Sunday, December 02, 2012

Christmas Lights

Something Jeremy and I do every Christmas is meet up with friends, get takeaway coffees (usually festively flavoured ones) and go for a walk along a beautifully decorated neighbourhood. This is our first Christmas living in Auckland together so it was quite exciting to be exploring somewhere different. It's also the first Christmas where I've had a better understanding of our DSLR camera so it was quite fun having a play and getting some pretty shots.

If you're planning to photograph any Christmas displays this year here are a few quick tips that helped me:

• Set your white balance to 'tungsten' so that it will pick up the colour of the bulbs well
• Play with your manual focus and purposely blur your images to get the bokeh effect
• Increase your ISO (I took these pictures with it at 800)
• Start shooting just as it's getting dark (begin around twilight)
• Lower your shutter speed and use a tripod if necessary. I shot these at 1/60 mostly and I was able to do it just by keeping a steady hand luckily.

P.S Doing things like this really makes me miss Ilana from See Me Everywhere. We're living in separate cities now, but for the past few years we've always done this together :'(


  1. Cute photos! I love that someone decorated with those lanterns in the last picture- I've never thought of that before!

    I did this a few weeks ago in the little town that I just moved to, but now I might have to go for a round 2, keeping those tips in mind :) Thanks!

  2. While I was looking at your pictures I had planned to comment to see HOW you took such good light photos, but you did it anyway so THANK YOU I have been wondering how to take pictures of light with my DSLR camera for a while. Beautiful photos!!!!

    Summer x

    1. Glad I could help! Hope you get some good results :)

  3. amazing pictures! :)

  4. i will be doing this tonight. I forgot that its different when shooting at night! thanks for the tips i will definitely be using them!

  5. amazing..thank you for the tips. they are really helpful <3

  6. These are gorgeous, such great tips too! Thanks :)

    Angela @ The Lovely Cup

  7. Defitely a good idea to take on board and make it become a tradition :-)

  8. These make me so excited for Christmas! xx

  9. These are so beautiful! I must take some photos of Christmas lights soon.


  10. Yes I love this about Auckland, makes Christmas so exciting and vibrant! Can't wait to do my round round the neighbourhood too.

  11. Great photos! My hubby will be putting up lights tomorrow, so I'll definitely have to try photographing them. Thanks for the tips!

  12. Holy moly!
    I wish I lived in this street at Christmas! I'd wear fairy lights as clothes if I could haha.


  13. What lovely pictures and a lovely tradition. I love looking at holiday lights.

  14. great photography tips! I always get nervous turning my ISO up because I'm scared the photo's will get too grainy, so I've never really tried over like 200, but you've inspired me to give it a go!
    xoxo Amie @ Spoonful of Vintage

  15. I miss doing this with you :'( Boo! Get into my life!
    But loving see the photos of your Christmas adventures, more please!!

  16. very pretty lights.. thanks for your recommendation.. im just a beginner snd still play around with a digital.,, but your comments have set me up a bit. thanks

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  20. Thanks so much for these awesome photography tips!! I pinned your blog post right away so I can refer to it later. :)

  21. Amazing how you have captured the spirit of CHRISTMAS!!!

  22. Such great tips! SO glad I read this before checking out christmas lights- everyones a little slow about it in Welly!

  23. that's called a BOKEH. :) the word comes from Japan.
    do you want to have heart-shaped bokeh's in your photographs? Then just follow the steps:
    1-cut a piece of circular card at the size of your lens. after that, 2-cut a heart shape in the immle of this circular card by using a box cutter - take care for not cutting your finger.

    if you finished the 2nd step above then you'll have a circle shaped card with a heart-shaped hole in the middle.

    3-put the card in front of your F/1.8 lens. (wide opening lenses are better for bokeh!). you may use a scotch tape for removing your card easily after use. try to shoot at possible wide apparture, for ex. f2.0 or f1.8 or -if you have a lens like that- use f1.4

    4- that's all! you'll see wonderful heart-shaped bokehs in your photograph!


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