Christmas is undeniably the best day for so many reasons. One of these reasons that brought you here is the Christmas lights that make everything pretty but are tricky to shoot. Let us help you how to photograph Christmas lights not only outdoor but also in indoor settings.
Photographing Outdoor Christmas Lights
Christmas lights make even the most mundane surroundings magnificent. However, you need to understand a few obstacles before we talk about how to photograph Christmas lights in outdoor settings.
Challenges in Shooting Outdoor
Exposure Triangle - How to Photograph Christmas Lights
Use a Tripod:
Since you are going to keep the shutter speed slow, the camera needs to be super steady. That is why you must invest in a sturdy tripod. It will not only keep you from shaking the camera but also give you more room to move around and study the surroundings.
A thumb rule for how to photograph Christmas lights in outdoor settings is to never use any flash. If you are hoping to properly expose the surroundings using a flash, let us stop you. It will only mess up the temperature and the mood of the whole image.
Photo edited in Lightroom.
Photographing Indoor Christmas Lights
Other than great things, there is no greater joy on Christmas than to decorate your own home. Although, they look very pretty, however, capturing them can get quite tricky. Read along to understand how to photograph Christmas lights in Indoor settings.
Challenges in Indoor Shooting
Unlike outdoor photography, there are not as many obstacles while shooting indoor. However, it is even more difficult to master because the challenge is not to make the image lifeless and flat. It happens when the flash outshines the Christmas lights.
Light is your Ally
When you are shooting outdoor, you cannot control the ambient light. Rather you have to adjust to the available light. The major advantage while photographing indoor Christmas lights is that you can control the light. You can use external lights to liven up the surroundings but remember not to use the in-built flash.
Similar to outdoor shooting, you should keep the shutter speed low in indoors as well. That is why you will definitely need a surface to stabilize the camera. A tripod is not necessary for homes because you can always find a spare table. Other than that, you will be depending more on your creativity while shooting indoors. You can even make use of the shallow depth of field to get a more aesthetic feel and warm colors.
Important Tips to Remember - How to Photograph Christmas Lights
Since the ambient light will be gradually changing, you can use the Bracketing technique. It allows you to take a couple of pictures having different exposures. This will give you a selection of images to select from.
Of course, the Christmas lights are the main feature, however, some negative space, as well as structures, should also be added to the image. This will make the image more pleasing.
Post Editing Process
Conclusion - How to Photograph Christmas Lights
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Have a nice photoshoot!
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