The festive season.

Whether you celebrate the Festival of Lights, or Christmas, or Kwanzaa, or whatever Eid this season has – or whether like me you just like parties and colourful lights, I urge you to shoot some unusual holiday pictures this month. So I will post a few posts in the next week with some ideas.

Idea number one is: detail and out of focus pictures of lights.

Start with the latter. Select a high enough ISO (say, 400 to start). Open your camera all the way (in Aperture Priority mode, select the lowest “F-number” your lens supports, like 3.5) and manually focus as close as possible (turn the lens to “MF”), while the lights are far away:

Out-of-focus tree lights

And then for the second type of image, get close to a subject and autofocus on the close subject. When using flash, use an external flash (not the pop-up), and aim this flash behind you (yes, behind).


Ensure that you expose right: use exposure compensation (or when using flash, also Flash Exposure Compensation) as needed (minus, when shooting dark objects):


That way you get pictures of detail that will help you tell the story and that in themselves are visually interesting.

That was tip 1. More later this week.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *