To photograph Christmas lights, you need a balance. Shooting when it’s too late means that you have either the lights or their surroundings correctly exposed, but no both, while shooting in the middle of the day means the lights don’t show up at all!
So, you need to find a time when ambient, and Christmas lights balance!
- Remember to arrive early, around sunset is good, as you have time to plan your shot, experiment with light, and get photographs in a range of light.
- Test your white balance settings. Go through a large range, from tungsten to cloudy, and see what suits the shot best.
- Take a shot every minute. When the time comes, you’ll be the first to know!
- At some point between dark and sunset, the ambient and decorative lights will mix beautifully. When the time comes, experiment with exposure, and take several shots when you have found the bet exposure.
The time where the two light sources mix is also the time architecture photographers capture cracking shots, if there is a nice building near the Christmas light, use a wide view to include both to add interest to the scene.#
Once mix light has gone, you will be well aware, as the lights will appear against black sky, and will look ”dull, lifeless, and …bad!”