5 tips for taking glowing Christmas light photos

Christmas lights are such magical things. Just plug in yours and in an instant the atmosphere in your home is transformed. Christmas lights also have the same effect when captured on camera. So this Christmas, remember to make time for taking great photos of your Christmas lights and use these 5 Christmas photo tips to do it just right!

1. Outside lights create warmth inside

Walk outside before the sun goes down and take a photo of your illuminated home. If you haven’t got lights outside, then place lighted candles by the window and take snaps of them from outside. This creates enhances the feeling of warmth and cosiness inside your home. Don’t forget to take a jacket with you as it’ll take time to capture the perfect picture. Use a longer shutter speed (like a tripod) and keep trying for the perfect shot!

2. Bring the lights and wrapped gifts together in one shot

Snug under the tree and packed with love and care, we definitely believe presents are well worth a picture or two. To enhance the magic and mystery of gifts, just place your camera on the floor, position yourself to capture lights in a quiet background, zoom in and snap away. Do you also want to have a slightly blurred effect in the background similar to the one in the photo above? See tip 2 above. Oh and we just have to add one more – don’t forget to zoom in on those (hopefully) surprised faces as they unwrap their presents. Their priceless expressions are just as bright as (or even brighter than) any Christmas light – and besides it’s what Christmas is all about!

3. Capture the glow of your candles

Just like lights, candles instantly create a beautiful atmosphere. Here’s how to make the most of candle lights: Set your camera in ‘Av’ mode (Canon) or ‘A’ mode for (Nikon) Provide a stable surface to place your camera Set the value of your diaphragm as low as possible. (In the photo above, a diaphragm of F3.5 was used.) Choose a candle you want to focus on (don’t focus on the flame) and zoom in. This reduces the depth of field, keeping your chosen candle in focus while fading the rest in the background.

4. Make a memory of a glowing Christmas dinner table

It often happens that we forget to capture the lovely setting of a candlelit Christmas dinner table. So before everyone sits to dine, try and remember to take a moment to take a few photos. It might not be a bad idea to put the roast potatoes aside if it didn’t turn out quite right.

5. Get creative with your Christmas lights

This blurred light effect, known as bokeh to photographers, can be used for all sorts of occasions and Christmas is definitely one of them. Ever wondered how to take such photos? The answer is quite simple: open your diaphragm as far as possible (i.e. low f-number, i.e. F2.8) and do not focus. Such images can create perfect backgrounds in your photo book.
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