It's almost Christmas! Can you believe it?! Seeing as Christmas is so close and many of you might be snapping lots of photos of your tree or in front of your tree I thought it might be helpful to provide a few tips on shooting dreamy Christmas lights.
SHOOT WITH A LOW F-STOP NUMBER
Or a wide aperture. A low f-stop number and a wide aperture are the same, but I wanted to mention them both because it can actually seem a little confusing. If you're ever reading an article that mentions a large aperture or a wide aperture, that means low f-stop number. When shooting dreamy Christmas lights you want to shot with your aperture anywhere between 1.4 to 2.8. This is what allows for a nice bokeh background. If you're shooting with a stock lens, this may be difficult to accomplish.
USE YOUR TRIPOD
I feel like I've been harping on tripods lately, but for good reason, haha! Often times when we're shooting Christmas lights we need a slow shutter speed, but we also want a sharp image. Using our tripods insures a sharp image.
ADD SPACE BETWEEN YOUR SUBJECT AND THE LIGHTS
If you're including a subject in your photo with your Christmas lights you want to make sure that you add plenty of space between the two. In the image below, there isn't enough space between the mug and the lights to create dreamy bokeh Christmas lights in the background. Make sure to add plenty of space.
USE MANUAL FOCUS
If you are only shooting Christmas lights and you want to achieve bokeh shapes you'll need to focus manually. Below are four different examples of different focus points. You can see in the first two images the Christmas lights are beautiful bokeh shapes. In the second two images the Christmas lights still have a little bit of bokeh, but not as prominent. Spend some time shooting in manual mode to see what works best.
What do you think, friends? Are you shooting lots of dreamy Christmas lights this season? What are some of your go to tips and tricks? xoxo! Samantha