is a nice circling back to that memory of our honeymoon.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

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