How to Properly Take Photos of Winter Light Displays

Nothing gets you in the cozy holiday spirit faster than taking a drive on a winter evening to marvel at the festive light displays.

There’s just something about the way they twinkle and light up the night that makes you feel nostalgic, happy and in the mood to celebrate. The lights of Winterfest in Pigeon Forge start to twinkle from early November and last through to the end of February. There are so many great light displays to admire all over the city.

You’ll probably want to capture the beauty of the lights on your camera – but taking photos of Christmas lights can be tricky. Read on for some tips on how to take the best possible pictures of the lights. Of course, the driver should be keeping their eyes on the road so make sure that the passengers are the only ones concentrating on taking photos!

Start at Dusk

What you might not know about night photography is that the best time to start is before it is fully dark. You should begin around sunset when it still appears semi-light to your eyes. This will give you time to plan your shot.

The lighting is better in the half-light of dusk before it gets fully dark. It allows you to see the brilliance of the lights while also seeing the details of the surroundings. You might need to ask homeowners nicely if they will turn their lights on early – many people don’t turn them on until it gets fully dark.

Keep it Steady

Use a tripod to steady your camera, as your shaky hands will cause blurred and streaky lights in your photos. If you are shooting with your smartphone, try to brace yourself against something solid with both hands. Also, make sure that you turn off your flash.

Make Sure to Include the Sky

A simple trick for adding more interest to your Christmas light photos is to include as much of the sky as possible. This will add more light to the composition and if you are photographing during dusk the sky will be a beautiful, complex background of blue and purple tones. Including other items such as lampposts and trees might also improve the composition of a photo. Here are some basic tips for understanding how to compose a great photo.

Consider “Night Portrait Mode”

If you want to take a photo of a friend or family member standing in front of the lights, try using the “Night Portrait Mode” if your camera has it. Many of the typical point and shoot cameras of today will have a “Night Portrait Mode.” This is a setting that fires the flash to light up the subject in the foreground, but also keeps the lens open for long enough to record the lights that are glittering in the background. You’ll be able to see your subject’s face but also capture the Christmas lights.

Keep these tips in mind while you’re taking gorgeous photos of the holiday lights during Pigeon Forge Winterfest!

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