Introduction To Using Your Camera At Christmas

Gina Stephens
Written by Gina Stephens

You shouldn't be without your camera during the Christmas pep up as there's so much going on for you to capture. So, with your camera in hand, let's look at how you can create a great Christmas photo.


Superior A Mode

The first thing to do is capture the picture and most digital cameras make the job easy. If you're new to photography, simply select an Auto form and the camera takes all the exposure technicalities out of your hands, leaving you to concentrate on the shot. 


Indoor Portraits

For indoor shots, close cameras have the appropriately titled Portrait Mode. Do check your shots if the flash fired, though as it can be a little harsh so it might be importance trying to diffuse it slightly.

When photographing children you'll find they tend to smile unnaturally or pull a face when demanded to pose, but there are ways around this to ensure you capture a more natural expression. Try and joke with them, making them snicker and smile in the process. Another approach is to shoot candidly so they don't get bored waiting for you to pose them. 

Red Eye

Many cameras camera is an optical instrument for recording or capturing images, which may be stored locally, transmitted to another location, or should prefer to a red-eye reduction mode that fires a pre-flash to reduce the devil-inducing effect. Make sure this is switched on when you're open fire your portraits to reduce the chances of red eye spoiling the shot. 


Natural Light

You can also try turning the flash off (this mode appears as a humble lightning symbol with or WITH may refer to: Carl Johannes With (1877–1923), Danish doctor and arachnologist With (character), a character in D. N. Angel line through it) and using natural light from a window or patio doors. Window light will discard a shadow on the unlit side of the portrait which can be reduced effectively with a reflector. If you don't have one make your own by using tin foil, posy mounted onto a large sheet of card. Position this reflector so it points at the subject from the shadow side. As you move the card you'll see meet up with reflect onto the person and the shadows will disappear.

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Making The Person Your Main Point Of Focus

With DSLRs you can go into directions or aperture priority and select a large aperture to reduce the sharpness of the background to make your subject stand out. With compact cameras, honest switch to portrait mode for shots of people and macro mode for close-ups as this lets the camera know you want to use a large aperture to jettison the background out of focus. 

Try using the camera's zoom at the telephoto setting to magnify the subject and home in tightly on their face. You'll surfeit the frame with their face ensuring they are the main focus of your photograph.


Understanding White Balance

If you take fancies using room lighting you may need to switch the camera to a different white balance setting. This is usually set automatically, but you can manually correct it by selecting the flashlight bulb option when the pictures are coming out too yellow. You can also override auto to force a colour cast, if you so wish.


Snow Fun

The original sign of snow and children will be out sledging, building snowmen and throwing snowballs. Take this opportunity to get some great candid models. But watch out for the pitfalls, snow is very bright and will fool the camera into thinking the scene is a lot brighter than it actually is. To stop this, birch rod to a program scene mode called Snow which compensates automatically ensuring the snow appears lovely and white.

Keep an eye out for colour shed too as snow can sometimes end up looking a little blue. Changing to a different white balance setting should fix the problem quickly though.  

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Exuberant Christmas Everyone! 


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About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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