Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Holiday Photography Ideas

The holiday season has arrived and cant we all feel the spirit of the season start to set in. All around us seems to be festive music, smiling people, and shopping bags galore! Sending gifts, holiday parties, and maybe a snow shower fill our thoughts this time of year. In very short time family and friends will be celebrating together with smiling faces for everyone.

Everything about the season presents fantastic scenery for photographers. Whether you are a professional or simply a fan of the point and shoot, the holidays offer up many great opportunities to capture family memories on film. Because you dont ever want to forget some of the wonderful experiences of this season it is important to be prepared to capture the moments when they happen.

Here are some tips to keep in mind before it is too late.

It seems more and more people are switching to digital cameras these days, and why not, they offer so many advantages for the typical photographer. Before the holidays arrive make sure to prepare your camera a bit. This doesn't take too much work but sure will be helpful come picture time. First and foremost you want to clear out the cameras memory cards so there is maximum storage capacity available. The best way to do this is to plug your camera in and transfer any older photos to your computer. The next preparatory step is to charge your camera. There is nothing like running out of batteries in the middle of something special. If your camera uses regular batteries try to stock up on a few extras just in case.

The next tip for holiday photographers concerns the composition of each picture. The holidays offer really great scenery that should be captured. Try placing your subject off center in the picture to more creatively display the local scenery. Many pictures with the subject directly in the center lose the colorful surroundings that would otherwise complement the picture nicely.

When you are taking pictures of an event, such as children opening their gifts on Christmas morning, remember to take lots of pictures and wait until later to choose which ones are worth saving. Digital cameras are especially useful for this technique because they have large capacities that can easily be edited later. You want to take a lot of pictures to ensure you catch everything going on; why risk missing something special if you have the capacity? This technique is also helpful when trying to capture the family together. There is always one in the crowd that smiles at the wrong time or just plain looks silly. The more photos you snap the more likely one is going to be a good representation of everyone involved.

The bright lights displayed during the holidays present a great chance for some creative photography too. Instead of taking the same old photo of the house decorations try something new. If possible on your camera, try leaving the shutter open for an extended period of time. During this brief half- to four-second pause you can nudge the camera a bit to add extra effect. The result should be unique pictures of the lights with a slight blur effect. Try experimenting a bit to create the exact photo you are looking for. You can also try this with decorative candles.

The opportunities for photographing during the holidays are endless. Everywhere we look there are fantastic photos waiting to be taken. Make sure to be prepared because once the scene has passed its too late and we would hate to miss some of those wonderful memories that the holidays offer.

About the author: Don Packer is the designated photographer for all his family gatherings. That way at least one person is capturing the family history and fun times.

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