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How to Photograph Holiday Lights

Use these tips to take great photos of holiday light displays.

Some people have that family tradition of getting in the car and having a Christmas Lights tour.  As many of you already know Long Island is full of amazing decorated houses and you may find yourself taking a photo or two of a house that you really enjoy. Here are a couple of tips to capture that amazingly light home: 

1. Stabilize that camera: It's going to be dark with one main source of light (the house) directed at your camera (plus you are probably going to be cold!). Shaking the camera even just the slightest will cause blur. If you are going to bring a tripod that's great, however, most of us will NOT be carrying a tripod around with us so a little trick that I do is put my camera on the top of my car so it's stabilized. I don't have to worry about camera shake and I can use my camera's timer to trigger the photo. 

2. Use a fast shutter speed: If you can and know how to control your shutter speed make sure to set it at a higher shutter speed. Usually at night you would want a slower shutter speed to allow more light into the camera. However, this is a unique situation where you are going to have a very bright source of light (the house) pointing directly at the camera. When you compare the house light to the darkness around the home a fast shutter speed will give you all the detail you need. Also you will capture motion if the lights on the house are moving. 

3. If you have a point and click camera you might have an auto setting for Christmas lights. However, I KNOW you have a setting for fireworks. Try using the fireworks setting especially if the lights on the house are moving.

4. Turn off the flash! There is absolutely no need or logical use for the flash. Go into your settings a turn it off. Believe me you are doing nothing but confusing the camera with the flash on for photographing Christmas lights. 

I hope this helps with your holiday fun! Enjoy shooting and remember to use these tips to take a photo of your house to submit to Patch's contest.

Jarrod Michael Gordon is the owner of Jarrod Michael Studios www.jarrodmichaelstudios.com

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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