It’s Christmas time!! You know what that means–Christmas lights! Here are a few simple steps to help you take better photos of Christmas lights. Whether you have a point and shoot or a DSLR, you can use these steps to improve your photos.
1. Use a tripod! You will need to be able to take photos in low lighting and with longer shutter speeds. Get a tripod! If you want crisp sharp pictures of Christmas lights you need to use a tripod. Did I mention, use a tripod???
I wish my house looked like this! No, this isn’t from a Pottery Barn catalog. My friend, Megan, has the most amazing house and she actually did wrap all her presents in wrapping paper that matched her ornaments. I love it!
2. Turn off your flash. Your camera, whether it is a point and shoot or a DSLR, will want to put the flash on in low lighting, unless you are shooting in manual mode. Make sure you turn it off so the flash does not wash out your photo. Let the lights illuminate your subject.
3. Open up your aperture. Who doesn’t love Christmas light bokeh?? In order to achieve this you need to have your aperture pretty wide open.
This shot makes me want to get a nice shining ornament just so I can do this :O)
4. Close up/narrow your aperture. Okay, I know you are scratching your head and saying “But you just said open up your aperture.” This is true, if you want some bokeh have your aperture wide open. However, if you would like the starburst effect in your photos then you need to close it up to at least f/18.
5. Wait until 30 minutes after sunset to take outdoor shots. I think most people typically think they need to wait until it is completely dark outside to take photos of their house or a light display. If you go out shortly after sunset, it is still dark enough to see the lights but you are able to capture a lot of the surrounding details.
P.S. So this isn’t my house. I was super nervous about taking a picture of someone else’s house, so as I’m trying to get this picture very quickly, this little kid comes around the corner and say “What are you doing?” Busted! :O) Oh well! Got to love the beauty base housing :O)
If you liked this post, you don’t want to miss these other Christmas posts:
* 16 Tips to Photograph Christmas morning
* 5 steps on how to photograph Christmas lights
* Tips to make your Christmas photos more than snapshots
* How to create beams of Christmas lights
* Christmas Tree Lights Photos: 5 Easy Steps
* Christmas Tree Lights Bokeh