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Simple & Creative Ways To Capture Christmas With Your Camera

Christmas isn't far away so now is the perfect time to pick up all of the tips you can to help you perfect your festive photography skills.

| General Photography

Simple & Creative Ways To Capture Christmas With Your Camera : Christmas tree decoration


27 November 2016 marks the day of the first advent. Yes, just as usual, Christmas has arrived sooner than we all thought it would. The day will kickstart a beautiful period in time that sees us fully embracing the wintertide and which, of course, concludes with everyone’s favourite festivity- Christmas.

Some will have already started to embellish their surroundings with all kinds of Christmas decorations and are here to show you how you can successfully capture these delightful decorations with your camera and lens. 


Cliché Yet Beautiful                                                                                        

As Christmas lights have been a staple of Christmas photography since they came into circulation, it’s increasingly hard to perpetuate them in an inventive way. However, even though it may be a little clichéd, capturing festive lights with your camera can create irresistibly beautiful photos.

Bokeh still works like a charm when teamed with Christmas lights and shouldn't be overlooked, no matter how overused it might be. For those who may not be familiar with the term, bokeh photography stands for a type of photo where the blurred part of the picture (soft-focused part) is an integral part of the composition. Other details? Shallow depth of field and a high contrast, more often than not, black background (a black sheet of cardboard will work fine). Add a Christmas figure to the foreground to add even more interest and Christmas spirit but remember to keep it close enough so that that it will maintain a distinct sharpness in comparison with the background. 


Bokeh lights


Loved Ones

Capturing family shots at this time of year is a given as after all, what's Christmas without family and friends? Photos of your loved ones surrounded by Christmas decorations will always bring a smile to the face and look perfect on the wall. Don't think you always have to be behind the camera either as self-timers mean you can set the camera up and dash into frame before the shutter is fired. 

Another way to combine photography and fun with the family is with instant cameras as these can be passed around at parties and many of them feature different modes now so you can experiment with your portraits. Throw in a few Christmas props and you'll soon have a collection of pocket-sized prints that can be passed around and shared. All of the images you capture can be used to create sweet, personalised photo gifts for family members as well. 


Creative Wreath

From the fancy modern aesthetic of glass wreaths and black candles to the classic green fir wreaths, there's quite a selection to choose from and, indeed, photograph. Wreaths hung on wooden doors with plenty of character actually make excellent subjects for DIY Christmas cards. 


Simple & Creative Ways To Capture Christmas With Your Camera : Wreath


The Technical Bit 

As we’re focusing mainly on capturing images in a home environment, light levels can be a little tricky to deal with, as too can white balance. When working indoors, photos can end up having a slightly warmer, orange tint to them because of the light your house lights produce. If you find this to be a problem switch from auto white balance to one of the other presets (Tungsten should work fine) or to manual. If you forget to check your white balance you can always adjust your images during post production if you shot in RAW.

Working indoors, particularly when shooting in between Christmas tree branches, can result in your camera using slower shutter speeds which means you'll need a tripod handy to stop shake spoiling your shot. Using your camera's self-timer will also stop any movement you've caused by pressing the shutter button affecting your image. If you want to work hand-held you can use a higher ISO and switch to a wider aperture to let more light in. This will also mean your backgrounds are nicely thrown out of focus, leaving the focus on your Christmas decoration.

As for lens choices, having a lens that is flexible enough to capture both macro shots of Christmas ornamentations and wide-angle images of your family members will make life easier.  Also, as mentioned, a tripod will come in handy when light levels are low as flash can spoil shots of tree lights and other illuminated decorations. 


Christmas tree decoration


What To Do With The Results

Besides greeting cards, you can also create a plethora of personalised gift items or high-quality wall art print. A huge, glossy, acrylic photo print can both enhance the splendour and enrich the depth of your creations while a tastefully bound photo book will give your loved ones the opportunity to venture down memory lane while sat beside a warm fireplace and Christmas tree.

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