Saturday, November 30, 2013

How To Take Pictures By Christmas Lights

I'm sure lots of places have local light displays where people get out, walk around, and take tons and tons of horrible pictures.

The Christmas lights are so pretty!!  But they make for pretty tricky lighting.  Fortunately, if you follow these easy tips, you can have much better pictures!

There are TWO elements to a decent light display portrait.
1. Background
2. Lighting

Not one or the other.  BOTH.

1. You need to have something pretty in the background.  Doesn't matter what color or how in focus or out of focus it is.  Just make sure it isn't a parking lot or something else horribly ugly.

2. You need to have WHITE light hitting the subject's face.  And we really don't want to use our flash if we don't have to.  Colored lights can make the skin look funky and can make your subject look ill.  Best to stick to white light for hitting the face.  (Off white and yellow would be 2nd and 3rd choice.)  You can include the lights in the picture or crop them out.  But your subject will likely have to be practically hugging the light source to get decent light unless they are just SUPER bright.

THAT'S IT!  The photo above was taken with a DSLR and a tripod, but the same tips can improve even quick cell phone snapshots.  Like this one:

Happy Holidays!

Since I already included the shot from 2012 (main shot used at the top) and then a cell phone shot from 2013, I figured I'd go ahead and update with a 2014 shot.  Because it's my blog and I can.