The Holiday season is a great time for photography. Christmas lights can become great photo subjects! Using a Christmas tree as a background for portraiture can result in very pleasing results. By shooting with a wide aperture – smaller numbers f/1.4, f/1.8, or f/2.8 – the lights will be pleasantly rendered into large round bokeh. Bokeh is a Japanese term for the way the out of focus part of a picture looks. Different lens create different bokeh. Generally higher end lenses create softer more pleasing bokeh. Alternative lenses like tilt shifts and Lensbabies can also be very fun to use with Christmas lights.
Christmas lights can also be very pleasing as abstracts. By using long exposures and moving the camera unique designs can be created like this image capture last year. The subtle blue in the top of the images comes from the late evening light outdoors. I slowly moved the camera back and forth to get this result. Play around this holiday season and try getting some unique Christmas light shots.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays
– Ryan Watkins (to see more of my work visit ryanwatkinsphotography.com or find me on flickr.)
Filed under: Ryan Watkins