It’s Christmas time! I’m sure your Christmas tree is up and hopefully you’re capturing it all! Here are a few easy tips and tricks to capture Christmas lights this year.
1. TURN OFF YOUR FLASH! Ha. Can you tell I have a strong opinion about that? ;) A flash takes away from the ambiance. When I think of Christmas lights I imagine the glowing lights in a cozy room or the exterior of a home outlined in Christmas lights. When a flash fires, everything in the room becomes illuminated rather than just the glowing lights.
2. Tripod – A tripod is the perfect way to steady your camera to capture lights in low light. If you don’t have a tripod, try putting your camera on a table or standing up against a wall to steady yourself.
3. ISO – If your still having a tough time with lighting, turn up your ISO! It will add grain to your image; the higher the number the more grain. This will allow you to capture a sharper image in lower light. So turn up your ISO and capture away!
4. Aperture – After you’ve captured general photos of your tree, you might want to try bokeh ( where lights are blurred in the background ).
First, put your camera in aperture priority or manual capture mode. To achieve bokeh your aperture needs to be wide open – the lowest number your aperture can go. If you stand far away and focus on your whole tree, it’s still going to look focused for the most part.
Now, try this: standing away from your tree, put your lens into manual to have control of the focus.
Twist the focus on your camera both directions and look at the lights starting to create bokeh! See how it works!? It’s incredible.
Focus on something closer to you, with the Christmas lights in the background or walk in close to the tree/lights and focus on an ornament. Because your lens is close to the ornament, it puts the ornament in focus and the lights become blurred and because of your open aperture, it creates a shallow depth of field which creates the beautiful effect!
Play around with it. Get creative!
I’m so thankful my home is filled with Christmas lights, joy and love; I am so blessed. Christmas is a favorite of mine, not just because of the lights, parties and gifts, but because we are celebrating the true light of the world, Jesus.
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