April 2012
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Taking some great Christmas photos – tips and techniques (Part 1)

Tip 1026 (Christmas is a special time, remember to take along the camera): Christmas is a special time for people. Near the end of the year, it is a great holiday for spending time with the family, and for having a feast, and for giving and taking photos. With all this happening, it is pretty easy to actually forget about the camera. So make sure that you remember to carry your camera, it is charged up, you have the memory card(s), and also the card reader to transfer your photos. There have been cases where people have been horrified by the realization that everything going on made them forget about the camera.

Tip 1027 (Look for the natural): Gift taking and gift receiving is one of the most important parts of Christmas. You can get a lot of emotions in such photos, especially with kids. So, consider taking photos of kids opening their presents, and the joy they get when they see the photo, even more so when they are up early in the morning and are still sleepy when they are opening their gifts.

Tip 1028 (Use Bokeh): Remember those photos you might have seen where the light of the Christmas tree or other such lights are there in the photo, but don’t show up in focus (check out this link for such photos). Shooting such Bokeh lights can make some interesting shots (refer to this article for Bokeh).

Tip 1029 (Need to be sober enough): Normally one would not talk about this one, except that it happened with a few friends. The exuberance of Christmas activities is high, with a lot of celebration (feasting and drinking (depending on the company)). In such a situation, it is pretty easy to not be sharp enough to get good photos; you would not want to stop your celebration for taking photos, but if you want to have some good memories of the event, then somebody needs to be in a good enough condition to take photos, and this needs to be thought through before the actual event happens (kinda like having one person be the sober one to drive home from a party).

Tip 1030 (Low light conditions): Typically in a number of Christmas photos that are taken indoors, the lighting conditions are not really conducive to get clear and sharp photos. Light levels are low, and if you take on auto mode, the shutter is likely to remain open for long enough that there will be camera shake and the images will be blurred. The simplest option is to use the built-in flash, which will give you the photos that you want of people, but there are some constraints with using the flash (such as the rest of the image gets darkened, images tend to look flatter, and some other problems that are there with using the built-in flash).

Next post in this series (Part 2 of Christmas Photos)

Amazon books that will help your photography skills:

Take Your Best Shot (Popular Photography) Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos

Videos from youtube on photo tips at Christmas:

3 Minute Photo Tip #3: Christmas Lights

Christmas Lights Photoshoot

How to photograph Christmas lights

Christmas lights with a twist of Time Lapse Photography by Gina

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