Can you give me some tips for shooting holiday lights outdoors?
We are entering the season when homeowners and communities put up displays of holiday lights. Many communities even run bus tours of elaborate holiday decorations. Many people want to make holiday greeting cards from pictures of their home and yard decorations.
Although Holiday lights appear best at night, the best time to shoot is at twilight. This is because at twilight there is enough light in the sky to be able to define tree branches, the roof line of a home or other details. It is best to start shooting about 15 minutes after sunset and then take a shot every five minutes thereafter to get an ideal balance of skylight and the holiday lights. Since many lights today use LEDs, you may find that colored LEDs may photograph as white because they may overexpose.
Your digital camera might have Night Scene Modes that adjust camera settings specifically to take photos of night scenes. These Night Scene Modes use a set of menu settings intended to obtain quality image exposures at night. One of the major aspects on Night Scene Modes is that the camera must make a long exposure - about two seconds. Therefore it is necessary to steady the camera on a solid surface or use a tripod, otherwise the image will be blurry from camera shake.
Night exposures can be made by shooting in the M (Manual) shooting mode. An f-stop can be selected and a shutter speed of several seconds can be set to shoot a night image. If you do shoot night scenes using the Manual shooting mode and make long exposures, use the Noise Reduction function in the camera's menu to reduce noise and hot pixels that result from long exposure times. If your camera uses a USB cable release, BULB exposures can be done.
If your camera has a NIGHT+PORTRAIT Scene Mode, do not use it while it is snowing. This mode fires the flash, and snowflakes near the camera will appear as white out of-focus blobs in the picture. In fact, the flash should be turned off during any photography in falling snow for the same reason. If you are shooting in a cold climate, wrap the camera in a towel or scarf before getting into a warm car or going back into the house to avoid condensation on or in the camera. Allow the camera to warm up for fifteen minutes before unwrapping it.
In some cities, department stores may set up elaborate holiday displays in their windows. If you are going to shoot these displays, you can use the flash as long as you shoot at an angle to the window so that you do not get a reflection of the flash in the shot.
Archive - E-System:
- Advantages of digital lenses
- Transferring your photos to a CD
- Printing the date on your photos
- Best image sizes for emailing
- Lens connections and F-stop
- Indoor sports photos
- AF illuminator and camera flashes
- Camera locks up while shooting closeups
- Taking photos of the Northern Lights
- Shooting in cold weather
- Pixel Mapping
- Waterfall and Stream Effects
- Camera unable to secure autofocus
- Night sports photos
- Can I use a teleconverter with my kit lens?
- What is MY MODE?
- Saving Your Camera Settings
- What does the Fn button do?
- Tips for shooting holiday lights outdoors
- Tips about memory card usage
- The purpose of IMAGE ASPECT when shooting?
- Tips for digitizing 35mm color slides
- Double exposures and xD card questions
- Taking better indoor photos
- Shooting in RAW
- Battery charging guidelines
- E-System Compatibility
- Cleaning your mirror box
- Studio Lighting
- Tricks for manually focusing
- Focusing E-System cameras in low light
- P, A, S and M modes
- Keeping a zoom lens steady
- What lenses can I use with my DSLR?
- High Dynamic Range (HDR) Photography
- Post-processing color controls in OLYMPUS Master
- How do I use bracketing modes?
- Save a zoomed playback image
- How can CONTRAST, SHARPNESS and
SATURATION be applied creatively?
- Shooting indoors in the winter
- What does the GRADATION feature in the menu do?
- Using OM-System lenses and accessories