23 December 2012

5 tips for Christmas photos

Before Christmas kicks off in earnest I thought I would share five tips for getting those all important photos.

1. Aperture
I talked about aperture a lot on my photography course. In a nutshell aperture is how far open your lens is. The smaller the number the wider it is. Aperture creates that beautiful blurred background effect. For Christmas this is perfect.

Turn that dial to Manual ( I know it is scary) or Aperture select and crank that F stop number down as low as it can go. I use f.1.8. Then experiment with getting close to the baubles and letting the background blur out.

You can also set your lens to manual focus, turn it towards your lit tree and click when the tree looks out of focus. You get lovely bokeh like this.

2. ISO
This is basically how sensitive your camera is to light. At Christmas, rooms are often dark or the lighting is low. If you want to take photos without flash, the best way to make sure they are light is to push your ISO up. The higher the number the lighter the picture is.

For these I used ISO800.
They can go a bit grainy but I think this adds to the effect!

3. Use the light
Take advantage of that morning light. If you want to photograph something in detail put it on the windowsill and snap it when the light is good. At Christmas those hours of good daylight are short so plan accordingly.

4. Capture the details before everyone arrives
I can't stress this enough. When guests are around it is so hard to go off and take photos. Instead, grab your camera and 10 minutes to yourself in the lull before everyone arrives, and photograph the details. Use points number 1, 2 and 3 to make it easier and snap away!

I think the details are just as important as the event itself so take the time to capture them however do it when there is a modicum of peace and quiet (if that is possible!)

5. Turn on auto.
When the festivities begin the last thing you want to do is be fiddling with your shutter speed to capture the perfect picture. Life is too short friends! On Christmas day I just turn my camera to auto, flash and all, and snap away! The moment is far more important to me than a nicely exposed photo. And there is always the joy of editing afterwards!

Happy Christmas photographing!


alexa said...

This is a great post full of helpful tips, and thank-you! Your photos illustrate them beautifully. I am admiring that Advent Calendar (?). Wishing you a joyful Christmas with your loved ones, and I've really enjoyed reading your blog and am glad to have found you. :)

K said...

Thank you for the very helpful & clear, yet quick tips :)

Becky said...

A great post with some very useful tips and beautiful photos! Wishing you a very merry Christmas x