The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022

Tips for shooting Christmas photos

If you’re shooting the tree indoors, make sure that its lighting is emphasized.  That can be accomplished by closing blinds and drapes during the day or turning off room lights at night.

Depending on your lens opening (do some experimenting), you can vary the size and sharpness of the lights or use a cross screen filter to turn lights into various pointed stars with slight to great flares. (determined by the cross screen filter you use)

The effects of a cross screen filter on tree lights by Rex Dolby.

Use a tripod to minimize camera shake because you want a slow shutter speed to obtain the greatest depth of field.  A child, pet, or gifts can add interest to the scene. By keeping your ISO setting low, you will reduce digital noise in the dark areas, but add to the need for the tripod.

For special effect, zoom in on the ornaments that reflect the lights. However they may also reflect you in them if you are using a close-up setting. If you wish to avoid being in the photo, back up and use your telephoto lens to minimize your reflection.

When you are shooting outside, check how you can move to keep the brightness of lighted windows in the background from detracting from the tree lights.  If you can wait for a dusting of snow, the reflection of the lights on the snow will add to your composition. Keep extra batteries in your pocket as insurance against the effects of cold temperatures.

Next week, I will offer some hints for photographing outdoor lighting displays.

POSTED: 12/14/17 at 10:25 pm. FILED UNDER: Camera Club News