Charge up your batteries; Christmas time is here!
Your camera batteries that is.
There's going to be more photo ops this month than there are cookie crumbs in Santa's beard.
With all the excitement of Christmas at hand I thought I would share a few tips and ideas to help you get the most out of your holiday photos.
You know you're going to be taking a lot of them! So while your batteries are charging take a few minutes to read through these; and maybe you'll find something here that you can use.
- Charge your batteries, format your memory cards, clean your lenses, pick up extra flash batteries, and get all your gear packed safely in your camera bag and ready to go.
- Be sure, when you are heading out the door, that you don’t forget to take the camera. Sunday school programs, high school plays, office parties, caroling, and trips to Grandma’s are all great photo ops!
- Capture all the memories of Christmas, from cookie baking and decorating to that turkey dinner and the big gift exchange, it’s all part of the traditions that you will want to hold dear.
- When photographing your Christmas tree get in close to some of those special ornaments as well as that nice wide shot of the whole tree. Try setting your camera’s white balance to tungsten if those Christmas lights images just don’t seem to have the right colors.
- When taking a photo of just one person, or one object, try positioning them slightly off center for a more interesting image. And don’t forget to take a look at the background before pressing that button. We don't want Aunt Marge to have a tree branch grow out of her ear now do we?
- While the kids are opening their gifts on Christmas morning get down on their level and shoot in continuous mode to capture that joy and excitement as they anticipate the newest and greatest toys of the season! Or the not so excited faces as they open that new pair of gym socks.
- Wide shots that show the entire scene are great you will want one or two of these; but be sure to get in close too. Fill the frame with your subject and cut out that distracting busy background.
- Consider shooting in aperture priority mode on Christmas day. Use a wide aperture like f/2.8 or f/4 to give the background a nice soft blur or a narrow aperture like f/8 or f/11 to keep everyone in focus.
- When taking those photos of the Christmas lights try to find that balance between sunny afternoon and black of night. Too bright out and the lights won’t show up. Too dark and you won’t see anything else in the scene.
- To better your chances of getting the whole gang with their eyes all open at the same time take at least three shots for each of your group photos. More if you’ve got fidgety kids!
- When photographing a snowy scene your camera can be esaily fooled into underexposing the image. This gives the beautiful white snow a less than appealing blue or gray cast and a very unnatural look. To fix this problem use your camera’s exposure compensation feature and force an additional 1 or 2 stops of light. Look for a little +1 or +2 symbol.
- One last tip… be ready… shoot quickly… and shoot often!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!