May 2012
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Taking some great Christmas photos – tips and techniques (Part 4)

In the past 3 posts in this series (Christmas photos tips and techniques), I have enumerating some tips and techniques that related to improving your photos of Christmas events. Here is the fourth post in the series:

Tip 1041 (Try and set up an unattended camera): People tend to become self-conscious or in a pose when they see a person with a camera. One way to get some natural shots is by setting up a camera or a webcam at a strategic location that can be shot by remote, or shoot every few minutes. Some of these photos in natural poses can be pretty good, although you have to take care to make sure you delete any photo that can be embarrassing or very personal and the person would not have wanted the photo to be exposed.

Tip 1042 (Photos of stores and buildings with lighting): Some of the best decorations of the year outside the home comes during Christmas where buildings, stores, etc are very well decorated with lights and other decorations. These photos look very nice, although photo taken during the night tend to look much better. You will need some kind of stable position to take such photos, with a tripod being ideal. But you can even put the camera on a flat surface on your vehicle, point it to the building (and lighted area) and set a long exposure. You will really love the bright lights that show up in your photos.

Tip 1043 (Use the setting on the camera): A lot of cameras have those modes that allow the user to select the situation, and the camera does the setting automatically for the situation. In a number of cameras, this setting is defined as a small illustration in which a person along with a star is shown, and this is the setting that tries to capture a person along with lights. If you don’t have the ability to set the right settings manually, then this auto setting may work better for you.

Tip 1044 (Using burst mode for portraits in low light): When you don’t have a tripod to take longer exposure photos required for getting the details of people in low light, then it is a risk to just shoot and hope for the best. You can increase your chances by 2 measures – stabilize yourself to some degree by resting your elbows on some surface (which minimises the movement of shake that can destroy the photo), and by using burst mode which shoots multiple photos quickly one after the other (this increases the chance of you getting a usable photo).

Tip 1045 (Software for reducing noise due to high ISO): When you use higher ISO to counter-act the low lights at Christmas events, the amount of digital noise in the photo increases. In some cases, when you don’t have the option of additional light, then you need to use high ISO. In such cases, in order to make the photo better and reduce high ISO, you need to use anti-noise filters to reduce the amount of noise, and these will help make the photo more usable. For example (Nik Software, Noise Ninja, Photoshop CS6)

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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