If you’re like me, the “M” mode on your camera rarely gets used and is more than a little daunting. Try as I might, I can’t get my pictures to look good in that mode so “Auto” it stays.
This week I asked my friend Erica, of Erica Peerenboom Photography, to give us all some tips on taking great Christmas photos in low lighting. Think Christmas trees! Christmas shows! Christmas decorations and lights! And Erica is here today to give you some tips on taking the best photos in these types of settings…take it away Erica!
I absolutely love having my camera out around the holidays! Whether it’s taking pictures of my girls opening presents, performing on-stage or Christmas parades there are always some magical moments to capture.
- Put your camera in M for manual mode.
- Do not use your pop up flash.
- Bump your ISO higher to allow more light to reach the camera sensor. Most cameras can go up to 800 ISO before noise becomes an issue.
- Slow down your shutter speed which also allows more light to reach the sensor to 1/15th a second or so.
- When using a slower shutter speed you will either need to use a tripod or some other device to steady your camera so it doesn’t move and cause blur.
- Open up the aperture to as wide as the lens will let you (usually 1.8 or 1.4) to allow the most light in and also create the circular bokeh shapes you see in the images below.
- Don’t turn off all the lights in the room. Ambient light can improve the overall look of the image.
- Play around until you get the image you are after. If it’s too dark, slow down your shutter speed for or bump your ISO up a little more. If it’s too light, turn down your ISO or speed up your shutter.
- Change your white balance to tungsten for indoor shots.
- Play around, experiment and have some fun! That’s what photography is about.
Hope you guys learned something from all her great tips! I’m off to trying taking more photos of my Christmas tree now 🙂 Thanks so much, Erica!!!
Erica is a photographer in the Columbus, Ohio area and took my family photos last fall! If you have questions or would like to chat more with Erica you can find her sites below.
Great tips! I just saw a photo today with that lovely sparkle of light in the background. I am going to give it a try and brave the Manual mode!! Thanks!
Thanks for the tips! I’m going to try them, the pictures are beautiful. I found your blog at Classy Clutter, spotlight Saturday. I’d love for you to follow my blog as I’m now following yours.
I need this post so bad… Thank you so much to the both of you for sharing… Abbey, it was so nice to meet you at SNAP!
by the way… I am pinning!