Perfect Christmas Photos: Make Holiday Lights Work to Your Advantage

In addition to Christmas trees and Santa Claus, one of the things that best represent the holiday season is photography. Many people love to take pictures during Christmas, whether it’s to send cards to their friends and family or just to remember memories cherished with their loved ones. However, photography during the Christmas season is tough because of the unique lighting situation that takes place. Many find it tough to take pictures with bright holiday lights in the background. This coming Christmas, holiday lights no longer need to be a point of concern. Below, you’ll find ways in which you can make holiday lights work to your advantage. Taking Pictures With Outdoor Lights If you are trying to take a picture outdoors while capturing magnificent lighting in the background, there are a few things you should consider. The most important thing is the time at which you take the photo. Most believe that it’s best to wait until dark to take the photos, but this is not the case. Instead, you should try to capture the picture around dusk or twilight if possible. This will give your photo more texture than a flat black sky would, as the sky’s background lighting will complement the holiday lights. If you take a picture at dusk, you should use a flash. For Christmas lights to show up in your photo clearly, you don’t want the flash to interfere. Even though it may be a bit darker than you’d like, try forgoing the flash to allow the holiday lights to illuminate the picture naturally. Lastly, you can adjust different settings on your camera that could help with a low-light environment. One of the best ways is by increasing the ISO above 400. Also, consider setting your aperture is at an f/8 setting. You can adjust from there based on how light or dark your images appear. The lower the aperture, the more background light that the camera lets into the lens. Taking Pictures Of Holiday Lights When Indoors If you are trying to get a family photo in front of the Christmas tree, there are some things that you’ll need to do differently than when you take pictures outside. Unlike the outdoors where low-light settings are best, you’ll want to add light when taking a photo indoors. In addition to the lights on your tree, consider adding extra lamps our sources of light as a way to reduce contrast. Further, we recommend using something to steady your camera, such as a
  • Tripod
  • Mantle
  • Table
That’s because when shooting bright lights indoors, you’ll want to slow down your shutter speed. This allows your camera to capture the details of the lighting. If someone were holding the camera, they could not stay still long enough for the slow shutter speed to work correctly. Additionally, when shooting indoors, you’ll be shooting from a shallower depth of field. An extended exposure setting will help combat the problem of having a narrow range of focus.