Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Extra Credit: Photographing Chrismtas Lights

I don't know about you, but I seem to have numerous Clark Griswold wannabes living around me. That, and I know of several friends that are visiting various "candy cane lanes" and the like this weekend.

So in the spirit of Christmas, today's extra credit is photographing Christmas lights. Last year we went to Disneyland around the holidays, and all of my photographs of the beautiful lights & decor at night were dull and boring. So I was excited to find this blog post specifically on the subject.

In a nutshell:

1) the best time to photograph the lights is around sunset, not when it's pitch black.

2) include as much sky as possible in your photograph (don't forget the rule of thirds!)

3) for those of you with digital SLRs - set your white balance to tungsten lighting, as the Christmas lights are "tungsten balanced." (FYI tungsten lighting = light produced by either photofloods or domestic illumination, it is warmer than normal daylight). Since we haven't really discussed specific camera settings, email/comment if you need help with this.

4) use something to steady your shot, like a tripod, a bean bag, or lean up/on/against something solid (wall, car, etc.)

I'm going to try it this weekend, and I'll post my results (good and bad...) - let me know how it goes for you!