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Photographing Christmas Lights

When the Christmas season comes around, you will certainly have plenty of opportunities to take beautiful and fun pictures. Of course, Christmas lights will be something you will want to capture. The problem is, though, that these lights can be extremely difficult to photograph. After all, the only time that the lights will be on will be at night.

The nighttime can bring along its own problems when it comes to photography. When you add in the fact that you will want to capture the beauty of the lights themselves, then it can create a situation that can be very hard.

Many people think that only a professional can photograph Christmas lights. You do not have to be a pro.

All you need to know are the things that you will need to set on your camera in order to take the best pictures of Christmas lights at night.

  • In order to photograph whole buildings, choose a basic wide-angle lens.
  • Always use a tripod if you can. Slow shutter speeds will blur handheld images.
  • Use manual mode on the camera to have complete control of the settings.
  • Choose the lowest possible f/stop– try to stay between f/2.5 and f/4.5.
  • Keep the ISO as low as possible. Higher ISOs in dark settings will cause digital noise. Try to stay at an ISO of 400.
  • Never choose an ISO over 800.
  • Try to play with the shutter speed manually. A good initial setting would be 1/50th of a second. You may have to try different speeds to get the right one.
  • To allow the camera to automatically set the speed, focus on a bright part of the image so the camera will set a faster speed.

Of course, in any situation, you may have to alter the settings. However, these are good starting points that should give you a basis to begin your Christmas lights photography. You can capture those beautiful lights with your camera with just a little practice.

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